The Happy Prisoner Part 2 | TBN

The Happy Prisoner Part 2

Watch The Happy Prisoner Part 2
April 6, 2019
27:33

The Connection with Skip Heitzig

Closed captions

The Happy Prisoner Part 2

Show timecode
Hide timecode
  • Looking for a ray of light.
  • 00:00:09.250 --> 00:00:12.180
  • Looking for something better than this.
  • 00:00:12.190 --> 00:00:21.040
  • Oh, so tired of the black and white,
  • 00:00:21.050 --> 00:00:24.090
  • longing for prism light
  • 00:00:24.100 --> 00:00:28.120
  • Oh, the bliss
  • 00:00:28.130 --> 00:00:33.060
  • Flowing at the speed of light.
  • 00:00:33.070 --> 00:00:35.210
  • Was a color in the night.
  • 00:00:35.220 --> 00:00:39.020
  • Moving at the speed of light.
  • 00:00:39.030 --> 00:00:41.160
  • Was a color in the night.
  • 00:00:41.170 --> 00:00:44.110
  • Joy unspeakable and full of colors
  • 00:00:44.120 --> 00:00:49.260
  • Found a hope so bright and clear.
  • 00:00:49.270 --> 00:00:55.260
  • Living in the realm of grace so vivid
  • 00:00:55.270 --> 00:01:01.210
  • Our Savior's radiance so very near to me.
  • 00:01:01.220 --> 00:01:07.090
  • male announcer: You're sure to face tough circumstances when
  • 00:01:13.260 --> 00:01:15.210
  • you work for God's kingdom, but in the end,
  • 00:01:15.220 --> 00:01:17.230
  • it'll all be worth it.
  • 00:01:17.240 --> 00:01:19.200
  • Connect with Skip Heitzig today as he shares how you can have
  • 00:01:19.210 --> 00:01:22.050
  • the right perspective when you encounter obstacles
  • 00:01:22.060 --> 00:01:24.220
  • doing God's work.
  • 00:01:24.230 --> 00:01:27.240
  • Skip Heitzig: Satan has been fighting a long time.
  • 00:01:28.240 --> 00:01:31.080
  • He's got a lot of experience, so when you say, "I am passionate
  • 00:01:31.090 --> 00:01:35.140
  • about the gospel, I wanna save souls," you are painting a
  • 00:01:35.150 --> 00:01:40.140
  • bullseye on you.
  • 00:01:40.150 --> 00:01:43.040
  • You are a target.
  • 00:01:43.050 --> 00:01:44.230
  • Satan will be after you.
  • 00:01:44.240 --> 00:01:47.100
  • It's a war he's been engaged in, so the great commission will
  • 00:01:47.110 --> 00:01:51.040
  • always bring great conflict.
  • 00:01:51.050 --> 00:01:55.080
  • In fact, Jesus even said, "Faith can sometimes be fatal."
  • 00:01:55.090 --> 00:02:00.130
  • He promised his disciples, "Then they will deliver you up to
  • 00:02:00.140 --> 00:02:04.290
  • tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by
  • 00:02:05.000 --> 00:02:07.140
  • all nations for my name's sake."
  • 00:02:07.150 --> 00:02:11.090
  • So, here is Paul, he's got this passion, the gospel, the gospel,
  • 00:02:11.100 --> 00:02:14.200
  • the gospel, the gospel, but then he says in verse 12, "But I want
  • 00:02:14.210 --> 00:02:17.280
  • you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me,"
  • 00:02:17.290 --> 00:02:23.220
  • stop right there.
  • 00:02:23.230 --> 00:02:25.050
  • Something happened to Paul, he's mentioning it.
  • 00:02:25.060 --> 00:02:28.260
  • Something happened to this passionate man, what was it?
  • 00:02:28.270 --> 00:02:34.230
  • He's in jail again, that's what happened to him.
  • 00:02:34.240 --> 00:02:41.050
  • He's been there many times before.
  • 00:02:41.060 --> 00:02:43.190
  • He's been beaten many times before.
  • 00:02:43.200 --> 00:02:45.240
  • He's had hardship many times before, all because of his
  • 00:02:45.250 --> 00:02:49.010
  • passion for the gospel.
  • 00:02:49.020 --> 00:02:51.250
  • That's what happened to him.
  • 00:02:51.260 --> 00:02:53.140
  • So, now he has a jail ministry, a prison ministry, but not like
  • 00:02:53.150 --> 00:02:58.260
  • he expected, you know.
  • 00:02:58.270 --> 00:03:00.230
  • If you have a prison ministry, you go to the prison, you visit
  • 00:03:00.240 --> 00:03:03.060
  • the prisoners, you go home and have a nice meal
  • 00:03:03.070 --> 00:03:04.240
  • with your family.
  • 00:03:04.250 --> 00:03:06.040
  • Not Paul, he lived there, that was his prison ministry.
  • 00:03:06.050 --> 00:03:08.160
  • It is not what he expected.
  • 00:03:08.170 --> 00:03:10.270
  • Now, sitting in a Roman prison, he does not have the freedom to
  • 00:03:10.280 --> 00:03:15.210
  • go out and plant churches and share the gospel here and train
  • 00:03:15.220 --> 00:03:19.190
  • up leaders there, he's stuck.
  • 00:03:19.200 --> 00:03:24.140
  • You should know that Paul, he's in Rome, he always wanted to go
  • 00:03:24.150 --> 00:03:29.270
  • to Rome, it was part of his passion.
  • 00:03:29.280 --> 00:03:32.150
  • He wrote to the Romans and he said, "Pray for me that I may
  • 00:03:32.160 --> 00:03:36.160
  • come to you with joy by the will of God and may be refreshed
  • 00:03:36.170 --> 00:03:41.140
  • together with you."
  • 00:03:41.150 --> 00:03:43.220
  • But that's not exactly what happened.
  • 00:03:43.230 --> 00:03:47.070
  • Something bad happened to this man, and here's what happened.
