Sermon in a nutshell: “The Lord has sent His angel and rescued me” (Acts 12:1-17)
Now the door to world mission is wide open. However, we have never done God’s works without obstruction or hardships. God has not promised us a carefree life but God does promise to give us strength and help in times of need. So, we will find that principle in the Bible, step by step, so that we can also apply the same principle to our own situation.
- When we do God’s work, are we exempt from hardships and difficulties in our lives?
No, sometimes our lives get harder and harder because we are doing God’s work!
The Bible says that King Herod arrested Christians in order to persecute them. One of them was James, the brother of John. Herod had James executed with a sword. When Herod saw that this execution met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter, also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread (Passover). (The Festival of Unleavened Bread is one of three festivals: Feast of Booth, Feast of Weeks, and Passover that the Jewish people came to Jerusalem to celebrate together). After arresting Peter, Herod had Peter imprisoned, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for a public trial after the Passover.
Peter had baptized Cornelius, which opened the door for world mission. Now Peter was arrested. He could ask God this question: “Lord, what did I do wrong? I was just doing faithfully your work!”
- When does God intervene into our lives? God sends angels when we earnestly pray for help.
The Bible tells us that the church was earnestly praying to God for Peter. When the church prayed for him, what happened? An angel came and guided Peter out of the prison! Can you imagine how surprised Peter was? He was sleeping, and suddenly he was told to act quickly by an “angel”. He was not sure what was happening. The Bible says that Peter thought he had a vision! However, later Peter confessed, “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.”
- When we pray, what should we expect? We should expect that God will save us, sending angels.
When Peter was out of prison he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John, (also called Mark), where many people had gathered and were praying. Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”
However, the Bible says that people did not believe her! “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”
They prayed but they did not expect that God would answer their prayer that quickly! Next time, when we pray, let us pray with great expectations! God will send us angels!
- Have you experienced God’s help through the presence of angels?
- Who have been angels in your life?