Nuggets from "Whatever Happened to Heaven?" by Dave Hunt
Stephen was not defeated in boldly standing for the truth, though it cost him his life (Acts:6:8-7:60). Such has been the example of true discipleship down through history and such it will continue to be. The early church, as we have seen, was victorious when it was hated, tortured, thrown to the lions—but it went down to defeat without knowing it when the Roman world was Christianized. Although Revelation 13 indicates that the Antichrist has power to physically overcome the saints and to slay them, yet they are the victors spiritually through their martyrdom:
"And they overcame him [ 'that old serpent called the devil and Satan'—verse 9] by the blood of the Lamb [Christ], and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death" (Revelation:12:11).