  • 00:03:47.080 --> 00:03:52.120
  • After his third missionary journey, he goes back to
  • 00:03:52.130 --> 00:03:55.090
  • Jerusalem, he's in the temple area with another fellow going
  • 00:03:55.100 --> 00:03:58.170
  • through a ceremonial ritual.
  • 00:03:58.180 --> 00:04:01.010
  • Some of the leaders spot Paul there, they start a riot, and
  • 00:04:01.020 --> 00:04:05.110
  • they attack him.
  • 00:04:05.120 --> 00:04:08.070
  • A Roman soldier arrests Paul not to punish him but to protect him
  • 00:04:08.080 --> 00:04:12.060
  • from the mob.
  • 00:04:12.070 --> 00:04:13.260
  • He takes Paul, he's about to have Paul beaten, Paul pulls his
  • 00:04:13.270 --> 00:04:18.250
  • Roman citizenship card out, says, "You can't beat me, I'm a
  • 00:04:18.260 --> 00:04:21.100
  • Roman citizen," so he is then taken from Jerusalem to Caesarea
  • 00:04:21.110 --> 00:04:27.140
  • by the sea where he spends two years and he goes through three
  • 00:04:27.150 --> 00:04:31.070
  • trials in two years.
  • 00:04:31.080 --> 00:04:33.080
  • He stands before Felix, he stands before Festus, he stands
  • 00:04:33.090 --> 00:04:36.120
  • before Herod Agrippa, and after two years, he finally says, "I'm
  • 00:04:36.130 --> 00:04:40.130
  • done, this judicial process is crazy.
  • 00:04:40.140 --> 00:04:43.180
  • I appeal my case to Caesar in Rome."
  • 00:04:43.190 --> 00:04:45.270
  • Every Roman citizen had that right.
  • 00:04:45.280 --> 00:04:48.060
  • So, they put him on a ship, it is not a cruise ship.
  • 00:04:48.070 --> 00:04:52.180
  • It's not a princess cruise, it is a prison cruise.
  • 00:04:52.190 --> 00:04:58.160
  • And they put him on this boat, they send him to Rome, he almost
  • 00:04:58.170 --> 00:05:02.020
  • doesn't make it to Rome, the ship sinks, he has to swim to
  • 00:05:02.030 --> 00:05:04.090
  • shore, but he finally goes to Rome where he's put in jail
  • 00:05:04.100 --> 00:05:08.000
  • again.
  • 00:05:08.010 --> 00:05:09.180
  • All of that is under this banner, "But the things which
  • 00:05:09.190 --> 00:05:12.020
  • happened to me."
  • 00:05:12.030 --> 00:05:13.250
  • That's what he is referring to.
  • 00:05:13.260 --> 00:05:16.200
  • Now, that set of circumstances is enough to change any Tigger
  • 00:05:16.210 --> 00:05:21.140
  • into an Eeyore pretty quickly.
  • 00:05:21.150 --> 00:05:26.150
  • You know that incarceration will always challenge your joy.
  • 00:05:26.160 --> 00:05:31.170
  • Restriction of any kind is a challenge to your joy.
  • 00:05:31.180 --> 00:05:35.220
  • Confinement of any sort will challenge your joy.
  • 00:05:35.230 --> 00:05:39.240
  • Some of you feel chained to a job, it's a tyrant to you.
  • 00:05:39.250 --> 00:05:44.160
  • Some of you feel chained to a relationship, or a set of
  • 00:05:44.170 --> 00:05:47.030
  • responsibilities you didn't sign up for, and maybe because of
  • 00:05:47.040 --> 00:05:51.220
  • that, your passion is gone, it's dried up.
  • 00:05:51.230 --> 00:05:55.110
  • This is not what you had in mind.
  • 00:05:55.120 --> 00:05:57.140
  • You're thinking back to that moment when you finally said, "I
  • 00:05:57.150 --> 00:05:59.270
  • surrender my life to you, Jesus," and I don't just mean
  • 00:05:59.280 --> 00:06:02.140
  • salvation.
  • 00:06:02.150 --> 00:06:03.260
  • Maybe you came to the point after salvation where you said,
  • 00:06:03.270 --> 00:06:05.250
  • "Now, I'm gonna get serious.
  • 00:06:05.260 --> 00:06:07.090
  • I'm gonna really live for Christ, from this day forward."
  • 00:06:07.100 --> 00:06:11.270
  • But here you are today, and you're thinking back to that
  • 00:06:11.280 --> 00:06:14.230
  • day, and this is not what you had in mind that day.
  • 00:06:14.240 --> 00:06:19.020
  • In fact, could it be, is it possible, that when you said,
  • 00:06:19.030 --> 00:06:22.250
  • "Lord, I surrender to your plan," that you said that like
  • 00:06:22.260 --> 00:06:27.000
  • the couple who went to the architect and asked the
  • 00:06:27.010 --> 00:06:29.140
  • architect to design a house for them, the architect discovered
  • 00:06:29.150 --> 00:06:33.050
  • the couple already designed it for themselves, just wanted the
  • 00:06:33.060 --> 00:06:36.050
  • architect to sanction it.
  • 00:06:36.060 --> 00:06:39.110
  • Maybe when you said, "Lord, I surrender my life to you," what
  • 00:06:39.120 --> 00:06:42.180
  • you meant is, "I surrender my will, I hope it is your will,
  • 00:06:42.190 --> 00:06:46.130
  • Lord.
  • 00:06:46.140 --> 00:06:47.250
  • Here are my plans for my life, I just want your stamp on it,
  • 00:06:47.260 --> 00:06:50.170
  • because you must want what I want."
  • 00:06:50.180 --> 00:06:53.260
  • And now, you're going, "This is not what I thought I
  • 00:06:53.270 --> 00:06:56.220
  • signed up for."
  • 00:06:56.230 --> 00:06:59.010
  • Well, Paul is about to say something very revolutionary.
  • 00:06:59.020 --> 00:07:03.080
  • This is where we really need to listen.
  • 00:07:03.090 --> 00:07:06.080
  • So, we move from his passion, to his problems, to his
  • 00:07:06.090 --> 00:07:09.060
  • perspective.
