Acts 7:55-60: 55: “But Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit. He looked toward heaven, where he saw our glorious God and Jesus standing at his right side.” 56: “Then Stephen said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right side of God!’”
57: “The council members shouted and covered their ears. At once they all attacked Stephen.” 58: “and dragged him out of the city. Then they started throwing stones at him. The men who had brought charges against him put their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.”
59: “As Stephen was being stoned to death, he called out, ‘Lord Jesus, please welcome me!’ 60: “He knelt down and shouted, ‘Lord, don’t blame them for what they have done.’ Then he died.”
I recently watched some video footage from a foreign country where extremist were free to do as they please in regards to murdering Christians. As I watched this video, there were a few people on their knees, hands tied behind their back, and it was obvious they had been taken prisoner of the militants who were also in the video.
One of the captors was speaking to the crowd that had gathered. Although I was unable to understand the language, it became obvious he was pronouncing death on those who were kneeling in the grass. Among the captives was a priest. Standing behind the priest was the looming figure of the person charged with performing the dastardly act of executioner.
It wasn’t long until the executioner took his foot and pushed the priest forward, face first in the grass and it was apparent he was about to drop the weapon of death on the priest’s neck. The people who provided the film blacked out the actual execution. News reports emerged about the killing, and about the killing of another priest, murdered by gunfire when extremists entered the chapel of a monastery.