The newly formed CHURCH was not going to be an easy thing to promote. Satan was defeated by God through the resurrection of Jesus. But satan was not about to allow that little hiccup to stand in his way in his effort to cause grief for Jesus and His followers. Satan, in essence is a sore loser. Sore losers get angry and hateful.
Loosing is a part of life. Especially in the sporting world.
Take the New England Patriots for example.
Between 1989 and 1993 they only won 19 out of 80 games. A bad loosing record.
In 2000 Bill Belichick was hired and Tom Brady was drafted as a quarterback.
Once that combination was formed the Patriots have amassed an incredible record of 237 wins versus 82 loses. And that is just the regular season. As most people are aware, the Patriots have won 6 Super Bowls and Tom Brady is the undisputed G.O.A.T.
Question: Why did people begin to hate the Patriots?
Were they doing something bad?
Fact: People hate it when they don't win! Winning is EVERYTHING. So they begin to hate the winners. Losing means that someone else is better than you. Sore. loosers get angry and hateful.
Satan lost at the resurrection. Jesus / God won.
But satan didn't give up. His new focus: the newly formed CHURCH of Jesus.
He didn't beat Christ so he'll do everything he can to beat the followers of Jesus.
Satan is angry and hateful.
Acts 8:4-8 NIV
4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.  Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there.  When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said.  For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.  8 So there was great joy in that city.
The converted Christians did as they were instructed to do by Christ who instructed the disciples to go into the world and preach / tell the gospel. Salvation by the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Question: Did the disciples go about doing evil?
Cleansing people from impure / evil spirits.
Healing of the paralyzed and lame.
This brought Great Joy!
It was a good thing.
Again, Satan is losing. And he is still angry and hateful.
Acts 8:9-13 NIV
9 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great,  and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.”  They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery.  But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.  13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
Again, Satan loses!
And satan is still angry and hateful.
Simon did not perform his sorcery in the name of Jesus. Scripture ( Jesus' words) says that sorcery is evil.
Galatians 5:19-21 NIV
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Revelation 21:5-8 NIV
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new !” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true .”  He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.  Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.  8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars —they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death .”
Remember that Simon boasted that HE was someone great. No mention of Jesus.
Acts 8:14-19 NIV
14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria.  When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit,  because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.  When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money  19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Simon was still into himself. He still didn't give Jesus the credit.
Acts 8:20-23 NIV
20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!  You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.  Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.  23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
Peter instructed Simon to Repent and pray to the Lord that He may forgive you.
Peter wouldn't do for Simon what Simon should do for himself.
We need to understand that salvation is only from Jesus.
We need to understand that everything associated with that salvation is totally and completely from Jesus. Such as the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:24-25 NIV
24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”  25 After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.
Simon still doesn't get it. He asked Peter to pray for him. The fact is that Simon needed to pray himself. This is a very personal act. Not something someone else can do for you.
Did the persecution prevent them from getting out the word; the GOOD NEWS or the Gospel, as Jesus instructed?
A GREAT EXAMPLE OF BEING AVAILABLE TO LET THE HOLY SPIRIT DO HIS WORK
Acts 8:26-40 NIV
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”  So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship,  and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.  The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”  Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.  “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.  This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth.  In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”  The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 
Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.  As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”  And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.  When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.  40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
Are we available to do as Jesus instructed? Preach / tell the gospel.
Our goal should be tell people the Good News that only Jesus can save us from our sin. He died and rose again that we might live. But we can't accept Christ for them. Once they know the TRUTH it's up to God to do the convicting. He does the calling. He does the choosing.
Do we know the Word of God well enough to share the GOOD NEWS?
Remember: Satan is a sore looser. Sore losers are angry and mean.
Satan hates Jesus so Satan also hates the followers of Jesus.
The world will hate us.
But Jesus said:
John 15:16-25 NIV
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit —fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  This is my command: Love each other.  “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.  Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.  They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.  Whoever hates me hates my Father as well.  If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.  25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason .
John 16:33 NIV
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
What conscious steps can you take to:
1. Know Jesus better.
2. Share the GOOD NEWS with people you come in contact with.