  • 00:07:09.070 --> 00:07:11.070
  • How does he view all that has happened to him?
  • 00:07:11.080 --> 00:07:14.130
  • Now, as we dive into this, I'm just gonna review.
  • 00:07:14.140 --> 00:07:17.180
  • What is the theme of this letter?
  • 00:07:17.190 --> 00:07:19.210
  • Joy, 16 times, 16 times in this letter the word "joy," the word
  • 00:07:19.220 --> 00:07:27.050
  • "rejoice," or the word "rejoicing" are found.
  • 00:07:27.060 --> 00:07:29.080
  • No less than 16 times.
  • 00:07:29.090 --> 00:07:31.140
  • We've already seen the object of Paul's joy, the gospel, we've
  • 00:07:31.150 --> 00:07:35.110
  • seen the challenge to Paul's joy, the things that happened,
  • 00:07:35.120 --> 00:07:38.240
  • the prison, the beatings, et cetera.
  • 00:07:38.250 --> 00:07:40.100
  • Now, let me show you the reason for his joy.
  • 00:07:40.110 --> 00:07:44.140
  • And it can all be summed up by a single word in verse 12, it's
  • 00:07:44.150 --> 00:07:47.280
  • the word "furtherance."
  • 00:07:47.290 --> 00:07:50.230
  • "But I want you to know, brethren," verse 12, "That the
  • 00:07:50.240 --> 00:07:53.100
  • things which happened to me have actually turned out for the
  • 00:07:53.110 --> 00:07:55.290
  • furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to
  • 00:07:56.000 --> 00:08:01.290
  • the whole palace guard and to all the rest that my chains are
  • 00:08:02.000 --> 00:08:05.150
  • in Christ.
  • 00:08:05.160 --> 00:08:07.070
  • And most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by
  • 00:08:07.080 --> 00:08:10.200
  • my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear."
  • 00:08:10.210 --> 00:08:17.160
  • Now, back to that word, "furtherance."
  • 00:08:17.170 --> 00:08:20.170
  • You may have a Bible that doesn't say that, it might say
  • 00:08:20.180 --> 00:08:22.180
  • advancement, or advance, or spread, or progress, those are
  • 00:08:22.190 --> 00:08:27.000
  • all good translations.
  • 00:08:27.010 --> 00:08:28.100
  • Mine says furtherance.
  • 00:08:28.110 --> 00:08:29.290
  • The Greek word is procape, and procape means to advance or to
  • 00:08:30.000 --> 00:08:36.180
  • make progress, but it means something very, very unique.
  • 00:08:36.190 --> 00:08:42.230
  • It means a forward movement in spite of obstacles, obstacles
  • 00:08:42.240 --> 00:08:47.280
  • are involved.
  • 00:08:47.290 --> 00:08:49.140
  • It makes motion forward, but in the midst of obstacles.
  • 00:08:49.150 --> 00:08:53.100
  • So, the word procape was used of pioneers cutting their way
  • 00:08:53.110 --> 00:08:57.280
  • through brushwood, cutting the undergrowth away so you could go
  • 00:08:57.290 --> 00:09:01.020
  • on it.
  • 00:09:01.030 --> 00:09:02.190
  • It was also used for soldiers advancing through obstacles.
  • 00:09:02.200 --> 00:09:06.010
  • It was also sometimes used as a nautical term for ships making
  • 00:09:06.020 --> 00:09:11.150
  • headway while there was a headwind.
  • 00:09:11.160 --> 00:09:15.000
  • You get the idea?
  • 00:09:15.010 --> 00:09:16.190
  • There's always an obstacle involved.
  • 00:09:16.200 --> 00:09:18.200
  • It's going forward, forward, forward, but in the midst of
  • 00:09:18.210 --> 00:09:21.210
  • obstacles.
  • 00:09:21.220 --> 00:09:23.050
  • So, what Paul wants them to know is, "I want you to know,
  • 00:09:23.060 --> 00:09:26.260
  • brethren, that all that has happened to me," the
  • 00:09:26.270 --> 00:09:29.260
  • incarcerations, the beatings, the mistrials, the further
  • 00:09:29.270 --> 00:09:33.140
  • incarcerations, none of that has stopped the advance
  • 00:09:33.150 --> 00:09:37.050
  • of the gospel.
  • 00:09:37.060 --> 00:09:39.010
  • In fact, it cleared the way.
  • 00:09:39.020 --> 00:09:42.000
  • It actually furthered it.
  • 00:09:42.010 --> 00:09:45.000
  • It made progress in it.
  • 00:09:45.010 --> 00:09:46.260
  • I want you to see that, so look at verse 13.
  • 00:09:46.270 --> 00:09:51.190
  • He's gonna give you three ways the gospel is furthered.
  • 00:09:51.200 --> 00:09:55.250
  • Number one, it is furthered for Roman soldiers.
  • 00:09:55.260 --> 00:09:59.000
  • God's plan has been furthered for Roman soldiers.
  • 00:09:59.010 --> 00:10:02.230
  • Verse 13, "So it has become evident," now, watch this, "To
  • 00:10:02.240 --> 00:10:06.250
  • the whole palace guard."
  • 00:10:06.260 --> 00:10:10.280
  • The word is pretorian, we get the word praetorium from that,
  • 00:10:10.290 --> 00:10:16.060
  • and the praetorium guard was the elite personal soldiers
  • 00:10:16.070 --> 00:10:25.150
  • for the emperor.
  • 00:10:25.160 --> 00:10:26.250
  • There was about 10.000 of them in the Roman empire.
  • 00:10:26.260 --> 00:10:28.250
  • They were the bodyguards of the emperor.
  • 00:10:28.260 --> 00:10:31.080
  • Now, Paul is incarcerated in Rome, so he is somehow attached
  • 00:10:31.090 --> 00:10:34.150
  • to the palace.
  • 00:10:34.160 --> 00:10:36.040
  • Now, he's not in the palace, he's in a rented home, the book
  • 00:10:36.050 --> 00:10:39.040
  • of Acts tells us.
