Summary: The Shortest distance between two people to solve a problem is through the mercy seat
- Youcef Nadarkhani ( Nadar-Khani) , pastor in a network of house churches in Iran, was arrested on Oct. 13, 2009, after protesting the government's decision to force all children, including his own Christian children, to read the Quran.
- He was sentenced to death and the ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court of Iran last year.
- According to Islamic Sharia Law, an apostate has three days to recant. The Christian pastor had refused to recant his faith 4x
- "Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?" Nadarkhani asked.
- "To the religion of your ancestors, Islam," the judge reportedly replied.
- "I cannot," the pastor responded.
- Youcef was acquitted of apostasy, the Iranian pastor was found guilty of evangelizing Muslims. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment but was released because he already served this time.
- Christians around the world have prayed and appealed for Nadarkhani's release. A Twitter campaign advocating for his freedom reached more than 3 million.
- Israel in bondage for 450 – (Acts 13:17-19)
- Red Sea on one side & Egypt on the other – Ex 14
- Water & Food – Ex. 15-116
- David & Goliath – 1 Sa 17
- Even small things seem hopeless
- Lost axe-head – 2 Ki 6;1-7
A Royal Pain - Herod Agrippa I
- From a scheming and murderous family
They were despised by the Jews, who resented having Edomites ruling over them
– Grandson of Herod the Great (killed the babies at Bethlehem
- Nephew of Herod Antipas (Beheaded John the Baptist)
- v. 2 Killed James
- v.3-4 Imprisons Peter to be killed also
Situation – What is the Shortest Distance to Solve a Problem?
• v.5-6 - Physical barriers – Prison & Chains
• v.6 - Herod in the palace was uneasy
• v. 6 - Soldiers wide awake
• v.18 - Outsiders getting ready for “no small stir”
Peter at ease asleep
• Guarded by 4 squads of 4 soldiers each
• v. 10 - Protected by 2 guard posts & a iron gate
- v. 5 - BUT - Disciples holding an agitated prayer meeting
- Shortest distance between two people is through the mercy seat
Psalm 2:2 (AV)
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
Psalm 2:4 (AV)
4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
1 Peter 3:12 (AV)
12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
The Unexpected Answer
- v. 7-10 - God Provides a way
- Angel lighting the darkness
- Removing the problem
- Going with Him
“Pilgrim’s Progress.” After some days of useless suffering, he suddenly exclaimed, “Why, I have all along had in my bosom a key called Promise, which is able to open any door in Doubting Castle!”
- What is the reason anyone now is afraid of the power of Giant Despair?
Hope for the Hopeless
- Easy route is to give up
- v. 11 - Key verse for us
1. Inflexible courage in struggles.
2. Quiet patience in suffering.
3. Unwearied perseverance in prayer