8:1 And Saul approved of his execution.
And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.
by: Dorothy Noel.
Stephen’s death marked a turning point for the early church. The Jewish leaders, who did not accept Jesus, felt they had the power to subjugate the church and regain control of the Jewish people. This led to the persecution of the church, with Saul at the forefront. Though the church was scattered, we can remember Jesus’ call in Acts 1:8. Now there are believers in Judea and Samaria, the second set of places where they were called to be witnesses. Even in the face of extreme persecution, God can use our circumstances to spread His message.