  • 00:10:39.050 --> 00:10:40.200
  • He's chained to a guard 24 hours a day, in a rented house, but
  • 00:10:40.210 --> 00:10:45.190
  • the people chained to him are the praetorium guard.
  • 00:10:45.200 --> 00:10:49.160
  • That'd be like being chained to the Secret Service, or to the
  • 00:10:49.170 --> 00:10:53.020
  • CIA, that elite.
  • 00:10:53.030 --> 00:10:57.260
  • Now, let me just stop for a second.
  • 00:10:57.270 --> 00:11:02.030
  • I believe, and I'm guessing, that somebody in the church of
  • 00:11:02.040 --> 00:11:05.130
  • Rome, maybe when they got together for a prayer meeting of
  • 00:11:05.140 --> 00:11:09.040
  • some kind, they got together, and one of the prayers was
  • 00:11:09.050 --> 00:11:11.180
  • something like this.
  • 00:11:11.190 --> 00:11:13.060
  • "Lord, you know, you're doing such a great work here in Rome,
  • 00:11:13.070 --> 00:11:15.210
  • but man, if there was any way possible that the praetorium
  • 00:11:15.220 --> 00:11:20.120
  • elite guards of the emperor himself in Caesar's household
  • 00:11:20.130 --> 00:11:24.200
  • could somehow hear the gospel, they are unreachable.
  • 00:11:24.210 --> 00:11:28.230
  • I don't know how we could ever get the gospel to them," and God
  • 00:11:28.240 --> 00:11:32.150
  • said, "Okay, I'll answer that prayer," how?
  • 00:11:32.160 --> 00:11:35.010
  • By Paul's chains, now Paul's chained to them.
  • 00:11:35.020 --> 00:11:38.090
  • Now think, think of what it was like to be chained to Paul the
  • 00:11:38.100 --> 00:11:41.130
  • Apostle for six hours, that's how it would work.
  • 00:11:41.140 --> 00:11:46.140
  • There are 24 hours a day, four soldiers chained six hours at a
  • 00:11:46.150 --> 00:11:50.200
  • time to Paul.
  • 00:11:50.210 --> 00:11:53.270
  • So, Paul couldn't eat without being chained.
  • 00:11:53.280 --> 00:11:55.240
  • He couldn't sleep without being chained.
  • 00:11:55.250 --> 00:11:57.110
  • Everything he did, 24 hours, was chained to a guard.
  • 00:11:57.120 --> 00:12:00.110
  • Now, we often think, "Oh, Paul was in chains," but think of it
  • 00:12:00.120 --> 00:12:02.180
  • the other way, so was the solider.
  • 00:12:02.190 --> 00:12:06.180
  • Can you imagine what it's like to listen to Paul?
  • 00:12:06.190 --> 00:12:09.290
  • What do you think Paul brought up during that six hours?
  • 00:12:10.000 --> 00:12:12.130
  • The gospel, the gospel, the gospel, the gospel, the gospel,
  • 00:12:12.140 --> 00:12:14.290
  • that's his passion.
  • 00:12:15.000 --> 00:12:16.150
  • You couldn't shut him up.
  • 00:12:16.160 --> 00:12:22.030
  • Have you ever shared with somebody in a conversation, you
  • 00:12:22.040 --> 00:12:24.140
  • bring up the gospel, they don't like what you have to say, so
  • 00:12:24.150 --> 00:12:26.100
  • they walk away?
  • 00:12:26.110 --> 00:12:28.200
  • They can't walk away, talk about a captive audience.
  • 00:12:28.210 --> 00:12:33.040
  • F.B. Meyer tries to paint
  • 00:12:33.050 --> 00:12:35.100
  • the picture of what it would be like.
  • 00:12:35.110 --> 00:12:37.070
  • He said, and I quote, "At times, the hired room would be thronged
  • 00:12:37.080 --> 00:12:40.090
  • with people to whom the apostle spoke words of life.
  • 00:12:40.100 --> 00:12:43.210
  • And after they withdrew, the century," the soldier, "Would
  • 00:12:43.220 --> 00:12:49.190
  • sit beside him filled with many questions as to the meaning of
  • 00:12:49.200 --> 00:12:53.290
  • the words which this strange prisoner spoke.
  • 00:12:54.000 --> 00:12:57.290
  • At other times, especially at night, the soldiers and the
  • 00:12:58.000 --> 00:13:01.230
  • apostle would be left to talk.
  • 00:13:01.240 --> 00:13:05.020
  • And in those dark, lonely hours, the apostle would tell the
  • 00:13:05.030 --> 00:13:08.000
  • soldier after solider about his own proud career in early life
  • 00:13:08.010 --> 00:13:12.250
  • of his opposition to Christ, his ultimate conversion, and would
  • 00:13:12.260 --> 00:13:17.040
  • make it clear that he was there as a prisoner, not for any
  • 00:13:17.050 --> 00:13:22.210
  • crime, not because he raised a rebellion or a revolt, but
  • 00:13:22.220 --> 00:13:25.120
  • because he believed that he whom the Roman soldiers had crucified
  • 00:13:25.130 --> 00:13:28.200
  • under Pilate was the Son of God and the Savior of men."
  • 00:13:28.210 --> 00:13:33.240
  • Now, what is the result of all of this chained to a Roman
  • 00:13:33.250 --> 00:13:37.010
  • guard mean?
  • 00:13:37.020 --> 00:13:38.230
  • It means some of 'em got saved.
  • 00:13:38.240 --> 00:13:41.050
  • I know that to be a fact, because when he closes this
  • 00:13:41.060 --> 00:13:43.000
  • letter, Philippians in chapter 4 verse 22, almost tongue and
  • 00:13:43.010 --> 00:13:47.120
  • cheek, he says, "All the saints send you greetings, especially
  • 00:13:47.130 --> 00:13:51.160
  • those who belong to Caesar's household," wink, wink.
  • 00:13:51.170 --> 00:13:58.040
  • Isn't that great?
