Title: Getting The Most Out of Acts, Chapter Twelve
Introduction: In Acts chapter twelve, we see the story of Peter's miraculous escape from prison. It's a powerful reminder of the Lord's power and protection over His people, even in the face of significant opposition. Through this chapter, we can learn important lessons about faith, prayer, and the sovereignty of God.
I. Peter's Arrest and Imprisonment (Acts 12:1-5)
Herod's persecution of the church (v.1)
Peter's arrest and imprisonment (v.3)
The church's response: earnest prayer (v.5)
Scripture: "So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church." - Acts 12:5
Illustration: A picture of Peter in chains, surrounded by guards, with the church in prayer.
II. Peter's Miraculous Escape (Acts 12:6-19)
The angel's visitation and deliverance of Peter (v.7-11)
Peter's realization that it was not a vision, but a real escape (v.11)
Peter's arrival at Mary's house, where the church was gathered in prayer (v.12-16)
The amazement of those who witnessed Peter's escape (v.17-19)
Scripture: "And when Peter had come to himself, he said, 'Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.'" - Acts 12:11
Illustration: A picture of Peter being led out of prison by the angel, with a shocked and amazed guard in the background.
III. Herod's Death (Acts 12:20-23)
Herod's angry response to the news of Peter's escape (v.19-20)
Herod's speech and sudden death (v.21-23)
Scripture: "Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last." - Acts 12:23
Illustration: A picture of Herod giving his speech, with the angel striking him down in the background.
Conclusion: Acts chapter twelve is a powerful testimony to the Lord's faithfulness and sovereignty over His people. We see the church coming together in prayer, the Lord's miraculous deliverance of Peter, and the downfall of Herod. Through it all, we are reminded that the Lord is in control, and we can trust Him in every circumstance.
The importance of earnest prayer in difficult times
The Lord's power to deliver His people from even the direst situations
The sovereignty of God over all things, even the plans of the wicked