Summary: : Accepting the Great Commission requires following the directives of Captain Jesus.
The Gospel According To Star Trek
Text: Acts 8:26-40
1. Illustration: If you've ever been a fan of the sci-fi show Star Trek then you are familiar with the quote that opened every episode. "Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before."
2. In many ways being a Christian is a lot like being on Star Trek, because we are called by Jesus to boldly go where no one has gone before.
3. In order to accept this mission requires...
A. Being Willing To Obey
B. Being Sensitive To The Holy Spirit
C. Being Willing To Seize The Moment
4. Let's stand together as we read Acts 8:26-40.
Proposition: Accepting the Great Commission requires following the directives of Captain Jesus.
Transition: To accept the Great Commission means...
I. Being Willing To Obey (26-28).
A. So He Started Out
1. Evangelist Charles Finney noted this about obedience and sacrifice, "Revival is nothing more or less than a new obedience to God!"
2. Philip was open to whatever God directed him to do. This can be clearly illustrated in his encounter with the Ethiopian Eunuch. Luke starts out by saying, "As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.”
A. At this point "an angel of the Lord" spoke to Philip telling him to go toward the south to the desert road going down from Jerusalem to Gaza.
B. "Desert" also means "deserted, abandoned, desolate." Here, the emphasis is that the area was largely uninhabited.
C. The Bible tells of angels appearing to people comparatively few times. Yet they are often present and function as "ministering spirits, sent to serve those who will inherit salvation" (Heb. 1:14).
D. However, since they are spirits, God has to give them a physical form temporarily in order for them to appear and speak to people.
E. There may have been a special reason for sending an angel. Philip was in the midst of a great revival in Samaria.
F. It probably took something unusual to get him to leave the crowds and go down to a seldom-used back road. Some take "desert" to refer to Old Testament Gaza, the most southern of the five cities of the Philistines.
G. About sixty miles southwest of Jerusalem, it was destroyed in 93 B.C. In 57 B.C. a new city was built nearer the Mediterranean Sea.
H. The road to old Gaza might be called the road to desert (deserted) Gaza.
I. To go there must have seemed unreasonable, but the desert road may have reminded Philip of Isaiah's cry, "'In the desert prepare the way for the Lord'" (Isa. 40:3) (Horton, Acts: A Logion Press Commentary, 170).
3. In total obedience, Luke tells us that Philip "So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah."