The implications here seem to be that even though a wicked leader was doing all that he could to snuff out the gospel it was he who was being destroyed not the gospel. The word expanded rapidly.
The world and religion can use whatever means it has at its disposal, it cannot thwart the sovereignty of God. Neither the World nor religion can stop the Lord from building His Body nor can it keep one of His chosen from a relationship with Him.
This is great encouragement in the cause of the spread of the gospel and engagement in mission. I read a passage in D. A. Carson’s book, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation with the World: An Exposition of Matthew 5–10, that gives Biblical perspective on our responsibility to share the good news even in the face of persecution:
First, our willingness to face opposition, and the cogency of the reasons advanced for not fearing it, depend utterly on a biblical Christianity that weighs everything from the perspective of eternity. If there is no heaven to be gained or hell to be shunned, if the forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation to God are not the most important things both for this world and for the world to come, then none of the arguments makes sense. Conversely, if these biblical perspectives constitute the fundamental realities of our existence, whether they are widely recognized in fallen human society or not, then it is folly to ignore them. What is said to find is that form of belief that nominally assents to the existence of eternal realities, but does not act on that voiced assent. Such a tragedy is not merely inconsistent; it is dangerous. To put the matter another way: we cannot really see what biblical Christianity is all about until we live in the light of eternity. Only then do our responsibilities in this world come into sharp focus. (Page 274)The gospel and our God behind its spread is irresistible.