Summary: Fourth in a series about Fishing for Men. It talks about the case study of Philip and the Ethopian Eunuch.
Sermon for 4/26/98
** My conversion and baptism. Emphasis that I know a lot.
A. Most people in USA have some knowledge about Scripture.
B. Almost everyone owns a Bible. In my high school we could take as an elective, Biblical literature.
C. I meet people every once in a while who have not been to church in 20 years but can talk the talk. “What’s the big deal?” A growing population that knows much but is not obedient. A growing population that knows very little.
D. Fisher of men. Fish that have nibbled at the bait but were not hungry at the time.
E. Fish that have nibbled at the bait but were never caught.
F. Fish that never understood.
G. Fish that were repelled by the bait.
H. A case study is always helpful. Acts contains many case studies of New Testament Fishing for Men.
I. No two stories are the same when telling fishing tales. No two conversions are exactly the same. However, we can look for principles and things that do not change.
Thesis: Philip comes in contact with a person who has smelled the bait but has never been hooked. Let’s examine how Philip fishes?
I. Philip goes to the fishing hole. Vs. 26-29
A. An angel will not appear to us. If we wait for this, we will never fish.
B. Maybe angel told Philip not outloud but in his spirit. This will happen to us every once in a while if we are Christian. The Holy Spirit will speak to us. We need to be lead by the Spirit.
C. The best time and place to fish is in ordinary life. God will guide us even during our ordinary lives.
D. There was divine preparation for this event.
E. There was human initiative for this to happen. Philip had to obey.
F. The best context for evangelism to happen is all during our day. In ordinary life.
G. Talk about the Lord and look for openness. Talk about church, etc.
H. Surprise opportunities. My friend Jimmy. Are we ready? 1 Peter 3:15- Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.
I. Sometimes we are asleep at fishing.
J. Scripture background.
1. Ethiopian was in charge of treasury of a flourishing country.
2. He was a God-fearing man. WE come in contact with good people everyday. Probably a convert to Judaism
3. He was a black man.
4. Purchased copy of Isaiah after worshipping in Jerusalem. He was reading out loud.
5. Several questions here.
a. Why would a person travel such a long way to worship (about three months journey) when they know that they will not be allowed to go into the temple?
1) A eunuch was not allowed into the temple on the instructions of Deuteronomy 23:1.
2) Maybe to purchase a scroll of Isaiah. However, why to Jerusalem?
b. Why would anyone spend a common year’s wages to buy the scroll of Isaiah? Why was he reading from Isaiah 53?
II. Philip throws out the bait. Vs. 30-33
A. What an opportunity. Philip knew exactly what kind of bait to use. Philip just threw out the hook.
B. Philip had a great opportunity. However, he still had to figure out how to approach this man.
C. Principle of evangelism- Take person from where he/she is and lead them to Christ.
D. One of the first things to do is to find out where this person is on the road to salvation. Where was the eunuch?
1. Eunuch’s were rejected, cast out, scorned, and mocked. However, they were usually in high level position (in charge of harems) but social outcasts.
2. He could identify with Isaiah 53.
3. This is probably why he bought this scroll.
E. The eunuch was willing to learn. Humble. A lot of people are not quite so easy to approach.
F. This eunuch knew the Old Testament Scriptures. Some people have no knowledge of any Scripture. Skeptics always amaze me. CS Lewis.
G. Luke 24:44-49- Then He said to them, These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me. And he opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. This is what we need to do, make the Scriptures plain to them.
H. Romans 10:14- How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
I. Isaiah 53.
1. He was led as a sheep to the slaughter- He did not fight it. He was slaughtered for us as a Passover Lamb.