Sunday, July 18, 2004

Peter Slept

Have you seen the videos released by the kidnappers/terrorists in Iraq?  The tapes of the prisoners pleading for their lives?   I've read that their pleas are desperate and heart wrenching at times.  I have not seen them myself, but I can imagine the emotional intensity of the situation.  I am thankful that I have never been placed in circumstances to have to plead for my life.


Our message at church today was from Act 12 and Paul, our pastor, made an interesting comparison between the prisoners in Iraq pleading for their lives, and Peter, who we read about today. 

Acts12:6  "The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance."

In his message Paul noted that Peter was sleeping.  He explained the the word used for "sleeping" in the passage actually means a "death sleep", because Peter had resigned himself to the fact that he was going to die.  Peter was at peace with God.  Peter had placed his life in God's hands and was comforted in that.   Peter, about to be executed for his faith, felt so at ease that he was able to sleep!  He was sleeping while bound to two soldiers!  That blows my mind!  We don't read about him pleading for his life...we read about him sleeping!  Sleeping so deeply in fact that an "angel of the Lord" had to wake him and Peter had no idea what was going on.  He figured he was seeing a vision or something...I'm thinking he thought he was dreaming and was probably running around pretty groggy at first.  Remarkable!


So, the Christian Church has been persecuted since its humble beginnings.  Many were put to death for their faith, and this still happens to this day in some parts of the world.  It is amazing that Christianity flourished through all the persecution, which in fact, some argue, actually gave it even more momentum to spread. 


I am blessed to live in a country that allows me to worship God.  I do see evidences of subtle attempts to persecute believers as our rights/privileges are slowly taken away (subject for another post someday - probably from Katie!  LOL), but God willing, America will never execute people for what they believe.  

No comments:

Post a Comment