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June 17, 2020 10:00 am
Good morning everybody. How are you there to see you guys. Let's open the Bible study together accept the 16 continuing in our study of the life of the great man. The apostle Paul. Now you know sometimes a person is just at the right place at the right time. The man you see on the screen. For example, is Australian Stephen Bradberry. Some of you already know the story. February 6 the eighth of this year.
Bradberry was one of the five finalists in Salt Lake City in the Olympic 1000 m speedskating race will coming around the final turn, Bradberry was dead last wave on her body over me like barely in the same ZIP Code with the other four racers when all of a sudden all four of the other guys wiped out all of them went down on the ice, including the odds on gold-medal favorite American speed skater Apollo on you and Bradberry simply got into the wreckage and across the finish line and won the gold medal.
Now, at the time he won the gold medal back in his native Brisbane. It was 104°F. Not exactly Norway you can say what I'm saying now here's another interesting fact about this guy, you know what Bradberry does for a living.
He makes speedskating skins and in fact Apollo on yo was wearing a pair of Bradberry skates and Bradberry had asked him if he would please if he won the goal would on yo please mention Bradberry skates on the air. We could market some skate now Bradberry is making a fortune going around. Marketing is all states is a gold-medal winner.
Sometimes you just at the right place at the right time to look at God today 2000 years ago was just at the right place at the right time and his whole life was radically changed to we don't exactly know his name but we call him the Philippian jailer will appear in acts chapter 16 bit of background.
Remember, the apostle Paul is on his second missionary journey across Asia minor sailed across the beautiful Aegean Sea and is now in northern Greece in Europe at the city of Philippi where he is been sharing about the Lord and there was a girl in this town.
Luke tells us who was demonized for owners made a lot of money from her fortune-telling and verse 17 says this girl follow Paul and the rest of us shouting.
These men are servants of the most high God for telling you the way to be. Say in the Bible says that she follow Paul and Silas, day after day for many days. Verse 18 tells us until finally Paul became irritated with her, turned around, cast the demon out of her and her owners. Having now lost the income stream that she produce by fortune-telling with no demon in her anymore. They drag Paul down in front of the magistrates in the city and that's where we pick up the story. Verse 22. The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas.
The Bible says and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and to be beaten. Remember we said last week that the rods that were used to beat Paul and Silas were actually designed by the Romans to rip the skin right off the bone. Verse 23 and after they had been severely clogged with their backs open to the bone and just losing verse 23 continues. They were thrown into prison and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Verse 24. Upon receiving such orders. The jailer put them in the inner cell.
The maximum security unit and today in Philippi. We actually have on earth the actual jail cell for Paul and Silas were in here in Philippi. You can actually walk unit today and the Bible says verse 24 he, the jailer fastened their feet in the stocks. Here are some stocks that are designed for the legs to spread the legs as wide as you possibly can and cause discomfort.
Well, you know, it was no laughing matter what happened to Paul and Silas has a matter of fact, the position that they were placed in by the jailer was a position designed to cause maximum discomfort. He put their backs up against the rough stone wall and I remember their backs are wide open. Still bleeding, still oozing from the beating with their backs against the wall.
He took and handcuffed in chains their hands above their head and then he spread their feet in these kinds of stocks as wide as he could spread them and that's where he left. This is a posture designed to cause your legs to cramp and put you in a position where you can't move to relieve the cramping of any of you ever had a leg cramp and you can't move to get rid of it. You can only imagine the agony that ours in this position would call the Bible goes on. Verse 25 at about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them, not considering the uncomfortable position in a region that is they were sitting down their backs against the wall, their hands above their head their feet spreading the stock.
It's no surprise they were way to midnight.
What is a surprise is what they were doing at midnight. The Bible says that they were praying and singing hymns to God's will on what hearing do you think they might've been thinking well maybe stand up, stand up for Jesus. I don't know, but whatever they were saying and they were just having a ball, singing hymns there in jail and the Bible tells us that every single prisoner was away listening to them. They must have a voice like I had where when I sing it wakes people up but anyway verse 26 and suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken at once. The prison doors flew open and everybody's chains came loose friends. What we have here is not luck or fate or geological coincidence or good karma. What we have here is the living God of the universe supernaturally answering the prayers of his people and verse 27 the jailer woke up he was fast asleep and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.
Remember we said last week that there were two big military battles that were fought here at Philippi 142 BC 131 BC and future Emperor of the Roman Empire. Just this one them both as a way of showing his gratitude to the people of Philippi, he declared Philippi a Roman colony.
