Martyrdom and Mission
As soon as the vigilante mob finished stoning Stephen, they turned their guns on the church. Luke accents the immediacy of the connection between Stephen’s martyrdom and the persecution of the church as he says “on that day” the church was scattered. Though the Jerusalem church was scattered it was not defeated. Instead of going forth as refugees, the church went forth as missionaries preaching the word in Judea, Samaria, and beyond. Unashamed of the gospel, these believers took persecution as an occasion for gospel mission.