3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.
Acts 8:3 (NKJV)
Daily Reading Plan
2 Chronicles 8-11
Acts 8:3 (NLT) — 3 But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison.
Acts 8:3 (MSG) — 3 And Saul just went wild, devastating the church, entering house after house after house, dragging men and women off to jail.
Acts 8:3 (NIV) — 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
Thoughts of Devotion:
The Church of the Book of Acts continually lived under persecution. They faced death and threats everywhere. The enemy opposed the church with all his might, his plan was to try to stop the advance of the gospel. Following this persecution, the first disciples ended up in prison as Acts 16:23-24 states, “And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.”
But being persecuted did not stop the disciples from fulfilling the mission Jesus had given to them. On the contrary, the more they persecuted them, the more they testified! They considered themselves privileged to suffer for Jesus, “So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” (Acts 5:41). They didn’t lock themselves in their homes in fear, it was quite the contrary, they boldly spoke the word of God! In Acts 8:1 it teaches us how the persecution caused everyone to scatter, “At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.”
Even through the persecution, Jesus’ mission was being fulfilled, they were leaving Jerusalem to other cities, “But those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the gospel.” God was working in all the threats and attacks for the good of his people. The enemy was not able to stop the church, God had a strategy! The gospel was to be carried to the ends of the earth. God will always come out victorious, and the enemy will be defeated. The first church understood that persecution was part of the mission. They were willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel. Paul put it this way in Acts 20:24, “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself,so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
Today we are called to be willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel. We cannot go back, or stop against the wiles of the enemy! We are called to be part of the triumphant church, committed to the cause of the gospel. Come what may, the church must march forward fulfilling the great commission to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Acts 2:13 (NKJV) — 13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”
Acts 5:17-18 (NKJV) — 17 Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, 18 and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison.
Acts 8:1 (NKJV) — 8 Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Acts 8:3 (NKJV) —3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.
Acts 12:1-2 (NKJV) — 12 Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. 2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
Acts 14:19 (NKJV) —19 Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.
Acts 21:30-31 (NKJV) — 30 And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut. 31 Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
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