We said last week that one of the things that happen in a Roman colony is that there was a large contingent of the Roman army that would be stationed there to protect the colonies. We didn't tell you last week is that very often.
We know from history. These soldiers were stationed at these colonies. When they finally retired. They often just stayed there. They were tired right where they'd been living for years anyway. And there's no doubt in my mind that this jailer was a retired Roman soldier now as a retired Roman soldier. He knew what the penalty was for losing your prisoner the code of Justinian said that any soldier who left their prisoner escape is to be executed and friends. This code was regularly enforced by Roman officials. Acts chapter 12 verse 19 when the angel you know in three Peter from the Roman jailer because after Herod had a thorough search made for Peter and didn't find him. He Herod cross-examined the guards and then ordered that they be executed for losing their prisoner and they were now the Philippian jailer figured Haiti number one.
The prisoners have escaped number to the magistrates in the morning or good executed anyway so number three why don't I pull out my sword and I'll just save them the trouble and do it to myself and that's what he was about to do. Verse 28, when Paul shouted don't harm yourself. We are all here is a long time is no sense at all. Many guys were prisoners they were jail birds when the prison doors flew open and James fell all every jailbird I've ever met headed for the hills.
They didn't stick around and ask questions. So what was it will always prisoners. No one in the runaway will think about it for a moment, we hear some dude praying and singing hymns at midnight and then there's an earthquake and in the prison doors blow open and then everybody's chains, including yours compliant. All I think you wait to see what he's going to do before you do anything, go to well Paul he knew anything there. So I think all the other prisoner said maybe we ought to Justinian for a moment ourselves to connect while they were still standing there for the jailer rushes in verse 29 and call for the light. He felt trembling and Paul and Silas, I think a second. This is a hard Roman soldier PC at all. He seemed badly seen combat, he seen people killed is seen horrible things he is scared to death becomes running and falls down, trembling, and before Paul and Silas bring them out and ask them servers he says what must I do to be saved. What must I do to get eternal life. What must I do to have a relationship with God. Why do you guys seem to have a note here the critics of the Bible often ridiculed this passage and say that there was no supernatural event that happened here at all. All we have here is just a normal everyday geological tremor that Luke took and built often jazz open to some huge supernatural event because he wanted to see God in it, but that really it wasn't anything like that will presently ties up the jailer who was there when it happened. He certainly didn't see it that way. I mean here. You got this hard and cool soldier who suddenly becomes a reverent humble seeker of God. He rushes in the Paul calls down on his knees were shaking all over brings Paul out of jail and since servers what will I need to do to have account got all my side.
I just saw work right here at this jail that you know what I think I'll trust the God who was there watching this in his reaction before I'll trust so-called scholars 19th century later to tell me what happened or what you think. Talk about a man being at the right place at the right time. The jailer to sleep in the night away another normal night down at the old jail and all of a sudden before he knows what happened, the supernatural God of the universe has injected himself into this man's life. All of a sudden he has seen the power of God and not only that, but he's got a guy right in the jail can tell them how to get connected to this God. They talk about being at the right place at the right time. Well, Paul answers his question, what must I do to be safe. Paul says, verse 31, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. What must you do to be saved both as you don't need to do anything to get eternal life. You don't need to do anything to get connected to this God is Silas and are connected with all that needs to happen. It's already been done for you on the cross by the Lord Jesus when he died and shed his blood to pay for your wrongdoings to open up a way for you to be reconciled to God. All that needs to happen.
Paul says is for you to embrace for you to rely upon for you to place your personal trust in what Jesus Christ has already done for you.
You know why I told I tell you I go to the gym three days a week back of actually have some of you people run into me at the gym and when I have y'all come up you go home like we would like. Don't don't don't I look like I'll show you.
You do lawn honesty do. I've never doubted you. God bless you.
Anyway I got my gym who a couple years ago came up to me and he said hey you're here, the pastor of the church right message. Yes I am. And he said you know like you to tell me what time you services are because he said I need to start coming to church. I need to get some religion back in my life and I said will probably happy to say the times of our services. But you know if you want religion do you want to come to our church because because that's the wrong place to come. We don't do religion chemically Bible church is like your church because you do. Religion churches do religion when talking about abortion to religion. I said no we don't do religion of a claim Bible church because religion is a bunch of rules and regulations aimed at helping people work their way into God's good graces.
