Sermons

Summary: Guardian angels are real, and there can be no doubt of that, but they are not our business. We have no control over their activities, and no claim on their protection.

There are few stories more exciting than escape stories. One of my favorite kinds of movie when I

was a kid was prison escape movies. They are so full of suspense, and the obstacles to overcome are

enormous. There is a great need to be clever, and best of all, they are not fiction, but are based on

fact, for history is packed with true prison escape stories. Sometimes the key is simplicity. Leon

Daudet walked out of a French prison in 1927. It was thought to be escape proof. He had a friend

telephone the warden and tell him that Daudet had been pardoned. The warden believed it, and

without double checking he released him.

Sometimes the key is love. In Charles Reade's book The Cloister And The Hearth he tells of how

his hero Gerard was imprisoned in a tower. All at once and arrow came whistling through the tiny

window high up in the cell. His first response was fear that someone sought to assassinate him. But

when no other arrow came he crawled about in the dark to find the mysterious arrow. When he

found it he was puzzled because of a silk cord attached. What good was a silk cord to him? Then it

flashed in his mind that the hand of Margaret his sweetheart was behind this arrow. He lowered the

silk cord from his window, and when he felt a tug he pulled it up, and at the end was a thicker cord.

As he continued to pull a heavy rope was attached, and by means of that heavy rope he was able to

escape.

The stories of escape are near endless, and the Bible is a great resource for escape stories.

1. There is Lot's escape from Sodom.

2. There is Isaac's escape from death on the altar.

3. There is Joseph's escape from the pit and Potipher's wife.

4. There is Israel's escape from Egypt.

5. There is Moses's escape from Pharaoh.

6. There is Elijah's escape from Jezebel.

7. There is David's escape from Saul.

8. There is Jonah's escape from the whale.

9. There is Jeremiah's escape from the dungeon.

10. There is Daniel's escape from the lions den.

11. There is Paul's escape from assassins, prison, and shipwreck.

12. There is Peter's escape from prison.

All of these escape stories have something in common. They are stories of successful escapes do

to outside help. There are times in life when you just cannot do what needs to be done to escape

bondage and be free. You need someone else to be there on the outside who can lend you a hand.

Sometimes we need to depend on a friend, lover, or family member, and sometimes we need to

depend on resources that go beyond what any man or woman can supply. We need to depend on the

supernatural means that God alone can supply.

In Peter's case it was a guardian angel. As we face another year with all of its potential for

conflict and victory, bondage and freedom, I thought is would be of value for us to explore what the

Bible says about these unique beings that can be our allies in the battle of life. Hardly anyone ever

preaches on this special class of beings called guardian angels. They have been around a long time,

and the Jews developed the idea that everyone has a guardian angel. The early Christian leaders like

Origen and Chrysostom also believed that every Christian has such a guardian.

Many felt that the guardian was actually a look-alike of the one he was guarding. Angels were

seen as doubles. If this theory is true, then it means everybody does have a twin; if not on earth then

in heaven. This theory is based on Peter's experience in verse 15. Rhoda ran to tell the Christians

praying for Peter that he was at the door. They had some debate and told her she was crazy. When

she insisted she saw Peter, they responded that it must be his angel. These Christians felt that this

person at the door who looked like Peter must be his guardian angel. In other words, they felt Peter

had an angel that looked just like him. It is a fascinating theory which the early Christians used to

give dignity to the individual. Every age struggles with self-esteem. They stress that every person is

of such worth to God that He has another one just like them in His presence. If one just like you is

good enough to stand in God's presence and serve Him, then who are you to belittle yourself?

Not all Christians accept this theory, and not all Christians believe that every Christian has a

special guardian. Calvin felt that angels in general are assigned to minister to man, but not specific

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