  • 00:13:58.050 --> 00:14:00.070
  • Some of those soldiers who were unreachable got reached, and
  • 00:14:00.080 --> 00:14:04.070
  • there's only one way they could, by being chained to a Christian.
  • 00:14:04.080 --> 00:14:09.000
  • So, the incarceration, the suffering that Paul experienced,
  • 00:14:09.010 --> 00:14:12.010
  • it furthered God's plan for Roman soldiers.
  • 00:14:12.020 --> 00:14:15.090
  • But there's a second I want you to notice, it furthered God's
  • 00:14:15.100 --> 00:14:17.240
  • plan for Roman citizens.
  • 00:14:17.250 --> 00:14:20.140
  • Go back to verse 13, "So that is has become evident to the whole
  • 00:14:20.150 --> 00:14:24.190
  • palace guard," comma, "And to all the rest that my chains are
  • 00:14:24.200 --> 00:14:32.010
  • in Christ."
  • 00:14:32.020 --> 00:14:33.180
  • Now, you know, Paul didn't just write words without meaning.
  • 00:14:33.190 --> 00:14:38.000
  • He didn't say, "Oh, yeah, I just need to fill that sentence in,
  • 00:14:38.010 --> 00:14:39.240
  • so I'll just put, 'to the rest,'" it means something.
  • 00:14:39.250 --> 00:14:43.070
  • He was chained to soldiers, but it's become evident to not only
  • 00:14:43.080 --> 00:14:47.080
  • them, but to the rest, what does that mean?
  • 00:14:47.090 --> 00:14:48.240
  • Here's what it means.
  • 00:14:48.250 --> 00:14:50.070
  • Paul was under house arrest, we're told in Acts 28.
  • 00:14:50.080 --> 00:14:53.050
  • House arrest meant that there were certain freedoms the
  • 00:14:53.060 --> 00:14:56.180
  • prisoner had.
  • 00:14:56.190 --> 00:14:58.050
  • He lived in a house, but chained to a solider 24/7.
  • 00:14:58.060 --> 00:15:02.050
  • He could not leave the house, but people could come
  • 00:15:02.060 --> 00:15:04.190
  • and visit him.
  • 00:15:04.200 --> 00:15:06.060
  • So, Acts 28 tells us that Jewish leaders came to visit him,
  • 00:15:06.070 --> 00:15:10.000
  • Christian leaders came to visit him, citizens of Rome came to
  • 00:15:10.010 --> 00:15:13.040
  • visit him.
  • 00:15:13.050 --> 00:15:15.240
  • Acts 28 says, "For two whole years, Paul stayed there in his
  • 00:15:15.250 --> 00:15:19.150
  • own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him."
  • 00:15:19.160 --> 00:15:25.060
  • Now, listen to these words, "Boldly and without hinderance,
  • 00:15:25.070 --> 00:15:29.160
  • he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord
  • 00:15:29.170 --> 00:15:33.190
  • Jesus Christ."
  • 00:15:33.200 --> 00:15:35.130
  • Amazing, here's the principle, don't miss this principle.
  • 00:15:35.140 --> 00:15:41.200
  • The longest period of Paul's incarceration was the greatest
  • 00:15:41.210 --> 00:15:45.080
  • period of Paul's impact.
  • 00:15:45.090 --> 00:15:49.120
  • Staggering, the longest period of Paul's incarceration was the
  • 00:15:49.130 --> 00:15:54.230
  • greatest period of Paul's impact.
  • 00:15:54.240 --> 00:15:57.120
  • In other words, Paul's confinement was God's
  • 00:15:57.130 --> 00:15:59.290
  • assignment.
  • 00:16:00.020 --> 00:16:02.260
  • That prison became his pulpit.
  • 00:16:02.270 --> 00:16:06.160
  • Oh, and by the way, just a little FYI, Paul wasn't just
  • 00:16:06.170 --> 00:16:10.020
  • being chained to a solider and giving Bible studies to people,
  • 00:16:10.030 --> 00:16:14.040
  • he spent a lot of time writing books.
  • 00:16:14.050 --> 00:16:17.080
  • The very book you are reading was written during that time.
  • 00:16:17.090 --> 00:16:20.190
  • Ephesians, written during that time.
  • 00:16:20.200 --> 00:16:22.080
  • Philippians, during that time.
  • 00:16:22.090 --> 00:16:23.230
  • Colossians, during this prison stay.
  • 00:16:23.240 --> 00:16:25.200
  • Philemon, written--those four prison epistle, all written
  • 00:16:25.210 --> 00:16:29.170
  • during this time.
  • 00:16:29.180 --> 00:16:32.010
  • And, and he's having Bible studies at the expense of the
  • 00:16:32.020 --> 00:16:36.260
  • Roman government, how cool is that?
  • 00:16:36.270 --> 00:16:39.230
  • There was never an issue back then with the separation of
  • 00:16:39.240 --> 00:16:41.090
  • church and state.
  • 00:16:41.100 --> 00:16:42.240
  • They paid for it, and he preached.
  • 00:16:42.250 --> 00:16:46.290
  • Now, here's what I'm wondering.
  • 00:16:47.000 --> 00:16:51.180
  • The next time you are tempted to think, "Man, I'm
  • 00:16:51.190 --> 00:16:54.220
  • stuck with this job.
  • 00:16:54.230 --> 00:16:57.110
  • I hate it, but I'm stuck here."
  • 00:16:57.120 --> 00:17:00.040
  • Or, you think, "I am shackled to this desk," or, "I am imprisoned
  • 00:17:00.050 --> 00:17:03.150
  • by this person."
  • 00:17:03.160 --> 00:17:05.170
  • You know, you could see it as an opportunity.
  • 00:17:05.180 --> 00:17:09.270
  • Not an incarceration, an opportunity, if, if, and only if
  • 00:17:09.280 --> 00:17:17.040
  • your passion is the gospel.
  • 00:17:17.050 --> 00:17:20.180
  • I'll guarantee you, if your passion is not the gospel, it's
  • 00:17:20.190 --> 00:17:23.040
  • just an inconvenience to you.
  • 00:17:23.050 --> 00:17:25.000
  • It's just a horrible, bitter experience of suffering.
