The Prospect Philip Found (Acts 8:26-40)
Soul winning entails finding the best candidates to receive the Gospel. Jesus has told us to share the Gospel with the entire world. Acts 1:8: “You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” We are to miss no one when sharing the Gospel.
However, certain individuals make better prospects than others. Some people will not be open-minded because their parents did things differently. Some people will never be open-minded because they have a wonderful feeling. In the Parable of the Sower, only one soil brings forth a harvest (Matt 13).
Our challenge is to find prospects and share the Gospel with them.
Just who is a good prospect? Let’s study the narrative of the Ethiopian eunuch to find out.
One person is valuable to God. An angel told Philip to go from Samaria to the road from Jerusalem to Gaza; this place was desert. “Desert” describes a place that is desolate and empty. Multitudes lived in Samaria (Acts 8:6), but God had him leave the multitudes to go to this one person.
This shows that God cares about individuals. God is not willing that any should perish (2 Pet 3:9). “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Lk 15:10).
Each person we encounter has a soul, and God wants that soul to be saved; the responsibility of sharing the Gospel remains with us. “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt 4:19). “Go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding” (Matt 22:9).
Are we doing all we can to ensure that those souls will not be lost?
The Eunuch was a Worshiper, v 27
Philip encounters a man from Ethiopia. This man was a eunuch with great authority under Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians. Eunuchs often served close to royalty. Candace was a dynastic name for the queen of the Ethiopians. The king of Ethiopia was considered too holy to be involved int eh affairs fo the state. The king’s mother often took care of the country.
This man was a foreigner to Philip. Without a doubt, this man from Africa was black. Of course, Philip knew that skin color and nationality aren’t important. “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” (Jn 7:37). “There is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him” (Rom 10:12).
This man was more than likely a proselyte, a convert to Judaism. The first conversion of a Gentile takes place in Acts 10. Although this man was a Gentile by birth, he was circumcised and became as though he were a Jew by birth. Exodus 12:48 says that proselytes would be “as a native of the land.”
The eunuch was a worshiper of God. That he traveled all the way from Ethiopia to Jerusalem to worship shows his dedication. Because he was a eunuch, he could not enter the assembly of the Lord (Deut 23:1). He had to worship from afar.
This was a man who was earnestly trying to do right. He worshiped God the best he knew how. Those who worship make good prospects.
The Eunuch was a Bible Reader, v 28
The eunuch was reading from Isaiah the prophet. This was a man who was sincerely looking for God. This was a man who was hungry to know what God wanted him to do.
Good prospects hunger for God’s Word. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matt 5:6). “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Ps 42:2). “My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water” (Ps 63:1).
Do you know someone hungering for God’s Word?
The Eunuch was Teachable, vv 29-35
The Spirit told Philip to overtake the chariot where the Ethiopian was reading.
Philip ran to the eunuch and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
The eunuch replied, “How can I unless someone guides me?” The eunuch realized his need to be taught. The eunuch did not pretend to have all the answers. Many individuals—whether they say it or not—believe they have all the answers; one lady told me she knew everything about the Bible.
Those who are teachable can learn the Gospel. “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning” (Prov 9:9).
The eunuch asked Philip to come up and sit in the chariot.
The eunuch was reading concerning Jesus’ sufferings in Isaiah.
The eunuch asked Philip, “Of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?”
Philip began with that Scripture and preached Jesus to the eunuch.
The eunuch sincerely wanted to know what the Bible taught. The Bereans searched the Scriptures daily to see if what Paul and Silas were saying was true (Acts 17:11). “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge” (Prov 18:15).
Do you know someone wanting to know the truth?
The Eunuch was Obedient, vv 36-39
As Philip and the eunuch traveled, they came to some water. The eunuch asked, “What hinders me from being baptized?”
The eunuch commanded the chariot to stop. Philip and the eunuch went down into the water. Philip baptized the eunuch.
The eunuch was willing to obey God. Good prospects are willing to obey God. Not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord” will enter heaven. Only those who obey the Father will enter heaven (Matt 7:21). “This is love, that we walk according to His commandments” (2 Jn 6).
Do you know someone willing to obey God?
After his baptism, the eunuch went on his way rejoicing.
If you obey God, you can leave here rejoicing. Will you obey God?
This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.