Summary: How God uses His angels
Angels at Our Side #2
Sermon by: Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - March 15, 2006
*Some day you are going to see an angel. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when.” God’s mighty angels are as real as you and me. And in this wonderful story from the early church, we can see how angels work.
1. First of all, God sends His angels when His people face great problems. We see this truth in vs. 1-4:
1. Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church.
2. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
4. So when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.
*This was a terrible crisis for the church, not the first persecution, but a fresh wave of persecution against the leaders of the church in Jerusalem. King Herod stretched out his hand to vex or harass these leaders. He wanted to hurt them, oppress them and crush them. They were probably scourged and put into prison. King Herod even killed the Apostle James, and was just waiting for the right time to kill Peter. It was a terrible time of trouble.
*Many Christians around the world are going through the same kind of trouble today. Thousands, maybe millions are in the same kind of danger. And we may not be going through that kind of trouble, but all of God’s people will face great problems. Those are the times when we see God’s angels at work.
*Time Magazine once had a story about Melissa Deal Forth, a 40-year-old film maker from Atlanta. The story was about the death of Melissa’s husband Chris, exactly one year after he had been diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia.
*The last months had been gruesome for them both: Treatments that could not save him, nights when she could not sleep. But Melissa was sleeping soundly at his hospital bedside early on January 4th, when Chris somehow managed to get himself and his IV pole out of the room without being seen or heard. He also went past the nurse’s station without being noticed.
*Melissa remembers being shaken awake at 3:00 a.m. by a frantic nurse who told her she couldn’t find Chris. Melissa did find him in the chapel sitting with a man she had never seen before. She burst through the door, firing off questions, "Where have you been? Are you okay?"
*Chris just smiled. "It’s fine," he told her, "I’m all right."
*The other man remained quiet, as though not wanting to be noticed. He was tall, dressed like Chris usually did, in a flannel shirt and Levis.
*Melissa later reported, "There was no real age to him, no wrinkles, just this perfectly smooth and pale, white skin and ice blue eyes. I mean I’ve never seen that color blue on any human before. They were more the blue like some of those Husky dogs have. I’ll never forget the eyes."
*Chris seemed to want to be left alone, and so she reluctantly agreed to leave. When he came back to his room, she says, "He was lit up, just vibrant, smiling. I could see his big dimples. I hadn’t seen them in so long. He didn’t have the air of a terminally ill and very weak man anymore."
*"Who was that guy?" she asked.
-"You’re not going to believe me," Chris said.
-"Yes, I will," she answered.
-"He was an angel," Chris said. "My guardian angel."
*Melissa did believe him. "All I had to do was to look at him," she says now, "to know something extraordinary, something supernatural had happened."
*She searched the hospital, but couldn’t find the man. And Melissa said: "After the visit, Chris told me his prayers had been answered. I worried for a while that he thought the angel had cured his cancer. I realize now it wasn’t the cure, it was the blessing he brought with him. It was the peace of mind."
*Chris died two days later. Melissa says that not a day has gone by when she has not thought about the angel and what he did for her husband. She said: "Chris’ life could not be saved, but the fear and pain were taken from him. Never, never, never will anyone be able to convince me that angels don’t exist." (1)
2. God sends angels when His people face great problems, and when His people are in prayer. We see this truth in vs. 5: