Summary: Salvation of the lost requires the help of the Holy Spirit. Without Him, we can’t reach the lost. Pray for His guidance.
Acts 8:26-35 REACHING THE LOST
Salvation of the lost requires the work of the Holy Spirit. Without Him, we can’t reach the lost. Yet He is going to work through you and me.
Beginning - Acts 8:4-8 - Philip was preaching in Samaria, crowds came to hear him. Sick were healed. There was great joy in the city. He was reaching the CITY.
Then God led him into the desert road to meet ONE MAN. Just for one man. God cares for even one lost soul, and arranged for Philip to reach him.
God knows where the SEEKERS are. We need to pray, so that we can reach them.
Without a willing preacher, this man may not have another chance to find Jesus. He may really want to seek God, but he do not understanding.
God knows how to bring him an answer.
8:26 the angel of the Lord said to Philip...
He was told only to go to the desert road - angel did not tell him why. He went in FAITH - desert road - less travelled. Shouldn’t he preach in cities...
Yet he went in obedience... He did not know why until he saw a chariot travelling by.
8:20 the Spirit told him to go to the chariot and stay near it. This man was from Ethiopia, having been to Jerusalem, returning home. God wants him to hear this man reading the Scriptures - Philip will be able to help. Philip had to RUN to the chariot!
God prepares the right person to the right place for His work. There was this lost soul - a man seeking God. He was a man with authority and Treasurer for the Queen; rich and powerful. But humble, seeking God - willing to hear Philip, poor foreigner; willing to repent.
This man has a "teachable heart". He has status, but admit he does not understand the Scriptures - v.31 "How can I, unless someone explains it to me?"
We know Jesus and His Word today. If we’re not going to explain, man will remain lost. How important it is for us to know the Word and help people know God.
And this man was humble enough to listen to Philip, without status, an ordinary man. God had been preparing the heart of this man.
He was reading an appropriate passage - Isaiah 53, about the sacrifice of Jesus. (Customary for people to read aloud.) 8:34 the eunuch asked, "Is the prophet talking about himself or someone else?"
8:35 Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
God prepares the right person, led him to the right place, to a person whose heart had been prepared by Him - a seeker reading His Word.
He also prepared the right time - for Philip to meet someone along a desert road while he was reading Isaiah 53.
It was not just because he might miss the traveler; he might miss the text. The Lord’s timing is always perfect. For them to meet is already amazing, but Philip was able to talk to him while he was reading Isaiah 53.
God’s work is amazing. This whole event can never happen by man’s plan or efforts. Man cannot do this.
God sent the right person, to the right place, at the right time, when a seeking man was reading Isaiah 53, the right passage.
At the end, this man believed and was baptised. He "went on his way rejoicing." (v.39)
Tradition tells us this man went back to Ethiopia and shared the Gospel.
• Years later, when the first missionaries arrived in Ethiopia, they found a thriving church started by this eunuch.
• And his first convert was the Queen Mother Candice herself.
PRAY for God’s guidance - we need God to help us.
Philip heard God’s voice and obeyed God’s voice, and a lost soul is saved!
The Holy Spirit is working behind the scenes. We cannot see but He isn’t passive.
John 5:17 Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."
We must also DO OUR PART. Without Philip - who is willing to trust and obey God - this man will not be saved. The Holy Spirit knows the heart of man. We need to be sensitive to His leading.
As we step out in faith and do it, we find the Holy Spirit has been there before, preparing peoples hearts. Very often they are longing to understand about Jesus if only someone will explain it to them. Step out in faith and take the initiative.
As for Philip, he would still be in Caesarea 20 years later when Paul and his missionary team visited him in Acts 21:8. No doubt, he was still preaching the good news faithfully then because Luke called him an evangelist. By then, he already had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses.