Remember that I told you a few episodes back that we should be bold and strong, and that we should follow the leading of the Holy Spirit when He tells us to speak up?
Well, that’s what Stephen did, and he became the first Christian martyr.
He spoke the truth. In answering the religious leaders, he told them the entire history of the Jewish people, and he let them know that they were not on God’s side. Their reaction to this was predictable, was it not? In today’s jargon, they were offended. But instead of running off to their “safe space”, they had Stephen taken out and stoned to death.
Listen, being filled with the Holy Spirit is not a guarantee that speaking the truth to those who do not want to hear will not be offended. It’s no guarantee that you will not draw the wrath of people who would harm you.
Jesus told us this. In the gospel of John, chapter 15, verses 18 and 18, He said, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.”
And He also said in Matthew 10:33, “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.”
So, who’s approval do you want? I would rather have the approval of Jesus.