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"The Philippian Jailor Gets Eternal Life"

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
September 13, 2020 5:00 am

"The Philippian Jailor Gets Eternal Life"

So What? / Lon Solomon

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This is on Solomon and I like to welcome you to our program today. You know it's a tremendous honor that God is given us to be on stations all around the nation bringing the truth of God's word as it is uncompromising and straightforward and I'm so glad you tuned in to listen and be part of that ranks again for your support and your generosity that keeps us on the radio and now let's get to the word of God.

Now today we want to look at is a God without well we don't exactly know his name.

We simply call him the Philippian jailer to look at a story that of course try to bring that forward and say what I what difference does that make to you and me little background. Remember that the apostle Paul is on his second missionary journey is moved across Turkey even sailed across the Aegean Sea and is now in in the northern part of Greece. In Europe, at the town of Philippi sharing Jesus Christ. Now it was a gallon is down. A young lady who was demonized. Her owners made a fortune from her telling fortunes and the Bible says verse 17 that this girl followed Paul and the rest of us shouting. These men are servants of the most high God, who are telling you the way to be saved and she went up and down the streets of Philippi and the Bible says verse 18, she kept this up for Manny days. Finally, Paul got irritated with this, he cast the demon out of the girl.

The hope of making money from her was gone and is her owners got man in drag. Paul and Silas down in front of the town magistrates and that's where we picked up the story so verse 22. The crowd joined in the attacks against Paul and Silas and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and to be beaten. Verse 23 and after they had been severely flogged with their backs open to the bone and losing and bleeding. They were thrown into prison and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully upon receiving such orders for jailers, put them in the inner cell.

The maximum security section and it's interesting that archaeologists have actually on earth. The exact jail that Paul and Silas here in Philippi were Then you can see it's hewn out of solid rock. I don't know if you can see it but in the back.

It's just rugged rock in the back of this and this of course is a modern steel pole just to hold up that one there. Would Paul was there.

This is the actual jail you go into today were Paul and Silas were being kept and verse 24 says he the jailer fastened the their fee and the stocks this thing that Paul and Silas were in was no laughing matter. As you can see they were designed to stretch her legs apart as far as they can get them in and keep them in that position to one of the jailer do Paul and Silas Saddam on the ground.

He put their bleeding, losing backs up against us. The stone wall. He actually changing their hands above their head and he put their feet stretched as wide apart as you could stretch them in the stocks and that's where you left. This was a posture that was designed to cause maximum pain and discomfort that was designed to cause the muscles in your legs to cramp and then you couldn't move or do anything to get rid of the cramps that you ever had a leg cramp.

You can only imagine what the apostle Paul and Silas must've been going through in this jail verse 25 at about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God and all the other prisoners were listening. Now it's no surprise considering the position that they were in sitting down hands above their head backs against the wall still bleeding feet stretched a wide apart as you can get him it's no surprise Paul and Silas were awakened midnight. What is a surprise is what they were doing. They were singing hymns and prayer. You sublime. What hymn do you think they were singing. Well, maybe stand up, stand up for Jesus.

I don't know what they were singing some him bearing the jail in the Bible tells us that every single prisoner was listening suddenly.

Verse 26 says there was such a violent earthquake that the foundation of the prisons were shaken and it wants the prison doors flew open and everybody's chains came loose. What we have here friends is not lock.

It's not faint. It's not a geological coincidence, and it's not good karma. What we have here is the supernatural God of the universe injecting himself into the events of everyday life and answering prayer and taking care of his people with the jailer verse 27 woke up and when he saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners at all escaped. Remember last week we told you that there were two big military battles that were fought here Philippi 142 BC 131 BC and the future Emperor of Rome, Augustus motorboat in appreciation to the city of Philippi, he declared Philippi a Roman colony, which means, as we saw last week that there was a large contingent of the Roman army that was stationed here to protect the city now.

What we didn't tell you last week is that very often. We know from history when Roman soldiers would retire and they were out there guarding these far-flung colonies.

They would just stay there wherever they were and they that's where they would settle they'll is no doubt in my mind this jailer was a retired Roman soldier, and as such he knew what happened when Roman soldiers lost their prisoners. They were executed.

