Summary: Philip is sent on a mission - for 1 man.
Philip and the Ethiopian
Jeff Hughes – June 8, 2003
Calvary Chapel Aggieland
a. We all have people in our lives that influence us. Some may be good, and some may be bad. But it’s these experiences, these influences that mold us and shape us into who we are.
b. I look back on my life as a Christian, and besides Jesus Christ, the person who has had the most influence on me spiritually has been my bride, Stacie. Two weeks ago, we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary.
c. As I looked back over those ten years, I see just how far God has brought us. He took us from a life completely focused on ourselves and our own ends, and changed the focus much more towards Him.
d. I want each of you, in the back of your mind during our message today, to think about the people that really encouraged you and pointed you in the right direction in your life.
e. God puts people, places, and events together to serve His purposes, His glory. That is what we are going to look at today in our study. But first, let’s ask the Lord to come and bless our study this morning.
f. Let’s pray.
a. In 1912, 39 year old, Rev. John Harper a Scottish preacher was making a transatlantic trip to preach at the Moody Church in Chicago. As fate would have it the vessel he chose was the Titanic. We all know the story about the disaster but do you know the story of John Harper? Harper like many others ended up in the water, and as people desperately tried to survive in the chilled waters, Harper swam to them.
b. The minister asked people in the water if they knew Jesus. Eventually, Harper approached a passenger clinging to a jagged piece of wood and he pleaded for the man to trust Christ. The minister was completely exhausted at this point. As he succumbed to the conditions and went under the water to his death, Harper said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved."
c. A few years later at a meeting of survivors of the Titanic, the final man who encountered John Harper told the group that he had been saved twice that night. First, he had accepted Christ as his personal Savior because of Harper’s efforts. And, of course, he had been rescued from the deep Atlantic seas. He said “Alone in the night with two miles of water under me I believed, I am John Harpers’ last convert.”
d. John Harper’s goal, his focus was not on himself. Even in his dying moments, all he thought about was the people around him and their spiritual condition.
e. In another account I read about this incident, when the lifeboats were being loaded on the Titanic, John was there directing, saying “Women, children, and the unsaved first.”
f. The man we are going to look at today, Philip was a man very much like John Harper. He was fixated, he was focused on doing God’s will, God’s work, and we will see that in our study today.
g. Our study is found in Acts chapter 8, and we’re going to start in verse 26, and finish up the chapter today. Follow along with me as we read.