Holding The Rope by Miles Seaborn

No. 1581
BBC 12-22-85/pm
'HOLDING THE ROPE"
ACTS 9:23-25
Miles Seaborn

Intro: The Bible offers some tremendously dram-
atic scenes. How about this one:

"Hold on, now, hold tight. Easy. All right, he's
hit the ground, let's let him go."

To help Paul escape his pursuers his new found
friends secretly slipped him by night over the Da-
mascus wall in a basket.

Now a short time before Paul had been a hero of
Jewish leaders as he persecuted the followers of
Jesus Christ. Now that had changed, and here is
Paul fleeing for his life.

Chapter 9 in Acts tells us how God apprehended Saul
as he was going to Damascus to hunt Christians.
Saul was convicted, converted and convinced of the
love of God and he went on to Damascus a changed
man.

On arriving, he immediate proclaimed that Jesus
Christ was the son of God (v. 20). The hearers were
maze and confuse , and when he continued to press
on their hearts that Jesus is the Messiah they
agreed to kill him. And all of a sudden Paul began
to receive the same kind treatment he had been giv-
ing out. He could no longer walk the streets of Da-
mascus. Soldiers were everywhere. And here were
these Jewish people seeking to kill him.

Fortunately, Saul had friends, believers in Christ
who cared for him. By night they led him to the
city wall. Then, hiding Saul in a large basket,
they lowered him through an opening in the wall.
Believers slowly played out the rope, holding the
basket until they heard it touch the ground, and
they heard Saul crawl out and move away in the

Ropes/2

move away in the darkness. Then, they pulled up the
basket and went about their business.

I. WHO HELD THE ROPE?

No one knows. Not any more is said about them
or why they were willing to risk their lives for
someone they may have just barely known. But though
their names remain unknown in history, God knows
them, and that's enough. Those believers were truly
servants, for they served without recognition.

1. People often serve

Unfortunately, there are people who will
serve as long as they get publicity. They will do-
nate food or clothing to the poor if their name is
mentioned somewhere or they receive some ego-boost-
ing notoriety. They might give money to build
buildings if there is a plaque on the wall or a
sign over the door that carries their names.

Jesus said, however, "Beware of practicing you
righteousness before men to be noticed by them.
Otherwise, you have no reward of your Father which
is in heaven." (Matt. 6:1}-

In another place he even suggested secrecy to the
extent that one's left hand doesn't know what the
right hand is doing.

Now these rope holders in our scripture tonight
were not concerned about getting credit. They did
the job required of them and then disappeared.

lll. I want you to think tonight as we near
the end of 1985, of Christians you know who
serve in this way, e these people did.
The scores of janitors, mechanics, doc ...


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