Thursday, February 23, 2012

Prison Could Not Hold Them

Acts 5:17 ¶ Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, 18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. 19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. 21 ¶ And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, 23 Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within. 24 Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow. 25 Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people. 26 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.

Opposition Intensified
-          They were filled with “zeal,” grabbed the apostles, and threw them in prison
-          What person in their right mind would do this?
o   Jesus saw intense opposition when he healed people
o   The Enemy wants to kill and destroy us all
-          Remember when you face opposition like this
o   Jesus was hated too
o   The battle is really a spiritual one
-          Do not be surprised when the heat is turned up

Supernatural Deliverance
-          God provided a way of escape
-          Just like the Exodus. Just like our salvation. Just like the resurrection. God will always make a way of escape.
-          They were delivered to preach. God’s purposes don’t end with you.
-          We are delivered to deliver the words of life!

Enemies Become Fearful
-          Started out with authorities zealously grabbing the apostles. Ends with the authorities fearfully grabbing the apostles
-          In the Parable of the Sower Jesus described different responses to the word. Some people receive the word gladly but fall away when testing comes. The way to avoid this? Get rooted.
o   Plow your heart.  Get the rocks out of the soil.
-          The apostles feared God rather than men. The people feared the apostles. The leaders feared the people. Looks like you’ve gotta fear somebody.
-          Fear God and you need not fear anyone or anything else. Not even a prison can hold back God’s people as they participate in God’s mission.