Biblical Horror Story 2: Herod is Disgusting – All Glory to God

Categories: Sermons


What do you think of when you hear the word ‘horror?’ What if I said you ought to think of your Bible?

Sure the Bible has some beautiful stories, but it also contains darker stories that trigger fear, shock, & disgust. Let’s be brave and search out these stories together.

Have you heard the one about the “king” who took something that did not belong to you and died in the grossest of ways? It is in your bible! Today’s biblical horror story is about “king” Herod in Acts 12.

We must learn to give all glory to God.

Biblical Horror Story 2: Herod is Disgusting – All Glory to God from Redemption Church on Vimeo.

Biblical Horror Story 2 – Herod is Disgusting

Sermon notes by Pastor Chris Fluitt

Redemption Church of Plano Tx


Welcome to Redemption Church. We are a mighty Church in Plano Tx. We are a group of people being called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light. We welcome all of our online attendees. We want you to know that God loves you and has a plan for you. Please leave us a comment and let us know about you. We love it when our online people don’t just lurk in anonymity but let us know they are there.

Speaking of anonymity… Last week we asked you “what was the last scary movie you watched?” We love to see our anonymous text line in use. 214 856 0550

Anonymous text line

anonymous question text

Here were some of your answers…

  • It
  • Get out
  • Finding Dory
  • Paranormal Activity
  • Final Destination
  • Friday the 13th
  • Tucker & Dale vs Evil
  • Amityville Horror

This week I want you to get out your phone and share something you experienced that was disgusting.

214 856 0550

Biblical Horror Story

Horrific Bible Stories Scary

Last week we told you about Jephthah. It was a dark story where a father made a vow to kill his daughter for God.

All Scripture is God breathed and useful, but we have to figure out how to use it. Some stories are not shining the light of truth. Some stories in your Bible are actually revealing what life is like in darkness.

Have you heard the story about a King who took something that didn’t belong to him and died in a very gross way? Do you know that one?  I bet your Sunday school teacher never touched this one!

Acts 12:1 (NIV2011) It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. 

This guy named Herod was referred to as a king… but really he was just a figurehead installed by the real governmental power over Israel at the time – Rome.

Herod’s father, Herod the great, was the guy that tried to kill baby Jesus after the magi visited him. He sent soldiers around killing new born boys.  This Herod in Acts 12 is Herod Antipas and he is the one who killed John the Baptist. He is the one that Jesus stood before for a portion of His trial. Herod wanted Jesus perform miracles for him..

Fast forward many years and now Herod is persecuting the church of Jesus Christ. He is arresting those who belonged to the church.

Acts 12:2 (NIV2011) He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. 

this Herod beheaded John the Baptist. Now he has killed James the brother of John. Who are James & John? They are 2 of Jesus’ disciples. James is the first disciple/apostle murdered.

Acts 12:3 (NIV2011) When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also.

He kills James and when he sees that people approved of it… People cheered the killing of James. People applauded this evil. And Herod thought… “well if they like me killing James, what do you think they will do when I kill Peter!?”

The Church of Jesus prays and God moves! An Angel breaks Peter out of Jail. Such a cool story but we don’t have time to read it today.

Herod loved praise

praise glory god

What I want you to see is that Herod loves the approval of people. He loves clapping and cheering. This is why he wanted to kill Peter – so that hateful people would give him praise.

Acts 12:18 (NIV2011) In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter. 

I wish I had time to preach to you about what your enemy experiences the morning after your deliverance.

Acts 12:19 (NIV2011) After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed. Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there. 

He blamed the guards for Peter’s disappearance, but it was the Lord! Herod was so angry at the guards he had them killed. They had ruined Herod’s party plans. He was going to kill Peter and then all the hateful people were going to shower him with approval.

Acts 12:20 (NIV2011) He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined together and sought an audience with him. After securing the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king’s country for their food supply. 

These people hated Herod. He was not a real king, and was certainly not their king, but they needed to get along with him because he held political power. So Tyre & Sidon put  aside their differences and met with “king” Herod.

Acts 12:21 (NIV2011) On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 

Acts 12:22 (NIV2011) They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” 

Acts 12:23 (NIV2011) Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. 

Turn to your neighbor and say “Ewww.”

Now show of hands if you knew about this story? Now show of hands if you have ever heard it preached?

Why is this story in your Bible?

Bible story gross

You aren’t wrong to ask “Why is this story in my Bible?” God, what gives with Herod and the worms? What are we supposed to do with this story? All scripture is God breathed and useful… so how are we to use this story?

This is a horrific scene. Maggots and worms eating flesh are some of the grossest things I can imagine. I suggest that what happened to Herod is grosser than anything you have ever seen.

Acts 12:23 (NIV2011) Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. 

It says Immediately. He didn’t die and then in a few days was eaten by maggots. It happened immediately.

Also might I add that this was done by an angel of the Lord.  Did you know that God has a maggot angel? This was some supernatural decomposition. It says he was eaten by worms and died… the normal order is to die and then be eaten by worms.

Herod was completely devoured by worms in an instant.

Someone tell me why this happened to Herod?

The scripture says “because Herod did not give praise to God.”

Don’t receive God’s Praise

god's praise glory

Years earlier he beheaded for killing John the Baptist. He was not struck down.

A few days earlier he was receiving approval for killing James. He was not struck down.

He arrested and was attempting to kill Peter. He was not struck down.

But in Acts 22:21 & 22 Herod is sitting on a kingly throne and wearing royal garments, and as he spoke the people shouted “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.”

Herod didn’t stop them. Herod didn’t say “I’m not God. I am not the creator of the world. Stop! I am not the God who delivered Israel from Egypt. I am only a man.”