We don't do religion at McLean Bible church that's not what God offers people in the Bible and that's not what we offer people what God offers people is a personal connectedness. Jesus Christ and that's exactly what we offer people and if that's what you want.
Then we can help you.
That's what you need. That's what will transform your life, not religion if that's what you want, we can help you and friend the guy, looked at me like I lost my mind that he was making the same mistake that the Philippian jailer was making. He was sure in his mind he had to do something you had to perform something you had to go out and find the holy Grail or kill a dragon or do some kind of incredible religious work to get in the God's good graces and and I mean how much clearer can the Bible maketh in acts 1631. How does a person get eternal life. How does a person secure a spot in heaven.
How does a person get into a personal relationship with God. How does a person become a new creature in Jesus Christ with our whole life gets transformed from the inside out. What did Paul's. He said, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ..! I got a blue care card. You know those blue cars we put the bulletin every week. I got one of them in about six months ago, his would soon quote lady said I was very disappointed in the message today that said good works were not necessary and that believes 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, my dear, I hate to tell you that is my real philosophy and much more important than that.
This is a consistent, constant and unequivocal message of the Bible believe in the Lord Jesus Christ believe in the Lord Jesus Christ believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be safe and pure here today and you're like the Philippian jailer whole or your like this guy. My gym and you been convinced all your life that you gotta do something to earn something work some way. Do some religious activity friends. I'm here to tell you that that's not the way it is all all that's involved is you and me taking our trust off of all that other stuff we do and putting it on what Jesus is already done for us on the cross. God wants to make this so simple little child can do it all.
This involves trusting somebody else to do something for us that we can't do for ourselves. Get is in heaven. Give us eternal life. That's why little children come to Christ so easily. There used to people doing things for me can do for themselves. This is easy for them to do is just that we grow into adults and we become sophisticated beyond our intelligence and God says no, no, this is real simple. Here, all you gotta do is trust me to do something for you. You can't do for yourself.
And if you're here and you've never given your life to Jesus Christ, it's so simple friends.
A child can do and we hope that you will do.
Don't be more sophisticated than your intelligence can handle well inside the Sakharov passage and asked the most important question y'all know what that is.
So here we go ready not allow one to three lawn.
So what you know I'm really happy for the Philippian jailer, but Lombardi given my life to Christ. I've Artie believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. What differences make it seem we can help you answer the question. You know, the Philippian jailer here asked one of the most famous questions in all of the Bible stories he says what must I do to be saved. Now here's my question my question is why did he praise his question the way that it is think about a person. Why didn't he say to Paul serves what must I do to be on your team. Why did he say to them serves what must I do to join your military unit servers. What must I do to have the power in me that you seem to have a new why didn't he say serves what must I do now to keep you from retaliating against me.
Why did he say serves what must I do to be saved. The sky was no breach of the sky was no theologian. This guy was no religious man. Where did he get a precise theological term, like say from civil I can answer that he was up all night. Listen to Paul and Silas thing about that's where he got it no know what the Bible say the Bible says in verse 27 jailer woke up he was awake listening to Paul and Silas thing.
He was sleep wherever he got disturbed probably did get up and Paul and Silas someone were to give. I think the answer is obvious. If we just go back a little bit in the passage go back for 17 women.
I demonize girl.
This girl followed Paul and the Bible makes it clear this went on for day after day after day 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. Why to be say it was interesting is the word she uses is the exact same Greek word that the jailer use and I think it's obvious what happened here one day the jailer was walking through town maybe was on his way to the grocery store to the gym himself or to buy some new sandals who care any passes this girl walking around tell telling him that representatives of the most high God of arrived in town for telling people how to be say now frankly didn't even know what saved meant. And what's more, he could care less what saved that he was the slightest bit interested in getting say whatever it means, but he heard the term.
He heard what she said he filed it away in the memory banks and he went on about his business because at that moment his wife was going fine, thank you very much Otto. I'm not looking for a change. However, when all of a sudden a few weeks later, the doors of the jail flew open and all the prisoners were set free and all of a sudden his wife is shaken to the very core he went back into those memory banks and pulled out what he heard this young girl say, and came to Paul and said, what must I do that girl said it to be. Say everybody see where he got that word from Buddy and San but here's the point. As followers of Jesus Christ. My friends, we often share Jesus with people and they seem to blow it off completely when we share with them just like the Philippian jailer blew off his girls, and so we can sometimes get discouraged and we tend sometimes to feel like we failed and we tend sometimes to lose so we need to learn a very important lesson from the Philippian jailer. We need to learn that a lot of times people take the information we share with them about Jesus. They bury it away in their memory banks lays there dormant for monster years and then all of a sudden some crisis strikes their life.