The code of Justinian says that any soldier who lets his prisoner escape was to be executed and this was a penalty that was enforced regularly.

Acts chapter 12 verse 19 were talking about when the angel freed Peter from the jail.

It says after Herod had a thorough search made for Peter and didn't find them. He cross-examined the soldiers who were guarding Peter and then ordered that they be executed well.

The jailer said hey you know what I've lost my prisoners on the going to kill me in the morning anyway so I might as well just take out my sword and I'll save them the trouble. I'll do it to myself and that's what he was about to do would Paul suddenly screamed out verse 28. Joe harm yourself, were all still here, they say Milan.

This makes no sense. I mean, other than Paul and Silas.

The rest of the people in this jail were just a bunch of jailbird's right yeah we say I never met a jailbird my life there when the chains falloff in the door slide open.

They don't run for the hills.

The first chance I get. What were all these jailbird still doing in this jail.

I don't understand what friends think about it when you're sitting jail and you hear some dude singing and praying at midnight and then as an earthquake and all the prison doors blow open and everybody's chains come flying off. I think you wait to see what he's going to do before you do anything until June and Paul just there so I think all these jailbird just said what we better just stay here for second to before we go anywhere, and they were all just standing there while the jailer comes running in verse 29 and Andy got the lights he felt trembling before Paul and Silas not remember this is a hardened Roman soldier. This guy has seen it all. He seemed dead at the scene destruction. He seen carnage and he comes in trembling scared out of his wits falls on his knees and says serves what must I do to be say what I have to do to get eternal life will I have to do to get a relationship with God like you guys seem to have and we should note here that there's a lot of critics of the Bible who say you know what this wasn't some great supernatural event like the Bible says this was maybe just a tremor.

Just maybe a little tiny earth tremor and Luke takes it in the Bible to jazz is the whole thing up and makes it into some big Modelo that it never really was, you know, they just wanted to see God in it will friends you know what, that's not at all.

The position the jailer had this heart jailer came running and scared out of his wits fell on his knees, humbled himself before to prisoners and said could you guys help me.

He certainly sought is a supernatural event and you know what, I'll take my chances sticking with him since he was there over any so-called scholars.

19 centuries later, telling me what they think happened there would he say he knew it was a supernatural event and he asked the question what do I need to do to be say they talk about a guy the right place at the right time. Here is sleep in mind his own business now than I did. Jail, no big deal. Suddenly the living God of the universe displays his power right there in front of this jailer and what's even more incredible is the jailer had some guys in jail he can go right to and ask him how I get connected with this God talk about being at the right place at the right time. And so, Paul answers his question, Paul says, verse 31. What do I need to do to be saved.

I'll tell you Paul says believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved faucet friend.

You don't need to do anything here you need to do anything to get eternal life. You don't need to do anything to get connected with God like Silas in our connected with God. It's all been done for you. Jesus Christ did it all for you on the cross when he paid for your wrongdoing.

When he opened the way for you to be reconciled to God. The only thing that's necessary from you is that you believe in that you rely on that you place your trust in that you embrace Jesus Christ and what he's already done for you. That's all you got. They know I tell you all the time I go the gym three times a week and actually that some of you people run into me at the gym and come up go chill you're really here until we have course on the I would like to you and then I said a couple of don't don't I look like I'm I come all yeah you well, yeah. God bless you whatever but anyway I had a guy my gym come up to me couple years ago.

He said that your pastor the church right yes I am. He said you know, could you tell me what time your services meet because I need to start coming to church and I need to get some religion back in my life you not be happy to tell you what time I church services meet, but you know if you want religion you don't want to come to McLean Bible church. I said because we don't offer people religion here is someone we talk course you do. The stock market is about money. The church is about religion. Of course you offer people religion. I said no we don't religion. I said to him is a bunch of rules and regulations aimed at helping us work our way into God's good graces. I said the Bible never offers people religion and we don't offer people religion what the Bible offers people is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that we get by placing our faith in what he did for us on the cross that will change your life. And I said that's we offer people so that's what you want, you come to McLean Bible church, we can help you but we don't get out religion here and you know this guy. My gym made the same mistake the Philippian jailer made the Philippian jailer was convinced that there was something he had to do that.

