As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. Acts 8:3-4
The New Testament Christians had it a lot worse than us in a lot of ways. Christians were persecuted daily. Preaching Jesus meant there was a good possibility that you could end up in prison… or worse! In the previous chapter of Acts, Stephen was stoned to death. Many Christians died for Jesus’ sake.
In verse 3 we read that Saul was persecuting Christians and putting them into prison. The church was going through a difficult time and it was dangerous to stay in Jerusalem. Many Christians scattered and went out into different cities and regions. The persecution was very real, and was of great concern for Christians of that day and age, and yet much good came from it.
In verse 4, we read that those who scattered taught the word. Those who left Jerusalem because of the persecution did not stop being Christians. They continued to spread the good news of Jesus Christ wherever they went. As they were pushed away because of persecution, they pressed on and preached the gospel.
We suffer much less than many Christians did in the New Testament. We do not need to fear for our lives, nor worry about being put into prison for believing in Jesus and speaking His name.
While we don’t face the same persecution, we still encounter a lot. Our persecution tends to come by way of people scoffing at us and looking down at us for believing in an unseen Creator. Men and women of the world think less of us who believe in Jesus - thinking us to be primitive and irrational!
However, even though we face persecution, we do not have an excuse to stop sharing the gospel. The Christians recorded in Acts were being put in prison and yet they continued to spread the word. They took a negative situation and made the best of it, turning it around to a positive experience - an opportunity to teach others of Christ.
We too need to teach others of the hope that we have despite the persecution that we will receive. We need to be positive people who preach the good news in times of persecution.
-- John Thrower Jr.