  • 00:17:25.010 --> 00:17:28.040
  • "Why would God allow it?"
  • 00:17:28.050 --> 00:17:29.200
  • Unless you see it as an opportunity, if you see it as an
  • 00:17:29.210 --> 00:17:31.030
  • opportunity and it's your passion to preach the gospel,
  • 00:17:31.040 --> 00:17:33.290
  • you'll see it as a pulpit.
  • 00:17:34.000 --> 00:17:36.230
  • You'll see it as a way to get the gospel out.
  • 00:17:36.240 --> 00:17:39.260
  • So, Paul's suffering, his jail sentence, was an opportunity for
  • 00:17:39.270 --> 00:17:45.280
  • the furtherance of God's plan for Roman soldiers.
  • 00:17:45.290 --> 00:17:49.100
  • It furthered God's plan for Roman citizens, and finally, and
  • 00:17:49.110 --> 00:17:52.120
  • we'll close with this, it furthered God's plan, listen,
  • 00:17:52.130 --> 00:17:56.100
  • for reluctant saints, reluctant saints.
  • 00:17:56.110 --> 00:17:59.060
  • I find there's a lot of reluctant saints.
  • 00:17:59.070 --> 00:18:01.070
  • I find 'em all over the place.
  • 00:18:01.080 --> 00:18:03.110
  • Just a little ashamed of the gospel, a little reluctant to
  • 00:18:03.120 --> 00:18:05.260
  • say anything that they believe.
  • 00:18:05.270 --> 00:18:08.120
  • So, verse 14 is about that, "And most of the brethren in the
  • 00:18:08.130 --> 00:18:11.160
  • Lord," those are fellow believers, "Having become
  • 00:18:11.170 --> 00:18:15.290
  • confident by my chains," my imprisonment, "Are much more
  • 00:18:16.000 --> 00:18:20.090
  • bold to speak the word without fear."
  • 00:18:20.100 --> 00:18:23.070
  • Now, you know what that tells me?
  • 00:18:23.080 --> 00:18:25.120
  • That tells me that people in Rome, Christians in Rome were
  • 00:18:25.130 --> 00:18:30.070
  • scared to say anything.
  • 00:18:30.080 --> 00:18:34.130
  • They were timid, they were frightened to announce, "I'm
  • 00:18:34.140 --> 00:18:37.000
  • following Jesus Christ.
  • 00:18:37.010 --> 00:18:39.150
  • He's my Lord and Savior, here's my testimony."
  • 00:18:39.160 --> 00:18:42.140
  • They were afraid, and understandably, Paul ended up in
  • 00:18:42.150 --> 00:18:47.050
  • jail, they could, too.
  • 00:18:47.060 --> 00:18:50.140
  • But in watching and hearing about Paul being so bold and
  • 00:18:50.150 --> 00:18:54.140
  • unhindered to soldiers and to people who visit him, the
  • 00:18:54.150 --> 00:18:58.110
  • citizens of Rome, they started thinking differently.
  • 00:18:58.120 --> 00:19:02.170
  • They started having thoughts like, "If God could use Paul in
  • 00:19:02.180 --> 00:19:04.230
  • jail, God can certainly use me out of jail."
  • 00:19:04.240 --> 00:19:09.230
  • So, they became a little more bold.
  • 00:19:09.240 --> 00:19:12.020
  • And so, they're not in prison, Paul is.
  • 00:19:12.030 --> 00:19:16.240
  • They're citizens that live out there in Rome, live in that
  • 00:19:16.250 --> 00:19:19.190
  • house, this house, the Roman forum, work in that market.
  • 00:19:19.200 --> 00:19:22.120
  • So, now these citizens who can go out are emboldened by Paul
  • 00:19:22.130 --> 00:19:27.100
  • who's stuck in prison, and now they're reaching the kind of
  • 00:19:27.110 --> 00:19:29.250
  • people that Paul couldn't reach.
  • 00:19:29.260 --> 00:19:32.240
  • So, it furthered God's plan for these reluctant saints.
  • 00:19:32.250 --> 00:19:38.080
  • So, think if it, instead of seeing those prison guards as a
  • 00:19:38.090 --> 00:19:43.060
  • nuisance, or those prison chains as a hindrance, Paul saw them
  • 00:19:43.070 --> 00:19:47.150
  • all as a furtherance.
  • 00:19:47.160 --> 00:19:50.240
  • What a perspective.
  • 00:19:50.250 --> 00:19:55.010
  • I'm sure that I'm speaking to people right now who are feeling
  • 00:19:55.020 --> 00:19:58.040
  • chained to something.
  • 00:19:58.050 --> 00:20:01.260
  • Let me give you an example.
  • 00:20:01.270 --> 00:20:04.020
  • You may be a mother, you've given up a career, you went to
  • 00:20:04.030 --> 00:20:08.100
  • college for that career, you quit your career and now you're
  • 00:20:08.110 --> 00:20:11.040
  • devoted to raising children at home.
  • 00:20:11.050 --> 00:20:13.020
  • All of that investment is sort of not being used, and you may
  • 00:20:13.030 --> 00:20:16.250
  • feel like many do, "I'm in prison here."
  • 00:20:16.260 --> 00:20:21.090
  • Let me encourage you with the example of Susanna Wesley.
  • 00:20:21.100 --> 00:20:25.150
  • Susanna Wesley had 19 children.
  • 00:20:25.160 --> 00:20:28.110
  • You think she ever felt confined?
  • 00:20:28.120 --> 00:20:32.100
  • Nineteen kids, last week on the platform, we had a mom who had
  • 00:20:32.110 --> 00:20:35.170
  • eight children, another one who had ten children.
  • 00:20:35.180 --> 00:20:39.240
  • Susanna Wesley had 19 kids.
  • 00:20:39.250 --> 00:20:42.080
  • She was often feeling very constricted, but she had two
  • 00:20:42.090 --> 00:20:47.100
  • sons, John Wesley and Charles Wesley, who shook the British
  • 00:20:47.110 --> 00:20:54.060
  • Isles with the gospel, one as a preacher, one as a hymn writer.
