Summary: Discovering the power of prayer in our lives.
“Through the Iron Door” Pastor Allan Kircher SPBC
Date: Aug 14th, 2011
Scripture: Acts 12:1-30
"Have you ever experienced a 'dead end' in life?"
• Have you ever been faced with a problem that you just knew was impossible to solve?
• Have you ever felt overwhelmed-like this was it-there was no way out-you were going under.
For example has a doctor ever shared the results of medical tests that confirmed the presence of cancer or some other grave illness-and the prognosis he gave was guarded at best?
• As you walked out of his office you felt a wave of despair and thought,
• "I'm not going to make it. This is the end."
Or, perhaps you're like millions of people who have felt their marriage had reached a dead end.
• The intimacy is gone and the fights and tension are so bad you just know it will not last.
• In your mind the situation is impossible to resolve-you're sure the next thing you'll do with your spouse is see a lawyer.
Maybe your "dead end experience" concerns your finances.
• The bills keep growing and growing and you think there's no way out-you're headed for the shame of bankruptcy.
Or, maybe its child-rearing that has made you feel this way.
• You used/have/great relationship/son/daughter, but when they hit adolescence things changed.
• Now, all you do is fight and your relationship has gone down the tube. You feel like quitting.
Perhaps you feel this way about work-your boss and/or co-workers make your days miserable.
• It's so bad it even affects your life outside the office.
• And you just don't see how it could ever get better.
• It's a dead end that you can't avoid.
If any of the above situations describe your life now or in the past-
• If you have faced an impossible situation
• even now facing a hopeless, impossible situation
• Then be sure to listen God’s word/morning.
This next section of Acts records a time in the life of the church when Christians in Jerusalem faced a seemingly impossible situation
• A state of affairs that looked hopeless.
• the way they dealt with this seemingly unstoppable nightmare highlights truth we need to hear
Truths that will help us face the inevitable "dead ends" of life.
This chapter of the history of the early church begins with King Herod initiating a persecution of the church.
• Now HEROD/popular name in the New Testament days
• In fact, there are at least four Herods mentioned in the Bible.
Herod #1 "Herod the Great."
• The "Herod" who slaughtered the babies of Bethlehem in an attempt to kill the Christ child.
• He also murdered many of his own family.
Herod #2 known as "Herod Antipas."
• He was the "Herod" who commanded John the Baptist to be beheaded.
• He ruled when Jesus was crucified.
Herod #3 known as "Herod Philip the Second."
* He was murdered by his own father because he feared his son was after his throne but before Herod Philip died he had a son who became...
Herod #4, known as "Herod Agrippa" who was the King Herod that we read about here in Acts 12.
Now this "Herod #4" was a typical politician
• He worked very hard at cultivating the good graces of the Jewish people
• He ruled-by meticulously keeping the Mosaic Law and all Jewish observances and it worked.
• He became very popular with the Jewish people, especially the religious leaders.
But, don't get me wrong-he didn't do this because he loved the Jewish people.
• No-he was appointed to this "kingship" by Rome and he wanted to please his Roman masters.
• He knew that one thing they wanted/peaceful Palestine
• Rome wanted happy, non-rebellious subjects so their "lap-dog" Herod worked to keep the Jews happy.
He did a good job at this. He was popular with the Jewish people.
So to gain even greater popularity Herod Agrippa decided to take steps to attack the rivals of the Jewish rulers, the Christian Church and its leaders.
I. Herod’s plot (12:1-4)
So he arrested some Christians and he discovered that among them was JAMES the brother of John.
You will remember there were three apostles most intimately linked with our Lord’s ministry—Peter, James and John.
• Were together with Christ/Mount of Transfiguration
• And in the house of Jairus when Jesus raised from the dead the daughter of that synagogue leader.
• Were together in the Garden of Sorrow when He bowed down before the Father and cried, “If thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.”
Now one was taken away by death—James the greater.
• Brother/of John/ “Sons of Thunder” and Matt. 20