The title of this sermon is Doubt Does Not Equal Depth
The text for this sermon comes from Acts 12:1-19
vs. 1 The persecution begins again.The Herod mentioned here in vs 1 is Herod Agrippa the grandson of Herod the Great.
vs. 2 The James here is not James the brother of Jesus. This is the apostle James also known as a son of Zebedee.
vs. 3-4 The murder of James delighted the Jews. At this time, the believers are now known as the church or Christians. The Jews now refer to those who are not Christians. When Herod saw that the death of James delighted the Jews, he intended to murder Peter too. Herod put Peter in prison guarded by 4 squads of soldiers. There are 4-8 soldiers in a squad. Peter’s cell was guarded by 12-32 men.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread takes place the 7 days after Passover. The term Passover used here, links the Passover and Feast of UB to be the same event since the events follow one another. The 7 days after the Passover meal is considered holy and not to be desecrated by an execution.
vs. 5 The church begins to pray.
vs. 6 The Passover is over. Peter is scheduled for execution probably early in the morning.
vs. 7-9 The angel shows up. When Peter was out of options – God showed up. God’s time is not our time. God’s time is always perfect. God created time. God can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants because He is completely sovereign.
Peter was not aware of the angel.
Peter was sleeping awaiting his execution.
Peter is walking around half asleep in a stupor.
vs. 10-11 Often we do not realize that God is working in our situation until God has finished carrying us through the situation.
vs. 12-16 Peter goes to the house where at that exact moment, people are praying for him.
The church is praying and they are asking. I even believe their heart is in the right place. I believe the problem is their faith.
What is the point of praying if you don’t believe God is going to honor your request?
We pray urgently/intently to the point of weeping but if you pray and do not believe, why are you asking your Heavenly Father to work on your behalf?
Joshua prayed and believed – God stopped the sun.
David prayed and believed – God caused Goliath to fall.
The church prayed and believed – 3000 people are saved in one day.
Doubt shows your lack of trust in God.
Every great move of God is for his glory. God also uses situations to stretch the faith of the believers.
vs. 17-19 Peter is a fugitive. Peter departs and heads to another city. Luke does not specify exactly where Peter goes.
Herod has the two sentries that guarded Peter put to death.