Summary: Three different kinds of people searching for Jesus Christ and three different types of evangelists who help them find Jesus.
THREE TRAVELERS-THREE ROADS
Searching for Jesus
1. Today I am going to talk about the Damascus Road (Acts 9:1-9), the Gaza Road (Acts 8:26-39), and the Emmaus Road (Luke 24:13-35)--three different kinds of people searching for Jesus Christ and three different types of evangelists who help them find Jesus.
2. Christianity is a road.
a. Jesus saith unto him, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
b. Jesus said salvation was following Him. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
A road is a picture of the way to heaven. “Enter ye into the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13,14).
Paul didn’t know what to call Christians, so he was going to Damascus to look for, “Any of this way” (Acts 9:2).
Some of you have heard the plan of salvation which is called the Roman’s Road of salvation. It presents the Plan of Salvation from the Book of Romans.
B. THE DAMASCUS ROAD (ACTS 9:1-9).
Paul was traveling to Damascus to arrest Christians and bring them bound to Jerusalem. When he met Jesus Christ, he was transformed. How could you describe his conversion?
3. Without warning.
4. Immediate information.
Paul met Jesus Christ. Jesus said to him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do (Acts 9:4-6).
God chose Ananias to pray for Paul, instruct Paul, and baptize him. This is the human instrument in putting Paul on the right track. We cannot say he was the “soul-winner” but sometimes people come to Jesus Christ, and then a “soul-winner” re-affirms a sinner’s decision, and sets them on the right track of following Christ.
C. WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT ANANIAS?
1. Skeptical. Didn’t believe Paul was converted.
2. Reluctant. Didn’t want to go to Paul.
3. Scared. Felt he may lose his life.
4. Influenced by gossip. He knew what people were saying about Paul.
“I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem” (Acts 9:13).
Many can be used of God, even when they are not powerful soul-winners. God used Ananias. This story reminds us where the real power of transformation lies, it lies between Jesus and the sinner, not between the soul-winner and the sinner.
It also reminds us how powerfully God works in someone else’s life. We simply support what God is doing as the soul-winner.
Finally, it reminds us that what God has begun to do, we as humans can only assist what God is doing. We can never replace the work of God.
Some listening to my voice have had dramatic conversions where your life turned around in an instant. But others, your conversion story is different. Your conversion happened like the Ethiopian eunuch.
D. THE GAZA ROAD (ACTS 8:26-39).
The soul-winner in this event was a deacon, who is also called Philip, the evangelist. What do we know about Philip?
3. Filled with the spirit. He made things happen.
4. He was sensitive.
E. THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH WAS DIFFERENT FROM SAUL.
What do we know about the Ethiopian eunuch?
1. From black African descent, i.e. Ethiopia.
2. A man of learning and influence.
3. The Minister of Finance to a wealthy court.
4. Seeking salvation.
Perhaps he had spent a long time seeking and drawing near to the God of Israel. We know he was a eunuch, which meant he was barred from full membership within Judaism (Deut. 23:1). But he was so determined to find God, that he had gone to Jerusalem (was not given entrance to the temple), and on his way home was reading the Book of Isaiah.
The Ethiopian eunuch was a seeker who had been seeking a long time. Are you a seeker?
Philip ran to join the chariot and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The Ethiopian eunuch responded, “How can I unless someone guides me?”
The role of the soul-winner in bringing the seeker to salvation:
a. Initiate the conversation.