Midnight Praise & Worship

by Michael Elder
(Oklahoma City)

Acts 16:16-34

Intro: Drama in a dungeon. Paul & Silas were badly beaten, thrown into a maximum security prison without a trial. Their feet in stocks, praise unto God on their lips. What makes a person sing praise in the midst of heartache? How can someone rejoice while suffering?

I. What makes us Delight in Darkness?

  1. The pain, the dark cell, the bleak future.

  2. The cause of their depression.

    1. They were obeying and going (9)

    2. They were preaching and baptizing (14-15)

    3. They were caring and helping (18)

    4. They were punished and imprisoned (22-24)

II. What makes us Despair in Despondency?

  1. The earthquake (26)

  2. The doors were open

  3. The handcuffs fell off

  4. The prisoners could escape

  5. The prisoners could seek revenge

  6. Too much for the Keeper of the Prison to think about

    1. He feared the inmates

    2. He feared his superiors

    3. He feared paying for his mistakes

    4. He feared living

  7. His thoughts of suicide seemed a better option than the possible repercussions of his deeds

    1. A terrible choice

    2. A permanent solution to a temporary problem

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10 ESV)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
(Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 NKJV)

III. What makes us Desire Deliverance?

  1. Compassion for others “do yourself no harm” (28)

  2. Consistent testimony “we are all here”

  3. Clear gospel presentation “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (31)

Conclusion: When we are real in our Praise & Worship...When we are sincere in our adoration of the Lord...When we worship like a Biblical church:

1. Chains fall off
2. Bars are broken
3. Walls fall down
4. Doors are opened
5. Captives are set free
6. Souls are Saved
7. Believers are Baptized
8. Lives are changed
9. Families unite with the Church
10. People stick around

After the jailer trusted Christ and followed the Lord in Baptism, he could not wait to minister to those who had ministered to him. A genuine conversion brings an urgent desire to serve.

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