The Jews in Jerusalem were displeased when they saw their own people forsaking the law of Moses and embracing the Christ. Their displeasure was manifested in their persecution of these people. This persecution became so severe that many fled the city and went into the surrounding territories of Judea and Samaria. And the record says in Acts 8:4, "Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word."

Persecution has never hindered God's people from preaching the truth. Christians were first persecuted by the Jews. This ceased when Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed in 70 A. D. Nero instigated persecution against Christians about 64 A. D. and it continued, intermittently, until 313 when Constantine handed down the Edict of Milan giving all religions freedom from persecution.

When persecution ceased, apostasy flourished and produced the Roman Catholic Church which in turn brought forth the Protestant Denominational situation we are surrounded with today. [More later on that.]

But these Christians of Acts 8:4 did not go everywhere in the known world of their day. "... they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria .." (Acts 8:1). So I think it can be more accurately stated that "Everywhere they went. they preached the word." And that's the way it should be today. We are not obligated to go everywhere but everywhere we do go, we are obligated to preach the word.

Question: are we doing that? Answer: No! Question: why not? Answer: perhaps because we have it so easy. No persecution. No need for defending the word so we don't do it. We expect the government to pass moral laws to do our work. But everywhere THEY went, they preached the word and because of their work, they continued to be persecuted until Constantine and then, protection by the government and apostasy flourished.

Return to Daily Devotionals