Paul the Apostle - and Armed Security

From time to time I am asked, “Jimmy, where is your faith? Why can’t you just trust God to protect you – and teach the churches to do likewise?”

One lady even told me that if a shooter enters the sanctuary, we should just, “…rebuke him in the name of Jesus, and hold him down until the police arrive” (I didn’t make this up – someone actually told us this). 

But not all exorcisms are successful: The scripture tells us of a time when even the disciples of Jesus were unable to cast out a demon (Matthew 17).

The truth is, we must not allow our religion to “dumb us down.”

I am certainly not saying that having armed security will always stop a killer, but it is helpful to have a good man with a gun if a bad man with a gun shows up.

Paul the Apostle understood this. Paul didn’t always utilize the “faith-only” approach when it came to his personal protection. Sometimes, he took advantage of... “Armed security.”

Read it for yourself….

In Acts 23 a group of about 40 men vowed to not eat until they had killed Paul. They were so enraged at his teaching about Jesus that they determined to kill him. They convinced their religious leaders to summon Paul to their court under the pretense of asking him more questions.

But their aim was to kill him. Paul’s nephew learned about the plot and rushed off to tell him. Paul’s response is worth noting: he did NOT tell his nephew, “Have no fear my son, the Lord will protect me.” Instead, Paul used common sense. He summoned a nearby police officer and told him to escort his nephew to the commander.

The nephew met with the commander and exposed the plot. The response is, to say the least, very interesting. Read it for yourself: 

“Then the commander called two of his officers and ordered, 'Get 200 soldiers ready to leave for Caesarea at nine o’clock tonight. Also take 200 spearmen and 70 mounted troops. Provide horses for Paul to ride, and get him safely to Governor Felix.'”

Think about that for a moment. 470 ARMED GUARDS WERE ASSIGNED TO PAUL! These men had...SWORDS...SPEARS...

The religious mentality often tells us, “We should just trust the Lord for protection.” But the SPIRITUAL mind is different. It realizes that “faith without works is…DEAD.” Paul could have told his nephew, “Don’t panic. The Lord will get us to Rome. He promised us!”

Rome was Paul’s destination. God had told him he would testify before the authorities in Rome. And here we see God using “Armed Security” to fulfill His purpose for Paul. Paul will eventually get to Rome - and the Gospel will spread throughout the Roman Empire - and with the assistance of Armed Security!

God could have protected Paul with Angels – or a dozen other ways – but He chose to use a large group of ARMED Roman Centurions to provide cover for His Servant.

Antonio Milow is a Denver, Colorado Police Officer. A couple of years back, on a Sunday morning - after working the midnight shift - he came home and asked his son what he would like to do today.

“Take me to church dad."

Antonio got dressed, secured his gun on his person, and off to church he went…

When the service ended, the minister told his small congregation (about 40) that he felt led to pray for some of them. He summoned Antonio to the altar. “Antonio," the minister said, "God told me you’re going to do something you’ve never had to do before. And you’ll be brave and you’ll see it through – and you’ll be ok.”

A few minutes later, a man crashes his car in the church parking lot. Then, to everyone’s astonishment, he exits his car and starts shooting, killing Antonio’s aunt.

Antonio rushes outside and the gunfight is on. The battle rages; Antonio shoots the man several times, but he doesn’t go down. Antonio rushes back inside and warns the congregation to stay put. Meanwhile, the gunman enters the church and Antonio engages him again. 

Antonio shoots the killer just inside the door, ending the killer’s life.

Antonio saved several lives that day. 

Indeed, sometimes God uses “Armed” security…

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