Summary: God’s ability to answer prayer will even surprise those who are praying.
Due to the large amount of sermons and topics that appear on this site I feel it is necessary to post this disclaimer on all sermons posted. These sermons are original to the author and the leading of the Holy Spirit. While ideas and illustrations are often gleaned from many sources including those at Sermoncentral.com, any similarities and wording including sermon title, that may appear to be the same as any other sermon are purely coincidental. In instances where other minister’s wording is used, due recognition will be given. These sermons are not copyrighted and may be used or preached freely. May God richly bless you as you read these words. It is my sincere desire that all who read them may be enriched. All scriptures quoted in these sermons are copies and quoted from the Authorized King James Version of the Holy Bible.
Pastor James May
DON’T YOU JUST LOVE SURPRISES!
This is not Herod the Great who had all of the babies killed when Jesus was born. This wasn’t even Herod Antipas who had John the Baptist beheaded. This was the grandson of the Herod that sent Jesus to Pilate to be crucified. His name was Herod Antipas. He may not have been the same Herod of Jesus’ day but he was just as cruel and hateful.
Herod was determined to extinguish Christianity in his kingdom and thus began a dangerous and widespread persecution of the people of God, especially those disciples who were still telling the world of his grandfather and father’s wickedness in the death of Jesus and the other disciples of Christ who had already been slain.
Herod was an unwitting but willing tool of the Devil to try and destroy the church in its infancy. He captured and killed James, the brother of John who was to write the Revelation on Patmos Island. Herod say that killing James made the religious hierarchy of the Jews happy and excited and so he became much bolder now and proceeded to capture Peter also, so that he could put Peter to death and make them that much more happy.
Don’t ever be deceived into thinking that this world will mourn your death. Satan is planning your death every day. All it would take is for God’s hand of protection to lift from your life and Satan would get rid of you before you could know what was happening. You are a danger to the kingdom of Darkness. Every day, when the sun begins to rise, Satan should be giving orders to his demons, “Don’t wake you up. Let you sleep.” Your every waking moment means that you can do more damage to the cause of Satan. It would please the devil so greatly to get your influence off of the face of the earth so that he can have free reign to do as he wills.
It wasn’t hard to find those who loved and served Jesus. They were constantly ministering in the temple, going from house to house, and city to city, preaching the gospel on every street corner. They were a loud, emphatic bunch of men and women who loved Jesus so much that they didn’t care who heard them, they just had to speak out. They didn’t hide in fear, cowered in terror because the devil was out to destroy them. They stood up, looked at Satan in the eye and said, “Come on, make my day.”
God was on their side and they knew it. They knew that they had a job to and a ministry to perform. They had a greater fear of disobeying God than the fear of what any man could do to them. They were ready to suffer for the cause of Christ.
Nothing will stir your soul or give you more determination to do the will of God than persecution. Sometimes I think that it would do the church a lot of good to face a little persecution. You would certainly find out who is for real and who is just playing church.
Peter wasn’t off hiding in the mountains or behind the church doors. He was out in the public where he needed to be when Herod’s guards found him and arrested him.
They took Peter and put him in chains, then cast him into the dungeons to hold him there until after the Easter celebration. Easter marked the Passover for most of the Jews and being a religious holiday it would not have accomplished anything for Herod to kill Peter on that day for no self-respecting, hypocritical Jew would break the law that said they couldn’t do anything on the Sabbath or on Passover. It was okay to kill Christians but not at the time of Passover. My, my, what kind of ignorant laws can man create when his heart is black with sin. We can’t point many fingers at them though because we have some pretty ignorant laws on the books ourselves.