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Thursday, October 31, 2002

Edifier du Jour-Acts 8:1-8(NASB)
1 Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him. 3 But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. 4 Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. 5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them. 6 The crowds with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing. 7 For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 So there was much rejoicing in that city.
This is a good example of God using an injustice to expand his kingdom. The church in Jerusalem was scattered due to Stephen's moving soliloquy and following death in Chapter 7. Due to that scattering, more areas were reached by the gospel. This winds up fulfilling Jesus' call to go to Judea and Samaria. Note that it was Phillip, a Hellenistic Jew and one of Stephen's fellow deacons, who expanded the gospel to Samaria. The native Jews might have been less willing to do so, given their historic enmity with the Samarians. It is a fortuitous coming together of events to further the kingdom; remember, if it matters, it ain't luck.

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