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Faithlife

Acts 16_19-40 From Tough to Triumph

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Acts 16:19-40

From Tough to Triumph

Secular:

  • Movies with Good endings…
    • Even though they often don’t start well…
      • We like the classic Disney endings…
    • The Soft-spoken… ruggedly handsome… “all-around” nice guy gets the girl….
    • Tom Hanks and crew actually “Save Private Ryan”
  • Books that end well…
    • Read all the way through… and then find out 300 pages in it is not working out how you’d hoped…

Biblical:

NAU Acts 16:19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities, 20 and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, "These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews, 21 and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans." 22 The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. 23 When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; 24 and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!" 29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household. 35 Now when day came, the chief magistrates sent their policemen, saying, "Release those men." 36 And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, "The chief magistrates have sent to release you. Therefore come out now and go in peace." 37 But Paul said to them, "They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed! But let them come themselves and bring us out." 38 The policemen reported these words to the chief magistrates. They were afraid when they heard that they were Romans, 39 and they came and appealed to them, and when they had brought them out, they kept begging them to leave the city. 40 They went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia, and when they saw the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.

Personal:

  • I hate horror movies…
  •  Especially cheap ones… you know the kind with no star…
  • Nobody makes it out unscathed
  • It is like those old Star Trek episodes…
  •  The would be picking a landing party…
    • Captain Kirk
    • Spock
    • McCoy  and Ensign Smith
    • Do go man… you are never coming back
  •  How could you live a life of no hope?
  •  How could you live life as the expendable crew member?

Bridge:

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Body:

Persecution:

NAU Acts 16:19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities, 20 and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, "These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews, 21 and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans." 22 The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. 23 When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; 24 and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

  • Phillipi… two Roman magistrates
    • Rarely enforced law… not to allow unapproved religions
    • Charges were legitimate
    • They faced a horrible penalty…
    • … administered immediately!
  • Didn’t stop them…
      • Paul was a learned fellow…
      • He knew the rules
    • But… Right is right… * Wrong is not… (obey God or obey man)
    • Render to Caesar…
  • What men intended for evil….
  • Joseph - NAU Genesis 50:20 "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
  • Peter preaching Jesus - NAU Acts 2:22 "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know-- 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 "But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.
  • Acts 4, 6, 7, 8, 12 – Big persecution
  • Effective… not a love-in…. but a lot to do with Love

  • NAU Acts 11:19 So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.

Pre -Acts 16:19

  • 16 It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling.17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, "These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation."18 She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" And it came out at that very moment.19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone
  • Girl prophesying
    • Cool… demo of power
    • Following Paul and Silas
    • Let’s get it straight….
  •  Persecution happens when truth meets sin…
    • love of money
    • love of other gods
    • love of self
    • Gospel… do not love money… do not worship other gods… deny yourself… Follow Jesus
  • Persecution… is the evil that men intend

Praise

25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!" 29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas,

  • Driven into the arms of their Saviour!!
  • That’s where to turn!!
    • Not a fair weather relationship
  • NAU Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
  • James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials…
  •  Listen to this perspective:
  •  NAU 1 Peter 5:10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
  • PRAISE GOD!!
  • Paul: NAU 2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,
  • continuing
  • NAU 2 Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
  • PRAISE GOD!!
  • Cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit… it is JOY
  •  NAU Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
  • NAU Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation (instead be obedient to Christ), but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
  • Earthquake power of God… Just like Peter Acts 12:7
  •  Doors opened… chains fell off… Guard panics!! The Penalty for loosing a prisoner is death… keeps you focused
  •  v. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!"
  • Even in the miraculous… Paul is focused on the Mission… (Praising and serving God… delivering the Gospel)
    • No persecution
    • No power… distracts from the Mission
  • Came to Paul and Silas fell before them… could you imagine the sharing opportunity…
  • People of JOY!... People of Praise….

Preaching

 30 and after he brought them out, he said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.

  • The ache of the human heart… "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
  •  Persecution…Praise….  (questions… people want to be provided answers!!)
  • Meaning of life…
  •  NAU Acts 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."
  • Share the message…
  • Paul talks of the imperative! NAU 1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,… the truth of Jesus Christ!!
  • NAU Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
  • Persecution isn’t a deterent it always presents an opportunity to share the Gospel of truth and hope…
  •  Preaching… Jesus Christ Risen from the Dead…Our hope and salvation!

Provision

33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.

  • Remember fruits of the Spirit… NAU Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
  • As we trust the Spirit indwells us…
  • And provides…. For us brothers and sisters…
  • To care, to praise, to grow, to share!!
  • He went from the feeling of being overwhelmed with grief (potential escaped prisoners…) to being overwhelmed in Christ… overwhelmed in the waters of baptism!!
  • From suicide to… to joy…
  •  God PROVIDES!!

Protection

35 Now when day came, the chief magistrates sent their policemen, saying, "Release those men." 36 And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, "The chief magistrates have sent to release you. Therefore come out now and go in peace." 37 But Paul said to them, "They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed! But let them come themselves and bring us out." 38 The policemen reported these words to the chief magistrates. They were afraid when they heard that they were Romans, 39 and they came and appealed to them, and when they had brought them out, they kept begging them to leave the city. 40 They went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia, and when they saw the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.

  • Challenge the system…
  •  Demand Justice…
  • Use the protections of the system…
    • Paul used it to get to Rome…
  • Keep it before…. The people….
  •  Protection within the body…
  •  Lydia… believers…minister…
  • Provide for our missionaries…
  • Provide for our young families
  • Provide for our men
  • Provide for our women
  •  Protection…

Conclusion:

Persecution

  •  Happens when sin meets truth…
  •  It is like the air masses in a t-storm
  •  The forces of evil… do not want to give up ground… they want to take it…
  • They want to slip in under the guise of an educated, tolerant society…
  • Be ready!!

Praise

  • Give glory to God… for personal comfort when appropriate…
  •  But raise up songs in the night… always… because He is Immortal, Invisible, Gold only-wise…
  • But raise up songs in the night… always… because your Saviour Lives…. Because your Saviour Reigns
  •  PRASIE BE TO GOD!!

Preaching

  • Sing it out…
  • Lift it God…
    • AND SHARE IT!!
  •  God wants a three-way dialogue going on…
  • Between you and him…. But also sharing the truth and the hope with others that they may enter into this eternal dialogue with God!!
  •  SHARE THE REASON FOR YOUR HOPE…

Provision

  • Brothers and Sisters….
  •  Hope and Promise
  •  Joy from the depths of despair…
  • Seize God’s great gifts!!

Protection

  • Use the common values and rules of society to protect yourself…
    • Don’t pain a target on your chest…
    • Respect civil authority…
    • Use it when appropriate
    • Give honour where it is due…
    • But remember what is Caesar’s and what belongs to God
  • We are part of God’s Holy plan of provision…
  •  We part of God’s Holy Plan of Protection
    • Pray for one another
    • Encourage… support
    • Speak into one-another’s life
    • Hold each other accountable


Persecution

Praise

Preaching

Provision

Protection

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