There was some human activity he had performed that there was some religious quest he had to go on like finding the holy Grail in order to get eternal life in the right with God. But what does the Bible say when asked the question, how does a person get eternal life. When asked the question, how does a person secure a spot in heaven when asked the question how do people get into a personal relationship with God. When asked the question how do people become new creatures in Jesus Christ, in a way that transforms their whole life. What did Paul say he said believe on the Lord Jesus Christ..! You know those blue cards that we put your bulletin. You know those things volunteer cards.

I got one about six months ago. Here's what a lady said on a little message to me on the back. She said and I quote she said I was very disappointed in the message today that said good works were not necessary and that believe in Christ alone assures eternal life. I found this to be a frightening message and I don't believe that this is your real philosophy" well I hate to tell this dear lady, but this is my real philosophy and far more important than that.

This is the consistent constant and unequivocably message of the Bible believe on the Lord Jesus Christ believe on the Lord Jesus Christ believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be say that you're here today and you never trusted Jesus in a real or personal way. Maybe part of the problem is that you're like the Philippian jailer. Maybe you're like the guy my gym whose convinced that he can't be that simple. It's gotta be more complex than that. There's gotta be something you gotta do there's got to be some work I have to perform is out of the some religious activity connected to this my question to you is why why do you believe, why would it be hard, why wouldn't it be the simple God made it simple enough that little children can do this all God's asking for you to get eternal life, and a place in heaven, and a transformed life on earth is for you to come and put your trust in God to do some things for you. You can do for yourself.

And you know the wonderful thing about children and why this comes so easy to them is because children are used to trusting people to doing things, for they can't do for themselves. The problem is we grow up we become adults and we become sophisticated beyond our intelligence. Now that's bad. God is simply saying hey all I'm asking you to do is trust me and let me do some things for you. I give you eternal life that you can do for you so in your ear and you never trusted Jesus in a real and personal way. Friends listen to what Paul said, it's just this simple don't make it more complicated than God wants it to be. I hope you will do this well is a long what happens next. Well, nothing happens.

Next stop right here in the passage of working to ask the most important question and you know what it is no joke, thereby ready all right here we go. 123 that's good so what is a lawn I'm happy for the Philippian jailer is wonderful. You know what I've already believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. I've Artie given my life to Jesus Christ.

Difference does this make me in the 21st century will and see if I can help you with that.

You know, the Philippian jailer asked one of the most famous questions in all the Bible member Woody asked Sirs he said, what must I do to be saved.

Now here's my question.

Why did the Philippian jailer phrased his question the way did the German think about the widening the asked Sirs, what must I do to be on your team widening the asked Sirs, what must I do to join your military unit. Why did he say Sirs, what must I do to have God's power in my life like you do. Why did he ask a question like this. Sirs, what must I do to be saved. Why would he use such a technical theological term like that. The sky was a theologian. This guy wouldn't a preacher this wasn't a religious man waiting to get a term like that from so a lot of the answer that he knew he heard Paul and Silas, singing all my using the term and that's where he got no no that's not right.

Verse 27 says the jailer woke up he would listen to Paul and Silas, singing it was fast asleep, so wherever he got the term for me didn't get it. Paul and Silas sold and where they need to get it back a little bit the chapter. I think we can answer the question member. Verse 17 talking about that girl that was walking around town you know yelling and screaming. What was she yelling and screaming. Verse 17. This girl followed Paul and the rest of us shouting. These men are servants of the most high God, who are telling you the way to be what all there's the word that's the very same word exact same word that the jailer used in his question.

What must I do to be say.

That seems obvious to me what happen here. The Bible told us this girl paraded around town like a town crier for many days hence. Someplace in town. The jailer pastor maybe was on his way to get groceries maybe was on his way to the gym himself maybe was going to get some sandals. I don't know what he was doing, but somewhere in town.

He passes this girl who is screaming out and telling everybody in town that representatives of the most high God have arrived in town and they're telling every body the way to get save now. Frankly, he didn't even notice. Jailer didn't what save the man and what's more, he wasn't the slightest bit interested in getting saved but average man's but he heard what she said he filed it away. Put in the memory banks went on about his business until some crisis. It is life right. The jail doors fly open, the prisoners are all praying it didn't kill himself. There probably going to killing the biggest crisis of his life gets, and now what you do. He goes back in the memory banks pulled out when he heard this girl say weeks before and uses it to do business with God.

