Acts 16:25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;
In the midst of very tough circumstances including physical pain from a beating with rods Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God. The other prisoners were listening to them. The disciples were not behaving as expected and they were a witness for the power of Jesus. This was characteristic of the early church.
Rodney Stark in “The Rise of Christianity” gives 5 compelling reasons for Christianity increasing to 56.5% of world population by 350 AD in a hostile and non-receptive environment. Including: “The pagans were afraid and deserted their sick and discarded them to die unburied during plagues. The Christians fearless of death cared for their sick and buried their dead and the pagans dead. This care resulted in wide differences in deaths in favor of Christians.” I wonder do disciples today live self-centered or Jesus-centered?
Vv.26-29 records a great earthquake and miraculously the prison doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. The jailer woke up and saw the prison doors open and drew his sword and was about to kill himself. He knew that if his prisoners escaped he would pay with his life. But a second miracle occurred because the prisoner’s did not escape and Paul said with a loud voice “we are all here!” don’t harm yourself.
The jailer responded in v.30 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” All disciples must be ready to answer this question as Peter said “sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts a, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;” a–set apart Jesus Christ as Lord and Master in your life! [1 Peter 3:15]
Be prepared to proclaim the gospel of Jesus when the opportunity is presented no matter the circumstances.
Henry Luke 1/12/2018
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