“It is easy for a preacher to be bold when he is in his own pulpit, among friends. But when there are manifestly hostile people breathing out fire, as Stephen was soon to find out, a bold preacher takes great risk. That is why Martin Luther said that in every generation there will be the threat of the gospel going into eclipse. Every time the gospel is proclaimed, clearly and boldly, opposition arises and conflict comes. A minister has never mounted a pulpit anywhere in the world who has not been absolutely aware of how dangerous it is to be bold. So when preachers are fearful, they have to come back to this text and look at the way the Apostles, without respect for their lives or their worldly goods, would say like Luther, “Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also,” and then preach with boldness” (R.C. Sproul, Acts, St. Andrews Commentary—in commenting on Acts 2:14-41).
The Threat of the Gospel Going Into Eclipse