Herod received God’s praise and he immediately died. Herod took something that wasn’t his to take. The Glory belongs to God alone!  Only the Lord deserves praise.


Look how Barnabas & Paul handled a similar situation 2 chapters later.

Acts 14:11 (NIV2011) When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 

Acts 14:14 (NIV2011) But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 

Acts 14:15 (NIV2011) “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. 

When the people of Lystra worshipped Barnabas & Paul, they tore their clothes and rushed into the crowd  saying we are only human. They refused to take God’s praise.  (4 verses later they stone Paul and throw his body outside the city, but God raises him from the dead and he walks back into the city of Lystra.)

Don’t receive God’s Praise

Give Praise to God

king herod glory god

God deserves all praise. Everything was made by Him! He has all power. He is the giver of life. He is our only hope in this world. Give God praise! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

It’s ok to receive a compliment, but make sure God receives all the glory. We have that wonderful acronym here at Redemption, coined by Marshal Blessing, A.G.2.G.  It means All Glory To God.

I have learned to take a compliment, receive the encouragement, thank the person for giving it, and then let go of the compliment by sending it up as a praise to God. All Glory To God.

All Glory to God!

1 Corinthians 1:28 (NIV2011) God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 

1 Corinthians 1:29 (NIV2011) so that no one may boast before him. 

All Glory to God!

Isaiah 42:8 (NIV2011) “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. 

All Glory to God!

Isaiah 43:11 (NIV2011) I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. 

All Glory to God!

Romans 3:10 (NIV2011) As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 

Romans 3:23 (NIV2011) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 

Romans 3:24 (NIV2011) and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 

All Glory to God!

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV2011) God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 

All Glory to God!

Matthew 28:18 (NIV2011) Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 

All Glory to God!

Acts 4:12 (NIV2011) Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” 

All Glory to God!

Revelation 19:11 (NIV2011) I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.  

Revelation 19:12 (NIV2011) His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 

Revelation 19:13 (NIV2011) He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 

Revelation 19:16 (NIV2011) On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords. 

All Glory to God!

Revelation 22:13 (NIV2011) I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 

Give Praise to God

Herod had the political title of king, but there is only one true King!

Here is why you want to make sure that you don’t receive God’s praise and that you always Give God His praise.

You can’t handle God’s responsibility

You do not want to stand in the place of God. You couldn’t handle it.

Barnabas & Paul were quick to let the city of Lystra know that they were just sharing the goodnews, we are just men, we are not God.

But Herod did not give glory to God. He received the cries of the crowd that he was not a mere man but God.  The next thing you see is him decompose right in front of your eyes.

If you act like you are God, then God may allow you to bear the responsibility of God, and let me tell you, none of us can handle that responsibility.

The wise old preacher once said “There are only 2 things to remember in life… #1 there is a God and #2… You aren’t Him!”

  • Don’t make your decisions like you are God.
  • Don’t judge people like you are God.
  • Don’t take revenge like you are God.


Psalm 100:3 (NIV2011) Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 


  • Worship like HE IS GOD and worthy of your best.
  • Give to others like HE IS GOD and all you have comes from Him.
  • Forgive others like HE IS GOD and has forgiven you.


Why is this story in your Bible?

This story is so gross. It is disgusting. It absolutely is, and that is why it is in the Bible.


Disgust is a powerful thing. Disgust often brings change.

I think you will agree that there is something about us humans… We usually don’t change until we are disgusted.


Being disgusted with your appearance as you look at yourself in the mirror… it causes you to say I have got to go on a diet and go back to the gym.

Being disgusted with your debt and how you are always in need… it will cause you to say I have to change something here.

Until you are disgusted with your bad habits, addictions, laziness, bad attitude… you probably won’t change.

It was disgust in his situation that caused the prodigal to return to his father.


Your sin ought to disgust you.

disgusting sin

If you keep going through the revolving door of repentance & sin, repentance & sin, repentance & sin… might I suggest that you haven’t become disgusted with your sin.

God finds it disgusting for you to have come to Church today, to worship God in his presence, but to hold bitter unforgiveness in your heart towards someone.

God finds it disgusting that you would receive His blessings but not freely give His blessings to the other people that He loves.

If God revealed to you right now that something you are doing is disgusting… would you change?

If God revealed to you that something you are supposed to be doing but are somehow not doing is disgusting… would you change?

Perhaps you feel like you don’t have any sin problems… Perhaps you feel righteous. If God revealed to you that self-righteousness is disgusting to Him… would you come to this altar and change?

Isaiah 64:6 (NIV2011) All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags…

The word there for filthy rags is much more gross than a dirty rag… let’s just leave it at that…

Anything less than the righteousness of Jesus Christ is disgusting.

Herod is disgusting… but so am I.

I have acted like I am the lord of my life… That is disgusting.

Come give God praise today. Come give Him all the Glory today.

Redemption Church is a nondenominational Church in Plano Texas. Our mission is to declare the good news and see others become followers of Jesus Christ. Our vision is to be a 1st Century Church connecting to a 21st Century world. To bring the community, the power, passion & dedication of that 1st century church to the fast paced, technologically advanced, and complex world of the 21st century.

We currently meet on Sunday afternoons at 3pm at the Corner of Parker Rd & Alma in Plano Tx. We would love to greet you in person.

Our lead pastor is Chris Fluitt.

Author: Pastor Chris Fluitt

Chris Fluitt serves as Lead Pastor at Redemption Church. He is husband to Sarah, and Daddy to Will, Hudson & Joshua. Worshipper, Husband, Father, Musician, Songwriter, Blogger, Nerd, Social Media Buff, Sportaholic Connect on Google+