Come Follow Me 2023
Gospel Living

Two apostles use scriptures to testify of the Savior.

07/12/23 | 1 min read
But only one has a receptive audience!

As the Lord’s Church grew, the Apostles called seven men to help them travel and teach, including two named Stephen and Philip. Both used scriptures and taught boldly about the Savior. Here’s a little more about what ended up happening.

Stephen ...

  • Was “a man full of faith and the Holy Ghost” (Acts 6:5).
  • Got summoned before the council of Jewish leaders to account for his “blasphemous” teachings about the Messiah.
  • Responded by reciting Jewish history—starting with Abraham, on through Joseph in Egypt, Moses and the exodus, the promised land, the temple of Solomon—all leading to Jesus Christ as prophesied the Savior.
  • Died as a martyr after being stoned for his teachings.

Meanwhile, Philip...

  • Was called to preach in the city of Samaria.
  • Followed a prompting to start a gospel conversation with a man in a chariot. It turns out the man was trying to understand some verses from Isaiah about Jesus Christ! (See Acts 8:26-39.)
  • Had the chance to baptize that man and many others.

Even though Philip and Stephen both had faith and taught with the Spirit, one found a more receptive audience than the other (to put it mildly). The people Philip taught actually wanted to learn, while the council Stephen faced only wanted an excuse to persecute the Christians. This is a good reminder that ultimately, people are converted not by us—not even by the scriptures—but by the Holy Ghost. And the Holy Ghost works on those who let Him in.
Whenever we extend an invitation for others to learn more about the gospel, it’s a missionary success—whether or not others choose to accept it!

How Does This Apply?

What does this teach us about how we define success in our missionary efforts? Was Stephen any less of a missionary than Philip?

This is part of a weekly series about “Come, Follow Me” scripture reading. You can view the entire lesson here.