All of a sudden some exigency strikes their life. Their spouse walked out on him. The doctor tells them they have cancer, they lose their job. They have a crisis with their children somebody they love passes away and then at that moment they do exactly what the Philippian jailer did when he had a crisis they go back into those memory banks. They pull out what somebody told him, weeks, months, years before and they use that information to do business with God. My dad was just like when I became a follower of Christ.
I really wanted my dad to come to Christ and you know what whenever I would sit down and talk to him about Jesus. He would do one of two things. He would either get up and walk out of the room or get up go over and turn the TV off as loud as he could so I could even be heard above the television that went on for seven years and I got really discouraged. I said you know what God my dad is not paying the slightest bit of attention. He's not listening. None of this is sinking in. This is a waste of time. He's never coming to Christ when he had his third heart attack. He was down in University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, October 1976 and I went down to see him and I walked in his room and the very first thing he said to me when I walk in his hospital room sit in his hospital bed.
He said to me you know lawn is that I've been doing a lot of thinking about all that stuff you been telling me that Jesus Christ he said, and I've really begun to believe that what you been telling me is right tell you that moment I felt like get him out of the bed and you get in the bed. I thought holy smokes. Where is this coming from and I had the incredible privilege. The next morning of getting down on my knees with my dad on his knees next to his hospital bed, put my arm around my dad shoulder and praying with my dad is he is Jesus Christ and was a week later he was dead. He never left the hospital had a four-part attack in the hospital and died but all man oh man, what an incredible thing on every body was lesson, but he was just like the Philippian jailer to just filing the stuff away and suddenly when there was crisis. It was there because I told it to him for him to be able to pull out and do business with God and my mom was the same way except she took 22 years it will be hard but anyway they may happen are and folks we need to learn our lesson from the Philippian jailer. Many people whom you and I are going to share our faith with this very week are not little immediately give their lives to Jesus Christ.
But that's okay. I mean, you know what they say. The offer is not over until the full figured ladies things and we got to give time for the full figured lady to do this thing in because one day maybe even after you and I are gone.
A lot of those people are going to get a crisis in their life and go back into the memory banks and pull out when you and I told them about Jesus Christ and God's will use that in their life so they can do business with. In fact, the book of Revelation tells us chapter 7 that is soon as we leave the church leaves and what the Bible calls the rapture that they're going to be 144,000 Jewish people to do this very thing. People living told about Christ.
They're knocking to pay a bit of attention now but as soon as were out here they going to go back and go all all Susie was telling me the truth.
Julie was telling me the truth and God the going to give their life to Christ, God's going to unleash them on the world like 144,000 kosher milligrams through and it's going to be people you want to talk to now about Christ and I got a listen now they're going to listen at that point. So friends do you keep sharing Jesus Christ with your doctor and your dentist in your law because one of these days.
A lot of those people are going to be interested in listening trail on the right now.
First Corinthians 1558 seven therefore, be steadfast in movable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, since you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
And nowhere is this more true when it comes to sharing our faith. We never share our faith that God doesn't end up using it in somebody's life. You may not use the right way pay their Philippian jailer was all over Washington DC all over the metro all over the streets in your office in your neighborhood. The sounds full of people like whom you're going to share with in a file away not interested in getting say they don't care what it means that we want to talk to you about. I need a visit jailer so just filing away lovingly. Respectfully, insert the information in the databank and then they'll have it there when God is ready to pull it out in some crisis in their life and use it so they can do business with God friends.
We've got to be careful that we don't try to orchestrate God's timing and people's lives. That's not our job, our job simply to put the information in the database of the Lord's got a fair when he's ready to use. Let's be faithful in doing that.
Okay, we got a town full of Philippian jailer's. Let's give him the information they need.
So when the doors of the prison swing open and there ready to do business with God in their life got the data that they need for heavenly father. Thanks for talking to us today about our role here in the city. City full of Philippian jailer's Lord remind us that it's not our job to orchestrate the timing for these people doing business with God is simply our job to give the information to them.
So would get stored away such as that information is available to them when they needed later in life. So Lord help us be faithful in doing our job, help us not lose heart, or become discouraged and send this out and help us be missionaries every single day giving out to people just like with the Philippian jailer. The information that one day you're going to use to change their lives. Lord make us faithful, diligent and consistent in doing this, and we ask this in Jesus name God's people said Amen