Victoria Fellowship Church (VFC)
International and Interdenominational
House Fellowship for week commencing 16th August 2015
Quarter Theme: A Revived Church: Lessons from the Acts of the Apostles
Topic: suffering persecution
Texts: Acts 8: 1-8, 2 Tim 3:12
Memory Verse: Yea , and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3: 12
2 Timothy 3:12 says those who want to live godly lives must be prepared for persecution, literally “to be hunted.” God does not promise us deliverance from persecution but deliverance through it. Persecution is one of the means God uses to develop our capacity to reign with Him in His kingdom.
In the book of Acts 8 where we read, The church father Augustine wrote that the church owes Paul to the prayer of Stephen. Saul, who later became the apostle Paul, never forgot the way Stephen died—he also did not conceal that he was in full agreement with the killing (22:20). God promises in Rom. 8:28 that all things work together for good. Even though Paul was struggling against the work of the early church and the church was experiencing its worst persecution up to that time, it was this struggle that would eventually lead Paul, the man who wrote at least half of the NT, to eternal life. they were all scattered: This phrase speaks of scattering seeds on the ground so that something will grow.
The members of the church in Jerusalem may not have understood what was happening to them, but Jesus would not let His church become limited racially, culturally, or geographically. These early believers became missionaries as much as refugees. At this point the entire church began to pay the price of discipleship. Except the apostles: The initial target of the great persecution was the Hellenistic or Greek-speaking Jewish believers, in the person of Stephen. But the apostles were subsequently hunted down and we would not be an exception. If we are, they we must carry out some stock taking of our evolvement in the kingdom of God.
1) Why does God allow or permit us to be persecuted? Matthew 10: 16-26
2) How do we differentiate the problems and attack that we go through in life whether they are as a result of genuine persecution or disobediences? Jonah 1: 1-17; Mark 10: 17-31
3) Can you share with us your personal experiences of persecution and lessons you learnt from such experience and what benefit it afforded you to grow the kingdom of God? Romans 8: 28