3-Week Series: Double Blessing

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Summary: The Spirit gave Philip a supersonic ride for over 20 miles. Why? Because he'd been obedient to win an African dignitary who became a missionary to Ethiopia! To the Eunuch, Philip was a servant of God who disappeared without a trace!

THE MAN WHO DISAPPEARED

Acts 8:27-40

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR

1. There was a professor of preaching who demanded that his students come up with catchy sermon titles. He said, “They must be so engaging that someone riding by the church on a bus, and seeing the sermon title, should be impelled to get off the bus and walk into the building to hear the sermon.”

2. The professor found a small church by a bus stop and had the students post their sermon titles on the sign to see how many people were interested enough to get off the bus. The students were graded on the bus-rider’s response.

3. Most of the students got low marks, but one enterprising student came up with the perfect sermon title, which induced most of the people to get off the bus.

4. When the professor asked the title of his sermon he replied, “There’s a Bomb on that Bus!”

B. THE MAN WHO DISAPPEARED

1. In 1971, a man named “Dan Cooper” boarded a Northwest Airlines flight in Portland. Soon after takeoff Cooper opened his briefcase and showed a stewardess it contained eight red cylinders connected to a battery, and told her it was a bomb.

2. He demanded $200,000 and four parachutes. He allowed the passengers to exit at the next stop. After dark, he opened the rear door of the plane and jumped off over Nevada. The next day the police and FBI searched the area was but no trace was found of Cooper. He disappeared completely.

3. The FBI maintained an active investigation for 45 years following the hijacking; it’s the only unsolved air piracy case in American aviation history.

4. WE’RE GOING TO READ ABOUT ANOTHER MAN WHO DISAPPEARED:

C. TEXT & TITLE

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.” Acts 8:35-40

1. Long before Science Fiction thought of “beaming” transporter technology, God was already doing it!

2. We’re going to look at the unusual case of “The Man Who Disappeared.”

I. VISIT OF THE TREASURER OF ETHIOPIA

A. HIS IDENTITY

1. This story begins 1,570 miles south of Jerusalem in the heart of Africa. There was a powerful Kingdom called Kush that ruled 1,000 years (785 BC-350 AD). It had 1.2 million inhabitants at its height. From AD 22-41 it was ruled by Queen Amantitere (her title was Kandake, Candace).

2. This Queen had a high ranking official, the Royal Treasurer. He had heard of the God of Israel, how He had sent the 10 plagues on the Egyptian Empire and opened the Red Sea and given the Israelites victory over the 7 nations of Palestine, and how they had built a Temple for God’s name. THE EUNUCH LONGED TO KNOW ABOUT THE TRUE GOD!

B. HE BECAME HUNGRY FOR GOD

1. God says, “You shall seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your hearts” Jer. 29:11. We must desire God if we would know Him.

2. If you’re spiritual hungry, you’ll go to the Word of God; you’ll make whatever sacrifices necessary to eliminate what stands between you and God.

3. If you’re spiritually hungry, you won’t be satisfied with “just enough.” If we ARE satisfied, it’s a sign that either we’ve been filled with something else, or for shallow results.

4. Hunger is a sign of health. A person who’s not hungry is sick. Lack of hunger is a sign that there’s something wrong in our lives.

5. The Ethiopian Eunuch was hungry for God! You must get YOUR hunger back! God will always meet us on the level of our hunger for Him.

C. HIS JOURNEY TO GOD

1. So the Eunuch began his 1,570 mile journey. First he travelled down the Nile River to Cairo, Egypt by boat (1,000 miles), then he joined a camel train for 461 miles (approx. a 20 day trip) up the coast to Gaza, then to Jerusalem.

2. Imagine his joy as he topped the last hill (Mount of Olives?) and saw the Holy City and the Temple across the valley! He got to enter the Court of the Gentiles and pray there, and supposing he converted, made sacrifices through a proxy.

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