You and Your Household will be Saved
This story today is from the second mission journey by Paul and silas. For the second journey, Barnabas took Mark with him while Paul took Silas…2 groups are born for the second mission journey.
In the city of Philippi another incident happened. Paul helped demon possessed woman releasing the evil spirit out of her. She was a fortune teller helped her master. Then her master got mad because lost his way of obtaining money from her.
19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities….
the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
Poor thing, they helped a possessed woman but were imprisoned for that. But look at here these guys are not grieving or desperate.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
See? They were singing hymns to the Lord. It must be so beautiful that other prisoners listening to them. Which Hymns are they singing I wonder?
I remember about two young missionary women (both mid twenties) captured by Taliban in 2001. They were imprisoned for 100 days in a dirty clammy jail in Afghanistan. During these 100 days what they did was amazing to me. They said they always prayed together, always sang praises together, and talked a lot, and laughed a lot.
That is very similar to what we see in the prison where Paul and Silas chained up. Always joyful in any circumstances, always singing praises, and continually praying. This is what Christians should act. I find it rather difficult some time myself, though.
“16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus..” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Back to Paul and Silas in a dark clammy jail.
26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
Earthquakes in Japan are big problem as you know. Here in the Middle Eastern countries also had lots of bad earthquakes in the history.
When the violent earthquake hit, all the prison doors flew opened, and chains came loose., but no one escaped.
27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
Jailer came thought all were gone and tried to kill himself. During this time if prisoners escaped, the jailer was responsible and executed. It was their natural reaction of trying to kill himself. Paul stopped him from killing. Jailer has changed from this point.
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
Hear what he said, “Sirs (or Masters or Lords), what can I do to be saved?” He called Paul and Silas “lords”, asked them how to be saved. He has been seeking for salvation as you see here.
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.
Jailer and his whole family had a chance to hear the gospel… It must be a hard lesson for the jailer. But Lord uses it to save his people.
33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.
Wow! his whole household got saved and baptized at the same time. Household means wife, children, servants, and maybe father, mother uncle aunt and all other relatives.
34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.
All his family members were saved and filled with joy. This is so beautiful!! I wish this happens all the time. This is an amazing story. Through desperation, attempted to kill himself, into joy of salvation with his whole family. This brings tear to my eye.
God changes our situations too. He changes sorrow to joy, desperate to hope, death to life, darkness to light. He is going to change your life now. You just rely on Him. Ask Him to work on you. Obey Him and do what He asks you. Or just trust in Him. Believe in Him. You will experience a big change, then. God always wants to give you the best, not the worst. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, you will be saved.”
I believe the most difficult and important thing is salvation of your family members. Salvation of your household is extremely important but still very difficult. We often pray for salvation of our friends and other people…of course that is great. But sometimes we tend to forget, or if not, tend to give up our family members to be saved. If your own family is not saved…this is not good, and we need to work on.
It was not easy in my family.
When I grew up no one in my family except my mother was Christian. For twenty some years my mother was praying by herself for the salvation of her own family.
I grew up seeing her praying before every meal before bed time…She was always quietly praying by herself. My sister at her late teens (about 18 y-o) believed in Jesus, and about 10 years later my father accepted Jesus, and at last I got saved… I was in my 30s. while my father was 60s. So, my mother had been praying for 30 to 40 years for her (my) family’s salvation.
Since I became Christian together with my wife Etsuko, we’ve been praying everyday for salvation of other family members; our children, Etsuko’s family in Japan. It is not easily heard… took many years… after praying for 10 years, wife of Etsuko’s brother got saved. A few years later Etsuko’s own brother received Christ…. And then after another 10 years past, Etsuko’s father believed in Jesus..it was 2 years ago this month. Some of you remember this. He went to heaven a few weeks after the baptism. Now Etsuko’s mother is the next target….we have been working on, I mean praying for her.
Our two daughters; Mari Anna accepted the Lord when she was 14…rather early.
Our second daughter Erika was baptized just a few months ago in California. It was a total surprise for us. Now every Sunday she goes to the church and serving in the church in Calif.
It took 20 some years for my entire household to be saved and baptized. We did not force them, but just prayed everyday for them. We tried our best for them. It was not our work but Lord’s. Lord Jesus worked on them.
As parents we also cared for them; find what they needed the most. But it does not mean we have been giving children all they wanted. As a matter of fact we did not give many toys. We rather have them wait till Christmas, birthday, Easter or other holidays….discerning what God wants for them.
Sometimes they envied other kids having many different toys to play with. But our children learn to wait…their patience was trained. They say now they wanted like other kids, but had to wait, and now they say it was better for them to learn patience.
Well, to tell the truth, we did not have much money to satisfy our children….But Lord used our finance also to train them.
Now after twenty some years my family and Etuko’s family in Japan are saved. Paul’s word “Believe in the Lord Jesus, so that you and your house hold will be saved” this is a blessing word for me and for everyone. You have hope in the future. Your family members will be some day saved. You just believe in Him and keep praying for them.
We are now praying for our relatives, my uncle, aunt, cousins and their children to be saved. It may take another 10 or 20 years… I may not live that long, but our prayer lives and lasts forever… And every prayer is heard by our Lord Jesus… For salvation we believe prayer is the most important factor.
Let us pray.