Summary: It tells us that the Lord took Philip away suddenly, and one day, we who love and belong to the Lord are going to be taken away suddenly. We are going to be caught up, raptured literally into the air and into His presence
How Should We Live Lord Before The Rapture
Look at verse 39 and notice in particular the words "the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip." Was this a literal, physical transportation? Was Philip caught away as Enoch was? Look up Genesis 5:22-24; and as Elijah was (2 Kings 2:11)? I believe this was the case. This statement that "the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip" is very suggestive.
It tells us that the Lord took Philip away suddenly, and one day, we who love and belong to the Lord are going to be taken away suddenly. We are going to be caught up, raptured literally into the air and into His presence (I Thess. 4:16-17). It would, however, be quite wrong to teach the doctrine of the
Second Coming and the rapture of the saints from Acts 8:39, for it has no reference to it at all!
However Acts 8:39, within the context of verses 26-40, present us with a picture of how a Christian should be living and what he should be doing, if he is waiting and watching for the Lord’s return.
How should we be living and what should we be doing if we believe that Jesus will come at any moment and take us to be with Himself?
I. We SHOULD BE LISTENING FOR THE SPIRIT
Philip was listening for and to the Spirit of God. He had an ear for the Spirit (29). God does not shout His orders.
Compare Acts 8, verses 26 and 29 – “The angel said…” “The Spirit told…” and Philip heard.
Our God is not silent! By His Spirit He speaks to you and me. In an hour of many voices, we need to be listening for and to Him, vitally interested in what He has to say.
Are you tuned in to what God has to say?
What are you listening for? What is it that causes you to stop and take notice? We all have that trigger in our brain that kicks in when certain voices are heard, when certain things are said.
Notice the premium God puts on hearing (Proverbs 28:9).
A. Must hear the Spirit
He was open to the Spirit. Because he was open, God was able to speak to him, and Philip heard.
B. Must heed the Spirit
Philip was also obedient. God spoke to him and told him to leave that great revival meeting and go down to a virtually uninhabited dusty desert road. Philip could have said, "Wait a minute, Lord, things are going well here. Revival has broken out, the Spirit is moving, people are rejoicing. I’m having the time of my life. I can’t go just yet."
But Philip didn’t say that. Philip obeyed. He was both open and obedient to the word of the Lord and to the leading of the Spirit. If we would keep the chariots of opportunity from passing us by, we must be in tune with the Spirit’s leadership and responsive to it.
I Peter 1:2 "Elect ........unto obedience." The primary attribute God wants to develop in us as Christians is obedience. Now you cannot obey what you cannot or do not hear.
Psalms 32:8, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shall go: I will guide thee with mine eye." Let me explain what is meant by instruction or guidance by the eye. When I was young, my mother used this method, and it usually worked for her. If we went visiting at someone’s house, for example, and I began to act up in front of others in a boisterous way, my Mother would give me one of those looks that only Mothers have been able to master. It was one of those silent looks that spoke without words. When this happened, I knew I’d better straighten up, or I wouldn’t be able to sit down when we got home. She was instructing me with the eye.
I believe this is what God desires for you and I. He wants to bring us to the place where he can guide us just like that. God wants to gently nudge us. God wants to guide us and instruct us, but we need to position ourselves so He can. Just a gentle nudge by His Spirit in our hearts. It’s between us and God. It’s direct to us and no one else. It’s private and personal to us.
II. We SHOULD BE LOVING SINNERS
We should be “soul-conscious.” Notice the word “behold” in verse 27. He was on the look out for souls!
Philip loved souls. You say, “How do you know that?” Because Philip left a mighty revival in Samaria to share the gospel with one person. Furthermore, that one person was of a different race.