September 8, 2019

The Lord reigns

Preacher:
Series:
Passage: Acts 12:1-24
Service Type:

Introduction

  • Looking at a passage speaking about a wicked man named Herod who harassed the early church and how God dealt with him
    • We live in turbulent times - but they do not compare to the times of the early church
    • Herod harassed the early church - though it had only done good and done nothing wrong
      • He had killed James
      • He meant to do the same to Peter
    • Yet the Church believed that God reigned
    • Herod was struck down by God
    • It is not Herod but God on the throne
      • As Christians we must see God seated on the throne

God Permits Trials

  • God permits trials for His people
    • The early church:
      • Famine
      • Evil Herod
    • Seasons of rejoicing and seasons of trials
    • God works to strengthen us in the trials
  • God permits trials to hone and fashion the church to make it more like Christ
    • Example of Peter
  • Satan always opposes the Church of God
    • Especially when the Church advances
    • Satan uses religious people and a despot
  • Why was it that James should suffer martyrdom and Peter was set free?
    • We cannot say there was any difference between them but that it was God's will and time
    • God wanted to show His power and might
    • God wanted to encourage the Church
    • God wanted the gospel message to continue being strengthened by the hand of the Lord
  • Herod
    • His grandfather was Herod the Great who massacred children
    • His uncle was Herod Antipas who had John the baptist executed
    • Herod Agrippa followed his father and grandfather

The Power of Prayer

  • Why do trials happen to us?
    • We need to put our trials in perspective
    • God is with us in our trials
    • Trials are a call to prayer
    • The early Church preached the gospel and prayed - Acts 12:5
      • Together in constant prayer
    • We need to be a church that makes prayer a priority
  • God's answer to prayer
    • Peter was sleeping - the night before his execution - Acts 12:6
    • James was delivered - in the situation (to heaven), not from the situation
    • The people continued to pray for Peter just as they had prayed for James
    • We can find prayer very difficult

The Power of God

  • The four squads of soldiers given to guard Peter - explanation
    • Herod thought they were secure but God knew better
    • Peters release could only happen by supernatural means
    • God is a living God
  • The wickedness of Herod
    • He murders the 16 roman guards
    • God judges evil and cuts Herod's life short
    • He loves himself, glory and popularity
    • God strikes him down
  • The word of God grew and multiplied - Acts 12:24
  • God will judge us all
    • Who can stand - only those who have trusted in Jesus Christ

Closing Remarks