  • 00:20:54.070 --> 00:20:59.040
  • By her imprisonment, she furthered the gospel.
  • 00:20:59.050 --> 00:21:03.220
  • Maybe you feel chained to a job, or a career.
  • 00:21:03.230 --> 00:21:09.070
  • Now, it could be that you're even successful in your job,
  • 00:21:09.080 --> 00:21:11.230
  • successful in your career.
  • 00:21:11.240 --> 00:21:13.050
  • In fact, the more successful you get, you're feeling more
  • 00:21:13.060 --> 00:21:15.180
  • imprisoned.
  • 00:21:15.190 --> 00:21:17.050
  • You're sort of stuck there.
  • 00:21:17.060 --> 00:21:18.150
  • You know, you have to produce more, and more, and more.
  • 00:21:18.160 --> 00:21:20.100
  • And so, you think thoughts like, "Well, I'd love to do more for
  • 00:21:20.110 --> 00:21:23.210
  • Christ, but I'm stuck here, and I'm very successful, and I gotta
  • 00:21:23.220 --> 00:21:28.000
  • keep this going.
  • 00:21:28.010 --> 00:21:29.140
  • I have employees and I have responsibilities."
  • 00:21:29.150 --> 00:21:31.090
  • Let me encourage you with the story of J.C. Penney
  • 00:21:31.100 --> 00:21:34.290
  • who made an enormous amount of money in his
  • 00:21:35.000 --> 00:21:38.010
  • corporation, still does, even though he's long gone.
  • 00:21:38.020 --> 00:21:42.200
  • J.C. Penney, a Christian businessman
  • 00:21:42.210 --> 00:21:45.260
  • who felt sort of imprisoned by
  • 00:21:45.270 --> 00:21:47.220
  • what he did, but decided, well, he could give the money away to
  • 00:21:47.230 --> 00:21:50.180
  • gospel work.
  • 00:21:50.190 --> 00:21:52.100
  • So, get this, 90% of his income he gave away.
  • 00:21:52.110 --> 00:21:58.260
  • He kept and lived on 10%.
  • 00:21:58.270 --> 00:22:02.130
  • Now, most Christians give away 10%, that's their tithe, and
  • 00:22:02.140 --> 00:22:07.090
  • they live on 90%.
  • 00:22:07.100 --> 00:22:09.080
  • He decided I'll reverse that, I can live happily, and I make a
  • 00:22:09.090 --> 00:22:11.110
  • lot of money.
  • 00:22:11.120 --> 00:22:13.010
  • I can live on 10%, I'll give 90% away to those people preaching
  • 00:22:13.020 --> 00:22:16.120
  • the gospel.
  • 00:22:16.130 --> 00:22:19.040
  • He used that confinement, so to speak, to get the gospel out.
  • 00:22:19.050 --> 00:22:23.170
  • Maybe you feel chained to a sickbed, you're not here, but
  • 00:22:23.180 --> 00:22:27.120
  • you're gonna hear this message in a hospital or
  • 00:22:27.130 --> 00:22:29.200
  • a convalescent home.
  • 00:22:29.210 --> 00:22:33.030
  • You feel chained to a bed, imprisoned within
  • 00:22:33.040 --> 00:22:35.100
  • those four walls.
  • 00:22:35.110 --> 00:22:37.210
  • Let me encourage you with the story of Charlotte Eliot, who
  • 00:22:37.220 --> 00:22:40.140
  • was an invalid.
  • 00:22:40.150 --> 00:22:42.280
  • Charlotte Eliot, as an invalid, wrote 150 hymns, some have
  • 00:22:42.290 --> 00:22:46.150
  • become very famous.
  • 00:22:46.160 --> 00:22:48.060
  • The most famous one was sung at all the Billy Graham crusades,
  • 00:22:48.070 --> 00:22:51.130
  • "Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was
  • 00:22:51.140 --> 00:22:54.110
  • shed for me.
  • 00:22:54.120 --> 00:22:55.240
  • And that thou bid'st me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come,
  • 00:22:55.250 --> 00:22:58.160
  • I come."
  • 00:22:58.170 --> 00:23:01.030
  • Written while Charlotte Eliot was an invalid and
  • 00:23:01.040 --> 00:23:03.210
  • couldn't get out.
  • 00:23:03.220 --> 00:23:07.100
  • And perhaps this message is gonna be heard by a prisoner.
  • 00:23:07.110 --> 00:23:10.180
  • I mean, a real prisoner in a prison cell.
  • 00:23:10.190 --> 00:23:14.140
  • We get letters from all over the country where prisoners will
  • 00:23:14.150 --> 00:23:16.280
  • tune into the radio broadcast and they'll write.
  • 00:23:16.290 --> 00:23:19.190
  • Let me encourage you, maybe you came to faith in Christ if
  • 00:23:19.200 --> 00:23:22.170
  • you're a prisoner and you're hearing this message.
  • 00:23:22.180 --> 00:23:24.290
  • You came to faith in Christ while you were in prison.
  • 00:23:25.000 --> 00:23:28.080
  • Understand this, Martin Luther translated the Bible in jail, in
  • 00:23:28.090 --> 00:23:31.220
  • the Wartburg prison in Germany.
  • 00:23:31.230 --> 00:23:36.100
  • Then, there's the story of John Bunyan.
  • 00:23:36.110 --> 00:23:39.050
  • You know, John Bunyan was a preacher in England, and he was
  • 00:23:39.060 --> 00:23:41.070
  • fiery, and he saw great results, and so they arrested him and put
  • 00:23:41.080 --> 00:23:44.070
  • him in the Bedford jail.
  • 00:23:44.080 --> 00:23:46.190
  • He didn't stop preaching there, he shouted so loud that his
  • 00:23:46.200 --> 00:23:48.070
  • voice could be heard over the walls, and people would gather
  • 00:23:48.080 --> 00:23:52.060
  • outside the walls to listen to him.
