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Is persecution of the church a good thing?

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Acts 8:1-4
Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. Acts 11:19-21
            Persecution is sometimes THE thing the church needs.  It increases the boldness of the people and separates the committed from the casual.  In the case of the early church in Acts, it pushed the believers out to other areas where they continued to share the Gospel.  Jesus’ persecution that led to his death brought life to millions and millions.  It still works that way today.