Summary: This sermon determines to move people towards evangelism in a purposeful way.
People Need the Lord!
May 19, 2002
[Preparation: Put a board of some type in front of the sanctuary with a sign on the top that says, "People Need the Lord" and put three post-it notes in each bulletin.
A. [Unbelievably Good Gospel, Citation: Ken Taylor, New Orleans, Louisiana]
A friend of mine serves as a missionary in a restricted access country.
For many years the government of this country has taught the people that there is no God.
My friend had the opportunity to interact on a regular basis with a nonbeliever of that country who is a highly educated professional.
After developing a friendship with the professional, my friend had the opportunity to share the gospel story with him.
My friend was taken aback by the man’s response: "What you have told me cannot be true. If it were true, it is such good news that someone would have told this to me before."
B. Yes, we do have unbelievably good news to share with the world!
C. Today we come to the last story in Acts 8 where Philip shares this unbelievable good news with a foreign traveler and the man gets saved!
I. Philip was willing.
Acts 8:26-29, Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it."
A. An angel spoke to Philip.
1. The angel didn’t tell Philip anything except where to go.
2. The angel just told Philip to start walking south.
3. The angel just told Philip to take the desert road south out of town that went from Jerusalem to Gaza.
4. The angel didn’t tell Philip why, he just told him where to go.
B. So he started out.
1. Philip did what the angel told him to do.
2. Philip didn’t know why he was going other than God had sent an angel to tell him to go.
3. Evidently, the fact that God wanted him to go was enough.
4. He didn’t need to know why he was going or what he was supposed to do.
5. He was willing to do what God wanted him to do-no matter what it was.
6. He was willing to do what God wanted him to do-even though he had no idea what it was.
7. He was willing to do what God wanted him to do-although he could not prepare for it.
8. Philip was simply told to start walking south on a certain road and he willingly went.
C. On the road, Philip encountered a traveler.
1. Philip encountered a man from Ethiopia.
a. The Ethiopian had been to Jerusalem to worship and was now headed back to Ethiopia.
b. Philip was walking down the road south from Jerusalem and the Ethiopian was headed south as well, headed for home.
2. The man was an important dignitary.
a. He was a governmentally distinguished official from Ethiopia.
b. He was in charge of the queen’s treasury.
c. He was the Treasurer for the Queen of Ethiopia.
d. And this man was a personal confidante of the queen.
e. He attended to her in private.
f. He had access to Queen Candice (and possibly other royal women) in private and intimate times and had therefore been castrated in order to insure that there would be no question of impropriety when he was in private with the queen.
g. That is what is meant by the term "eunuch."
3. The man was a religious man, but he wasn’t saved.
a. We know he believed in God for two reasons: 1) He traveled from Ethiopia to Jerusalem to go to the temple to worship, and 2) He was reading Scripture as he was riding in the chariot.
b. Philip could hear the Ethiopian reading from the OT book of Isaiah.
c. He was religious; he believed in God, but he was not saved.
d. It is possible to go to church and still not be saved.
e. It is possible to believe in God and still not be saved.
f. It is possible to read the Bible and still not be saved.
D. Then the Spirit of God spoke to Philip.
1. Philip, up till this point did not know what God was asking him to do.
2. Up till this point Philip didn’t know why God had sent the angel to tell him to go walk down this road.