Summary: This sermon explains four elements of every evangelistic encounter that results in a someone trusting in Christ.
The Holy Hitchhiker’s Great Chariot Adventure
October 7, 2012
TEXT: Acts 8:26-39
Illus. – There are some really fascinating stories in the Bible. One of my favorites is the story of The Holy Hitchhiker’s Great Chariot Adventure. It’s found in our text this morning, and it tells the story of a deacon who was in a successful evangelistic campaign and who was called out on a highly unusual evangelistic encounter: To catch a ride in the desert in a chariot driven by an Ethiopian Eunuch (which is kind of scary right there)…and tell him about Jesus.
Let’s read about it this morning in Acts 8:26-39 – “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”
This is the third sermon in a series on Contagious Faith that is synchronizing somewhat with our Sunday night series titled, Becoming a Contagious Christian, a class in how to share your faith effectively in a way that is natural to you.
Our text today is a remarkable story, but not really unusual from the standpoint of evangelism. In fact, in are text are four key elements that take place EVERY TIME someone comes to faith by someone’s witness. Let’s look at these four key elements in “The Holy Hitchhiker’s Great Chariot Adventure”:
I. THE FIRST IS A MESSENGER OF GOD.
The fact of the matter is that God’s way of reaching people is very simple and low-tech and has always been the same—God uses PEOPLE to reach PEOPLE. Or as Paul put it in Romans 10:13 – “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 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?”
Let’s look again at three verses in our text and as we do, note the word “man” in each verse, and see if you can detect a progression of thought:
• Verse 27 – “And [Philip] arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians…”
• Verse 31 – “And [the eunuch] said, How can I [understand this scripture], except some man should guide me?…”
• Verse 34 – “And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?”
Do you see the progression in these verses?— God used A MAN to tell ANOTHER MAN about THE WORLD’S MOST IMPORTANT MAN, who was also God—the Lord Jesus Christ. And folks, that’s how God still works today. God uses PEOPLE to tell OTHER PEOPLE about Jesus Christ.