It’s a journey.
DECEMBER 9, 2021
It’s a journey. A journey about which we’ll talk on Key Life.
It’s for freedom that Christ set us free and Key Life is here to bring you Biblical teaching that encourages you to never give it to slavery again. Our teacher on Key Life is Steve Brown, he’s an author, broadcaster and seminary professor who’s sick of phony religion.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open it to the eighth chapter of Acts, as we continue with our study in this great book. And we’re looking at verses 26 through the end of the chapter, and the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch. It’s a great story, but it’s not a story that hasn’t been repeated over and over and over again, a billion times. It’s what the church is all about. Let me tell you something, we’re here for them. You know, it would be reasonable, it seems to me that when somebody presents the gospel and you come to Christ that you are immediately translated into heaven. I mean, it would save a lot of pain, a lot of effort and a lot of problems. And we wouldn’t have to go through church divisions and fights. So, you just, you come to Christ and then you go to sleep and you wake up in heaven. That seems reasonable to me, but that’s not the way God planned it. God keeps you around, even though, as my late friend, John DeBrine used to say, you can be as sure of heaven as if you were already there, but you’re not there and you’re not there for a reason. And you know what the reason is, the reason is them. That’s why we’re here, so that the Ethiopian eunuch’s conversion can be repeated over and over and over again until Jesus comes back to clean up the mess. And, enough chit chat about that. Let’s turn to evangelism. And I wanna take this particular incident of the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch and I want to show you some things about evangelism that you sometimes don’t think, or at least sometimes I don’t think these things, but they’re true. And the first thing you ought to notice about this particular conversion experience is that it was a result of something that happened in the past. It was a journey. And at the end of the journey, he received Christ or Christ found him and his life changed. Now, if you had been standing by the side of the road and you’d seen Philip coming to the Ethiopian eunuch with all of his splendor and his wealth and his chariot, you, if you saw Philip being invited into the chariot. And then what happened afterwards, the baptism and the rejoicing, you would have said, my, talk about an evangelist event. And it was that. And we’re going to talk about that in a minute, but you gotta know that a whole lot of stuff went on before the event described in the eighth chapter of Acts. That’s true with you. And that’s true with me. We’re not there yet, but later on, we’re going to look at the conversion of the apostle Paul. You talk about, you talk about a conversion. When we get there, we’re going to see the voice that came from heaven. He was knocked off his horse. He went blind and everything in his life changed. But that was a part of a journey that went for a long, long time. He had studied under Gamaliel, he had gone through the experience of Stephen, he had seen Christians die, he had all of that beginning to build. His past, the home in which he grew up, the people he had met, the law he had studied, all of that was a part of a process that God was doing in Paul’s life. And that’s true of this Ethiopian eunuch too. We’ve seen that he went to Jerusalem because he had met some Jews and he was intrigued with their theological truth. And he went to Jerusalem to study and he got truth there, but he didn’t get Jesus. That was to come later because Jerusalem was preparation for the event that happened in the eighth chapter of Acts. That’s always true. I often will ask people when they’re giving their testimony or telling me about how they came to Christ. I’ll say to them, is, is, was it, was it a brand new thing that happened to you or did it feel like you were coming to a place where you already were and they go, oh no. Well, it was a new event. If you’re in Christ, you’re a new creation. And all old things have passed away and behold the new has come and then they stop and go, you know, now that I think about it, I knew him. I just didn’t know his name. C.S. Lewis, and by the way, if you’re interested in C.S. Lewis’ testimony, it is dull and boring. You’ll find it in his book, Surprised by Joy. It was an autobiographical book. And I remember when I first read it, I could hardly wait to find out how my hero C.S. Lewis had come to Christ. And, this is his testimony. I mean, it doesn’t get any more boring than this.
I went to Whipsnade Zoo today. Before I left, I did not believe that Jesus was the son of God, when I got there, I did.
That’s it? That’s all. No, it’s really not all because God was preparing C.S. Lewis for that moment when he went to Whipsnade Zoo. And he did that for you and he’s doing the same thing for me. It is an event that happens in our lives. And we’re going to talk about that when we get to it. But right now, it’s important to see that God uses everything in your life, all the events of your life to bring you to the point where you come to Christ, he’s preparing you. And he has been preparing you, from the foundation of the earth. That’s why the book that my friend and he and one of his coworkers ever written another book, which pretty much covers the same kind of thing. Talks about how God can use our pain and our darkness. But he says in that book and Dan also says, and truth be told that God speaks in our biography. And so, you need to sometimes sit down and say, Jesus, you were there then? Let me see your hand in my life. Let me hear the sound of sandaled feet from my past because you were preparing me for that time when I would come running. And I would become yours. And that’s true. It’s true with this Ethiopian and it’s true in your life too. It’s not an accident where you were born. It’s not an accident, the people that God brought into your life. You remember when your family didn’t go to church, but there was this old guy who taught Sunday school to children. And he loved you without hesitation or reservation, that’s it. That’s him. You remember the time you were so embarrassed and felt so guilty and you wanted to be forgiven terribly, but didn’t know where to go. That was him. You remember when the good things happen in your life? And there was great joy and blessing and things were going, that was him. You remember that one person who told you about Jesus and you thought he was a fanatic and you told him to leave you alone, that was him. You remember, you remember your mom singing to you before you went to bed, that was him. You remember your grandmother who prayed for you every day, that was him. That was all a part of the past where God was involved in your life, bringing you to the point where, when his name was spoken and you could put a name to experience, you would come running to him. So, and I’m about out of time. So, I got to go, but let me tell you what to do. Over the next few days, begin to think about your biography, begin to think about your past and the places where Jesus was involved, even if you didn’t know his name. And, then finally you came to that place where you say, oh, it’s him. I didn’t know his name, but it was him. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. Such a great week of delving into Acts and we will resume our journey from here next week and join us tomorrow for another fun Friday Q&A with Steve and our good friend, Pete Alwinson. Well, we are full swing into the Christmas gift buying season. So, let me ask you a personal question. What’s the latest you’ve ever bought a Christmas gift for someone. My personal record, and I am not proud of this is the afternoon of Christmas Eve and yeah, it was for my wife, not a good feeling because at a certain point it’s too late and you missed out. But listen, it’s not too late and you haven’t missed out yet on getting a special gift from us. It’s a free booklet called Christmas Meditations. It’s a newly reprinted collection of Steve’s writings on the real meaning of Christmas. The incarnation of God in Christ. The booklet also includes Scripture and devotional questions to help you focus and reflect on the impact of Christ’s coming. Get it right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] and ask for that booklet. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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