What Happened at the Jail Last Night? sermon outline


The is a free sermon by Eddie Lawrence built around the conversion of the Philippian jailor’s encounter with Paul and Silas and yes, Jesus. Enjoy this as well as our other sermon outlines here at Sermon Seedbed.

Did You Hear About What Happened at the Jail Last Night?

Text: Acts 16:25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” 29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household. (NKJV)

This dramatic event has several elements that make up its fascinating story.

1. Maintain a Faith Filled Attitude Under Pressure
(Paul and Silas were praying and singing instead of griping and complaining)

2. Expect God to Shake Things Up When Crunch Time is On
(Many, many times in the Bible, we see God’s miracles related to timing. There are a lot of earthquakes, but this one happened at just the right time. Some might think this was a miraculous intervention but just a natural occurence. Hmmmm? Why did the shackles release them but the place did not fall in on them and kill them. Doors opening and chains loosening sounds like some Angels were pretty busy.)

3. Look for Redemptive Opportunities in the Midst of the Shaking
(Often we miss the greatest opportunities by being distracted. Paul seized the opportunity to step in and minister to the jailor who assumed everyone had escaped which would have meant his life. I personally believe Paul had a word of knowledge about what the jailor was about to do because there was no light in the place. I think this added to the Jailor’s awareness that the God to whom Paul and Silas had been singing, was doing something extraoridinary.)

4. Learn to Recieve Good from those Who Once Hurt You
(What a beautiful site to see the jailor washing their stripes. No bitterness in either heart. Wow!)

5. Watch the Ripple Effects of Obedience
(Paul and Silas were able to witness a whole family’s conversion because they kept their faith under pressure.)

Conclusion–What jail or you in this morning? In what way is pressure being placed upon you? How have you been handling it? What changes do you need to make?

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  1. kathleen elliott says:

    I wont to be more in Christ jesus,seam like I am missing something.I pray,fast,read my bible every day.

  2. Annie Ivory says:

    Very powerful message. We must always remember that the prisons that bind us does not necessary have to be confinement of a jail.We can be chained to outside and inside forces.Drugs, alcohol,sexetc.We can also be prisons to fear, depression and insecurity. On God can break the chains that bind us through a belief in his son Jesus Christ.

  3. This is powerful..I preached on exactly the same points previously.

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