Sermon in a nutshell: Acts 8:1-8 “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.”

Sermon in a nutshell: Acts 8:1-8 “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.”
In the middle of the New Town tragedy, I heard that one girl survived the terror. She pretended to be dead and stayed in the room until the killer shot himself and died. She was wise and calm. To protect her privacy, the news reporter did not release her name.
This girl’s story reminds me of the story of our Lord, Jesus. When Jesus was born, the three wise men visited Jerusalem. Because they did not know where the King of the kings was born, they went to the palace where the king Herod was. They asked to the king Herod where the new born king was! Startled by this shocking news, the king Herod issued a decree that ordered to kill all the babies under two years old. That horrible decree made the whole country mourn. The mothers of the young babies cried like crazy with everybody. And, here, the new born baby Jesus was sleeping quietly. Jesus survived the killing of a maniac. God protected him.
Why? Why did God save the life of Jesus? Because Jesus had to save the lives of the whole human kind, the baby Jesus was saved. Bad people can kill our bodies but they cannot kill our souls. God has had a plan to save the whole humanity. Even though those deaths were tragedy, they were not the end of the universal fight. The final victory was reserved for us by God.
Listen, my brothers and sisters, what Jesus had to say to us: “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Luke 12:4-7) When we have short stay on earth in our bodies, we should live our lives for eternity. We should live for things that last. Whether we enjoy longevity or die early, we will all have eternal life in heaven and that really matters. Baby Jesus was saved only to die on the Cross. We are also still alive only to die for the Eternal Life! That was why the early Christians were not afraid of becoming martyrs.
Do you know what the original meaning of the word, martyr? Martyr means “witness.” They were witnesses to the eternal life in Jesus. They testified to the Lordship of Jesus even though the price of the testimony was death! All those witnesses did not fear physical death because they witnessed to the eternal life in Jesus!
That was exactly what happened after the death of Stephen. When Stephen was stoned to death, the disciples and followers of Jesus were all scattered. They did not, however, run away. They were all scattered to spread this Good News: Physical death is not the end but the beginning of eternal life in Jesus and the evangelism of the world.
The Bible says that the great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. However, they did not stay there weeping. The Bible says, “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.”
My brothers and sisters! Why are we still alive when all those young innocent boys and girls have to die? We are still here to witness to the world that the young boys and girls now have eternal life in God and that we have to live our lives for things that last eternally. We are here to say that their lives are not wasted but preserved by God eternally. We are here to share this hope with those who say that they do not have hope at all. The world will try to ridicule us and kill us. However, we cannot stop proclaiming that Jesus is the King and He reigns over the universe! With this faith, shall we sing a hymn together?
He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders of His love.
Even though this is a silent night, this is also a holy night. Even though baby Jesus is calm and peaceful, he is also mighty and powerful. Even though we are helpless and weak, we are also witnesses to the King of the kings and the Lord of the lords. Let us go out to the world and proudly proclaim that Jesus was born. The King has come. We have eternal life. We have the final victory!

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About biblepreacher

United Methodist Church Pastor. My wife, Hysung Hong Lee, is also a UMC pastor and my children are all grown and have their independent life. We have now empty nest. I and my wife are collecting some mission eggs now in that nest!
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