Acts 8:1-4 And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.
Isn’t this an interesting way to get the Gospel spread? Persecution did not squelch the Gospel, as intended by the persecutors, rather as the Christians fled and scattered throughout the region, the Gospel spread like wild fire. The same phenomenon has been seen in China in recent days. As believers face trials, prison, beatings and death, the Church in China has grown exponentially and they are energized to keep spreading the Gospel at all costs.
Foreseeing his arrest, Pastor Wang Yi wrote this declaration to be published by his church should he be detained for more than 48 hours. (which happened 12/2018) In it he explains the meaning and necessity of faithful disobedience, how it is distinct from political activism or civil disobedience, and how Christians should carry it out…. “Those who lock me up will one day be locked up by angels. Those who interrogate me will finally be questioned and judged by Christ. When I think of this, the Lord fills me with a natural compassion and grief toward those who are attempting to and actively imprisoning me. Pray that the Lord would use me, that he would grant me patience and wisdom, that I might take the gospel to them. “