Summary: This sermon deals with the results of our faith and trust in God.
A MIND BLOWING EXPERIENCE!
5So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
6The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.
8Then the angel said to him, "Put on your clothes and sandals." And Peter did so. "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me," the angel told him. 9Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
11Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating."
As we begin to reflect back on the sermons that has gone on this week, we find that the key hidden word is concerning faith. How God has told us not to give up on him, and how God was telling us to just trust him, even though we may feel like we’re not worthy…to still feast at the table that he has prepared for us. But God wanted me to stop by and tell you on tonight to get ready for a MIND BLOWING EXPERIENCE!
That’s right, something that’s going to impact you like never before, something that’s going to make you really know that God did this thing for me and no one else! God said he’s going to blow your mind, because he realize that he has to blow your mind in order for you to believe it’s him who’s really dealing with you. He said, yes, it’s me who’s been making a way for you, it’s me who’s been opening those closed doors, it’s me who have provided for you but for some reason, because everything happened so naturally, you seem to think that you had something to do with it. So guess what, God said to get ready because he’s about to BLOW YOUR MIND!
In the scripture, Herod had decided to arrest or literally, "lay hands on" some of the church, presumably the apos-tolic leaders. We don’t know why Herod intends to persecute them, however, he may be responding because he sees the movement of the messia-nic claims posing a political threat. All Luke tells us is that the beheading of James pleased the people. And seeing that it pleased the people so much, he decided that he would possibly do the same thing to Peter also. So they arrested him and had him put in prison.
The word tells us that while Peter was in prison that the church was earnestly praying for him, meaning they were continually praying, fervently…and not only that, but they were united in prayer. Prayer was the only weapon that the church used, but guess what, it’s more than enough! Now I want you to put yourself in Peter’s situation here, here he is, locked up in jail, just like so many of us on a natural realm, so many of us are imprisoned. We’re bound by our circumstances, we’re bound by our finances, we’re bound by loneliness, depression, and even sickness. But God said he’s got just the fix for you.
Now, as if to test the church’s faith to the limit and emphasize his complete power over his enemies, the Lord waits to act until the eve of Peter’s trial execution. The fact that the scriptures say that Peter was sleeping shows the deep trust he had in God’s sovereignty. Notice also, here in the scriptures that Peter was bound by two chains should be a reminder to us that sometimes, the situations we get in or the imprisonment or strong holds that comes in our lives, may grip us on both hands, they may try to hold us down. But we need to get the peace that Peter had, we need to put all our trust in the Lord. These are the times when we need to grab hold to our faith!
Then, after you tighten up on the faith cord, look at the scripture, it says Suddenly (which by the way is a phrase constantly used to introduce angelic appearances)—it says an angel of the Lord appeared. Oh my God, do you see what I’m trying to say here saints? We need to grab hold to our faith to have a Suddenly experience! The word says that at the same time a light shone in the cell. We are not told its source or where it came from, but this should let you know on some of the dramas on TV that I’m sure you’ve watched TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL, why whenever the angel reveal themselves, a light suddenly appears. Now the word doesn’t say what happened after the light shone in the cell, but somehow, the guards could not figure out how Peter had disappeared.