  • 00:23:52.070 --> 00:23:54.250
  • And so, they thought, "Can't have this," and they put him in
  • 00:23:54.260 --> 00:23:57.000
  • solitary confinement deep below in the dungeon, and so he
  • 00:23:57.010 --> 00:23:59.280
  • decided to write, and he wrote, "Pilgrim's Progress" there.
  • 00:23:59.290 --> 00:24:05.150
  • Millions of people, millions of people have been inspired
  • 00:24:05.160 --> 00:24:10.020
  • by that book.
  • 00:24:10.030 --> 00:24:11.260
  • I like to read it at least once a year.
  • 00:24:11.270 --> 00:24:14.210
  • So, let me conclude with this.
  • 00:24:14.220 --> 00:24:17.180
  • Maybe, just maybe, you could be a happy prisoner.
  • 00:24:17.190 --> 00:24:24.100
  • I can't do anything for your shackles, health, circumstances
  • 00:24:24.110 --> 00:24:28.160
  • may restrict you, they do all of us at some point, but maybe you
  • 00:24:28.170 --> 00:24:32.230
  • could become a happy prisoner, not a sappy prisoner.
  • 00:24:32.240 --> 00:24:37.190
  • "Woe is me, life's a bummer."
  • 00:24:37.200 --> 00:24:40.150
  • Not a scrappy prisoner where you're fighting and lashing out
  • 00:24:40.160 --> 00:24:43.280
  • at people, but a happy prisoner.
  • 00:24:43.290 --> 00:24:49.070
  • It worked for Paul, and I dare say this larger-than-life figure
  • 00:24:49.080 --> 00:24:54.030
  • named Paul the Apostle had it far worse than I've ever had it.
  • 00:24:54.040 --> 00:24:58.020
  • And I've had loss in my life, you have had loss in your life.
  • 00:24:58.030 --> 00:25:01.030
  • I'm feeling restrictions of all kinds as my age increases, and
  • 00:25:01.040 --> 00:25:06.290
  • one day it will increase to the point where I won't be able to
  • 00:25:07.000 --> 00:25:10.160
  • do what I did, but like Paul wrote to Timothy, he said, "I am
  • 00:25:10.170 --> 00:25:15.120
  • in these chains, but the Word of God is not chained."
  • 00:25:15.130 --> 00:25:18.160
  • There's always a way, if, and only if, that's your passion.
  • 00:25:18.170 --> 00:25:27.080
  • announcer: Now, we can't wait to tell you about a resource
  • 00:25:30.230 --> 00:25:32.210
  • that will help you trace the scarlet thread of redemption
  • 00:25:32.220 --> 00:25:35.070
  • through the Bible.
  • 00:25:35.080 --> 00:25:38.250
  • announcer: You've heard the phrase, "The beginning
  • 00:25:42.030 --> 00:25:43.200
  • of the end."
  • 00:25:43.210 --> 00:25:45.010
  • Nowhere is that more fitting than the moment humankind
  • 00:25:45.020 --> 00:25:46.280
  • chose sin.
  • 00:25:46.290 --> 00:25:48.170
  • Adam's disobedience marked the beginning of the end of our
  • 00:25:48.180 --> 00:25:50.170
  • fellowship with God.
  • 00:25:50.180 --> 00:25:52.180
  • Fortunately, God planned for the end from the beginning, and you
  • 00:25:52.190 --> 00:25:55.080
  • can follow along the path of redemption in Skip Heitzig's new
  • 00:25:55.090 --> 00:25:58.120
  • book, "Bloodline, Tracing God's Rescue Mission from Eden to
  • 00:25:58.130 --> 00:26:01.160
  • Eternity."
  • 00:26:01.170 --> 00:26:03.040
  • Get this unique journey through Scripture when you give a gift
  • 00:26:03.050 --> 00:26:05.030
  • today to help expand the Bible teaching outreach
  • 00:26:05.040 --> 00:26:07.160
  • of Skip Heitzig.
  • 00:26:07.170 --> 00:26:08.270
  • Give online or call today.
  • 00:26:08.280 --> 00:26:11.280
  • Skip: I'm thrilled to invite you to take your life's purpose
  • 00:26:14.200 --> 00:26:17.130
  • to a whole new level with a degree in Biblical studies from
  • 00:26:17.140 --> 00:26:21.160
  • Calvary College.
  • 00:26:21.170 --> 00:26:23.200
  • We have retooled our school of ministry into an associate
  • 00:26:23.210 --> 00:26:26.210
  • degree program, and it all happens right here on campus.
  • 00:26:26.220 --> 00:26:31.110
  • Calvary college instructors are theologians who are passionate
  • 00:26:31.120 --> 00:26:35.150
  • about the text of the Bible.
  • 00:26:35.160 --> 00:26:37.210
  • And our curriculum trains students to study the Bible
  • 00:26:37.220 --> 00:26:40.240
  • academically, think about it critically, and serve God
  • 00:26:40.250 --> 00:26:44.130
  • practically.
  • 00:26:44.140 --> 00:26:46.040
  • Classes are evening only, and you have the option to attend
  • 00:26:46.050 --> 00:26:49.220
  • full or part time.
  • 00:26:49.230 --> 00:26:52.210
  • If you've always wanted to learn more about God and his Word in
  • 00:26:52.220 --> 00:26:56.220
  • an academic environment, visit calvaryabq.college.
  • 00:26:56.230 --> 00:27:01.160
  • Applications for the upcoming academic year are due
  • 00:27:01.170 --> 00:27:03.280
  • by August 16.
  • 00:27:03.290 --> 00:27:07.030
  • announcer: Be sure to join us next week as Skip gives us
  • 00:27:09.280 --> 00:27:13.030
  • insight on dealing with problem people, even those
  • 00:27:13.040 --> 00:27:15.260
  • in the church.
  • 00:27:15.270 --> 00:27:19.220
  • "Connect with Skip Heitzig" is a presentation of Connection
  • 00:27:19.230 --> 00:27:22.030
  • Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in
  • 00:27:22.040 --> 00:27:25.220
  • ever-changing times.
  • 00:27:25.230 --> 00:27:28.140