Summary: Peter and the church experienced great darkness before God brought deliverance! Today we as we experience darkness God has promised He will deliver those who serve Him! His deliverance may not what you expect, or when you desire it, but its always best!
Date Written: March 21, 2015
Date Preached: March 22, 2015
Church: OPBC (AM) Sunday
Title: There is ALWAYS Darkness before Deliverance!
Text: Acts 12:1-19 (NASB)
ETS: Peter and the church experienced great darkness before God brought deliverance!
ESS: Today we as we experience darkness God has promised He will deliver those who serve Him!
On Sept 11, 2001 terrorists struck on U.S. soil and killed almost 3,000 people in one day. It was one of the darkest days in the history of our country. For many in the Twin Towers in NYC it would be their last day on this earth.
For others in the towers it would be a day of fear, pain, courage and bravery. For those who responded to the emergency, there were 2 who experienced a day of darkness that NOT many people in this world could ever imagine.
Will Jimeno and Sgt. John McLoughlin of NYC Port Authority police force went into the substructure of the twin towers with 3 other men to help survivors escape. When the towers collapsed all but Jimeno and McLaughlin were killed. They were left trapped almost 30 feet below street level with millions of tons of steel and debris on top of them.
It was a DARK time for these men and they could hear each other but could not see each other. They talked as much as they could but they were quickly losing hope.
Earlier that day, some 54 miles north of NYC in Wilton, CT a man heard about what had happened and was bound and determined to help those in need. He was a former marine, but had kept 2 sets of fatigues starched and clean in his closet since he had retired a few yrs earlier.
He quickly gathered his gear he had collected from years in the marines and put it in his brand new Porche 911 convertible. He took the top off because he hoped with the top off he would be able to get thru the ckpoints … they would see a man in fatigues and all his gear and just waive him thru…
Before he left, he went by his church, called together his pastor and some church mbrs and they prayed for his safety and that God would help him to find and rescue survivors.
He left Wilton and drove at 120mph down I95 to NYC and just as he had hoped for… the police saw him in his fatigues and waived him thru all the chkpoints and before he knew it he was at ground zero.
It was about 5:30pm...and the last tower had fallen at 10:30am, so if there were any survivors they had been trapped in the rubble for 7hrs by this time.
He saw another marine in fatigues and they began to look for survivors in the rubble but were told by rescue workers to get off the rubble because it was too dangerous. They refused and moved further onto the rubble and away from those telling them NOT to go…
After yelling and banging on the exposed steel and calling out for any survivors for 2 hours, he heard a voice! He and the other marine had found Officer Will Jimeno and Sgt. John McLoughlin.
It took them another 3hrs to dig out Officer Jimeno and another 6hrs to free Sgt. John McLoughlin, but these men whose world had come literally crashing down around them earlier that day… had been delivered!
They had started the day like any other day, but it got dark and desperate very quick. They had seen their colleagues die, they did not know how bad things actually were, they did not know if anyone would ever find them OR if they would ever see the light of day again! The darkness of terrorism and evil had buried them in a grave of steel and concrete…
Now, I don’t know about you, but I have never had a day THAT bad, have you? However, what I DO know is that we all experience dark times in our lives!
Have you experienced dark times in your life? Have you ever been at a place in life where you thought all hope was lost? Have you ever been to a place where you thought God had turned His face away from you and you were all alone?
You know the dark times are NOT limited to individual experiences. We can experience the dark times as a group, more specifically we can experience the dark times as a church fellowship!
Those dark times come upon us FAST and unexpected… Those dark times put in a place where we see brothers and sisters abandon the fellowship.
It is a time where those trapped in that dark time don’t really know or understand how bad things REALLY are! It is a time where we begin to believe that there is NO hope of rescue, no hope of deliverance. There is a fear that we will come to believe all hope is lost!