5 Truths about Evangelistic action that everyone needs to know! (Acts 8: 26-40)
By Rev. Eraldo Gueiros
We talk about 5 truths in this article, but in no way wish to restrict the matter, because there are many other biblical truths about evangelism. Our article has only didactic purposes, aiming to highlight some principles taken from the book of Acts 8: 26-40, regarding the evangelistic experience of Philip. Let's check them out:
1- God chooses his servants for each individual task he wishes to carry out! "And the angel spoke to Philip, saying, Arise, and go ..." Philip was not the only evangelist of his time; nor was he unoccupied, nor the closest geographically. These issues are often decisive for us when we are making choices and planning. But these elements are not part of God's logic. God is not limited to those who will first pass through the site, or those who are willing to go. Phillip was very involved with the growing work he was performing in Samaria. From God's perspective, Philip had the right profile for that service, so this opportunity was given to him.
2 God leads His servants to be at the right place and time to carry out the task! "Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert." I'm absolutely sure that despite this era's technology, even if Phillip used GPS or Google Maps, he still wouldn't come to that eunuch! The description of the place is not specific, it's like finding a needle in a haystack. For many, such lack of specification precludes any action. But for Phillip, that information was enough. He understood that God was giving him only one direction because God Himself would lead him to the right place at the right time. We also need to question and obstruct less, for God to surprise us more! Often our greatest resistance to make a decision is due to us not having all the answers to our questions. But if the day comes that we have, then we will not act in faith anymore!
3- God prepares the people who will receive His word in advance! "So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” This is the most impressive and significant part of the narration. On the one hand, there is a servant called to serve, not knowing where, how and whom! On the other, the one that will be served, not knowing what will be served, but waiting for the service! The Eunuch was a precious vase that had to be rescued by the Potter. In a unique and wonderful way, God was preparing the ground (the heart of the eunuch) for the seed that was coming (Isaiah's text exposition). Phillip's task was a partnership with God, he would complete and finish what God was already doing. This security is critical to any evangelist, wherever or whoever he talks to, he will not come before the Holy Spirit, he will only finish the work that the Spirit has begun.
4 God manages the circumstances in order for the action to happen as he planned! "And the Spirit said to Philip: Go near and join thyself to this chariot ..." The revelation of God's purposes to Philip was progressive and proportional to his obedient response. God did not anticipate information before he was prepared to receive them. Phillip had to be in the right place and in the right position to receive new instructions from God. When he reaches the place and the target appears, God introduces and instructs how to proceed. The interesting fact is that he did not arrive late or early for this meeting. He did not miss the target because he was dependent on God who was leading.
5- God determines the results of his action! "And the eunuch said, Behold water; What prevents me from being baptized? ".The convenience of this oasis is something fantastic! It comes at the exact right time, like a friend of mine would say: A true Jesuscidence! The eunuch's response was positive, as expected, because God was working in his favor. We can not say that all evangelistic action will result in immediate conversions as the eunuch. But who said that the goal of preaching is exclusively for conversion? Who said that only the conversion worthy is the immediate one or one that is visible? There will be many situations in which evangelistic action will and should happen because all mankind needs to hear the preaching. There will be other situations where the conversion will come in a process that will begin with the action, but will still develop further in time in the lives of listeners.
Keep these 5 truths in your heart and have a good week of evangelization!