The Song of Two Jail Birds
Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the
prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25). It was a prayer and praise
service going on in a Roman prison! The other prisoners were attentively
listening to every word.
The effect of true Christianity is still the same since the
first century A.D. These men “have turned the world upside down.” They were
guilty of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 16:16-23). Those were the
charges against them.
The world is still upside down. It is self-centered, and it
eyes the God-centered person as eccentric. “These men have turned the world
upside down are come here.” That is how the riot got started.
“The world is down-side up,” said G. C. Morgan, “and
therefore, the men who are turning it right side up; and consequently, the men
who are living in the world will think they are turning it upside down.”
That is always the case when the true gospel of Jesus
Christ clashes with the cultures of the world.
Paul and Silas had no idea an earthquake was coming that
night. They weren’t singing because they were going to be set free. They were
singing because prison didn’t really matter. They were prisoners of Jesus
Christ, and that was all that mattered. Paul was in and out of prison on many
occasions for sharing Christ.
They were praying and singing hymns. The opportunity would
come in time for the preaching (v.32). Preaching came after the earthquake.
God opened the door because He had His chosen people ready to serve Him.
They were singing from their hearts. The two of them were
gathered in the name of Jesus, and He was there in their presence. They were
worshipping God! The most significant thing for Paul and Silas was the presence
of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “Lo, I am with you always, even to the
end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). That was true then, and it is still true today.
Are you singing in your prison cell? Are you worshipping
Jesus right where He has placed you today? “Men who sing in prison are men who
cannot be imprisoned.” “You may put these men within your stone walls, you may
make their feet fast in the wood of your brutal stocks, but they are not there.
They are sitting with Christ in the heavenly places,” observed Campbell Morgan.
“As to bodily presence, they are there in the prison, but as to spiritual
essence, they are with God.”
People who sing in their prison have learned the secret,
the method by which spiritual growth and service takes place.
You sing in your prison, and other prisoners will listen to
you. The earthquake does not always come, but God does. Your prison doors may
not fly open, but the intimate, abiding presence of God in Jesus Christ will set
you free. Many thousands of servants of Jesus Christ have died in literal
prisons, but they sang, and they continue to sing.
What are your circumstances? Are you singing? God will
bless your “prison” experience if you will sing praises unto Him, and the
“prisoners” will listen and be saved.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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