Summary: Overcoming the force of the enemy and defeating his cause
Title: I am not going out like this
Theme: To encourage those who have been tempted to give up or give in.
Text: Acts 16:35-40
I have read this passage over and over again trying to find meaning to what Paul is doing. What difference does it make if Paul goes out the front door or the back door? What difference does it make if he goes out privately or publicly? I mean is Paul trying to make something out of nothing.
But then it hit me. Isn’t that just like the devil? He would love to keep us quiet. He would love to keep others from hearing our testimony of overcoming.
This week you have heard the messages of God’s overcoming power. Bro. Carnes told us that we live in tough times but our God is faithful. Bro. Brooks reminded us that there will be times that we go through the waters and the fire but most importantly we must remember the promises of God “I will be with thee”
Tonight I want to remind you that its not enough to pull through and to make it but every trial should become our testimony.
James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (4) But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
God didn’t put us through the fire for no reason but that we would become as pure as gold and as fine as brass so that God can receive the glory.
This is what Paul was saying. “I may have been beaten, I may have been bound but I am not going out like this. You may be able to see the trials and persecution on my face but I am not going out silent and I am not going out like this. He said no matter what I face. I count it an honor to suffer for my king.
The Jewish leaders tried their best to stop the church. But they could not. Every time they beat them they would leave “rejoicing because they were found worthy to suffer shame for the name of Christ”. When they would stone them God would steal one of their own and raise him up to preach the gospel. This movement was different.
I am not ashamed of the Gospel
Paul said, “I am not going to cower away and hide for “I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation”. This crowd needs to see me beating and hurt but most importantly they need to see me lift my hands to the Lord and give him praise and honor. Oh we are going to face the trials but oh think about the testimony.
Paul recognized the work of the devil
You see Paul recognized the work of the devil. From the time that he entered Philippi he knew that the devil was on his case. God was doing a great work there. Some prominent people in the town had gotten saved. God was blessing. Oh and when God is blessing the devil likes to stick his ugly head right in the middle of it.
The Bible says in verse 16 that as Paul and Silas went to pray that they picked up a tag along. Here this young lady began to proclaim “These men are servants of the most high God which show us the way of salvation”. Isn’t just like the devil to mess up prayer. You want to get the devil on your case just start to pray. When you pray you have all kinds of thoughts come to your mind. When you pray you remember things you haven’t remembered in weeks. The devil knows that there is power in prayer and he will do what ever it takes to interrupt it.