Summary: There Are Many Iron Gates, Chains, Darkness, Prisons, death threats, fears, that hinder and imprison believers. Some are Self-righteousness, Pride, Worldly pleasure, The approval of the world, Doubt, Weariness in our labor for Christ, Discouragement.
NO PRISON DOOR CAN HOLD ME DOWN
ACTS 12:1-19 1 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. 2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. 3 When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 4 After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover. 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. 6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him. 11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.” 12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”
15 “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.” 16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place. 18 In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter. 19 After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed.
There Are Many Iron Gates, Chains, Darkness, Prisons, death threats, fears, that hinder and imprison believers. Self-righteousness, Pride, Worldly pleasure, The approval of the world, Doubt, Weariness in our labor for Christ, Discouragement: “And Israel journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.” Numbers 21:4.
THE BACKGROUND: JAMES & PETER
Look At Peter’s Situation And Be Encouraged:
1. James Had Been Killed.
2. Peter Was Arrested.
3. Peter Was To Be Killed.
4. The Pause Was For The Passover To Pass.
5. He Was Kept Between 16 Soldiers.
6. Chained To Soldiers
7. Prisons Gates And City Gates Barred Him From Escaping.
8. He Was Chained.
WHY DID PETER HAVE PEACE OF MIND AND SLEPT?
1. There Were Some Prayers Sent Up. V. 5 & 12
I wonder how many pray. For you Pastor, for the leaders, for each other. For leadership of the country, military, family members. Wives for husbands, husbands for wives. Mom, Dad do pray for you children, children for mom and dad. I want to notice this was no normal meeting. No, it was not just dinnertime and they said A prayer. They didn’t come together to just do their duty. They met together to pray, without ceasing. They prayed until something happened. (P.U.S.H).
Their prayers were heard (James 5:16) The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. It’s good to know you got some people that can get a prayer through. It’s even better to know that you can get one through.
2. He Knew He Was In God’s Will V. 1-3