Unbelievers don't like to hear God's Word preached from the messengers sent by God to warn them of their sin. Instead of heeding the warning, they 'shoot the messenger', thinking that by eliminating or discrediting the messenger, it will automatically cut off the message that God had sent. By neglecting God's warning, they are deceiving themselves and others. It doesn't make a difference if the messenger is alive (or viewed as reputable) or not - the message still stands.
Stephen told those who were to stone him to death:
“You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it” Acts 7:51-53
Stephen was killed, but his message remains till this very day. Let us not be like those who stoned Stephen to death and neglect God's Word and shoot the messenger, but let us heed and take action to His message, knowing that listening to God is being obedient to Him.