Here's the point. As followers of Jesus Christ.

We often share with people about Christ and they seem to blow it off completely, just like the Philippian jailer blew it off the first time he heard her friends. When that happens, we need to be careful that we don't get discouraged and that we don't feel like failures and we don't get down on myself.

We need to learn a very important lesson from the Philippian jailer and that is a lot of times we tell people about Jesus Christ. They do what the jailer did they bury it away. It lays dormant inside of them for weeks or four months or for years until some crisis comes along until some exigency strikes their life.

Maybe their spouse walks out on tour. Maybe they did.

The doctor tells them they have cancer or maybe they lose their job or their problems with their children or somebody they love dies and then all of a sudden they do exactly what the Philippian jailer did they go back into the memory banks pull out that information that they heard, but they weren't the slightest bit interested in when they heard it, and they use that information now to conduct business with God. Just like this jailer you know my dad was that way when I first became a follower of Christ. I want my dad to come to Christ so bad every time I see I try to talk to them about Jesus as the Messiah and you know what he didn't always do one of two things.

Either number one.

He would get up walk out of room or number two.

He did not turn the television off as loud as it would go so he could hear me and that went on for seven years and I got so discouraged I did.

I said more. My day is never coming to Christ. He not even listening. He doesn't even care. I mean stuff not sinking any habits bouncing off him like water off a ducks back then in October 1976 my dad had his third heart attack and he was in the hospital in Charlottesville University of Virginia hospital. I went down to visit. I walked in his hospital room area set up in his hospital bed and in the first thing he says to me when I walk in the room decisional lawn Avenue a lot of thinking lately. He said I have begun to think that everything you been telling me about Jesus as the Messiah is probably right but I gotta tell you at that moment they needed to get my dad out the bed and put me in the bed. I was like holy hopes where is this coming from the privilege. The very next morning, getting down on my knees next to his hospital bed. My dad got out of bed, got down on his knees. I put my arm around my dad shoulder and I the privilege of praying with my dad is he asked Jesus into his life to be his personal Messiah that my dad died one week to the day from the day we got on our knees together.

He never left the hospital. He had 1/4 heart attack in the hospital and died but you know what all seven of those years I was convinced he wasn't even listening (he was just be like the Philippian jailer.

He was just filing away file it away.

Filed it away and then all of a sudden when time was right, and the crisis struck is likely needed. He went back and pulled it out did business with God.

My mom did the same thing except took her 22 years or more, hardheaded Jewish mother. You know but anyway she finally came Christ to the same wealthy now there's a lesson for us to learn here from the Philippian jailer and the lesson is that many people that you and I are going to go out and share our faith in Christ with even this week are not going to immediately give their life to Jesus Christ. But let's not forget what people say and that is the opera is not over till the full figured lady saying something and we gotta allow time for the full your lady to do her thing. A lot of these people are just like the Philippian jailer know they're not interested right now but there put it in the database and one of these days when crisis hits their life. They're going to go back to the database, just like the Philippian jailer did the pull that information out and they're going to complete the deal with God that you may not be there to see it. I may not be there to see it. We may be going to some other place or gone off to heaven. Let me just tell you, folks, there are Philippian jailer is all over this the first time you talk to them and I could do much anything but man put the information in there because one day they're going to pull about use it just like this jailer did in fact the book of Revelation tells us that there gotta be 144,000 Jewish people go as soon as we leave in the rapture of the church to turn around and go. Susie was right. John was right all my goodness and they going to give their life to Christ and become 144,000 kosher milligrams at the beginning of the tribulation. The Bible says that's going to happen. So friends all I want to say to you is keep sharing Christ with your doctor, your dentist and your lawyer understand what I'm saying because a lot of them are going to come to Christ. One of these days.

First Corinthians 1558 what you know when you Jewish you can only be a doctor or lawyer or failure. You know that right now. First Corinthians 1558 therefore, be steadfast in movable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, why because we know that our labor is not in vain in the Lord. And nowhere is that more true than when it comes to sharing our faith in Jesus Christ even listening to say went with Dr. L'Enfant plan is and how arrangement lines found in ministering to listen to today's message.

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