How will God help you reach the world? In this video, Pastor Ted Wilson will be looking at a very interesting story found in the book of Acts, chapter 8, beginning in verses 26-28: "Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, 'Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.' This is desert. So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet."
There are several interesting points from this passage. First, it says that "an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip." Who was Philip? He was not one of the twelve disciples, but we know he was a faithful follower of Jesus who served as one of the first deacons of the early church. And who was the Ethiopian? Although we don't know his name, we do know several things about him. He was a high official in the court of Queen Candace of Ethiopia.
This man had "come to Jerusalem to worship," and now as he was returning home, he was reading from the scroll of Isaiah. In fact, Acts 8:32-33 tells us what passage from Isaiah the man was reading: "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, and who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth."
As the Ethiopian was contemplating this passage, trying to understand it, the Holy Spirit spoke to Philip: "'Go near and overtake this chariot.' So, Philip ran up to the moving chariot and asked the Ethiopian, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And the man answered, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" and invited Philip to join him in the chariot where they had a wonderful Bible study. We don't know how long that Bible study in the chariot was, but we do know that by the end the Ethiopian official declared, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:37) and was baptized.
Today there are thousands of people like the Ethiopian official who are searching for truth. They may have heard things about the Bible, or perhaps are trying to read it, but without understanding. We are told, "A large number of precious souls are groping in darkness, yet longing and weeping and praying for light" (Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 65).
Are you willing to go to bring them light, helping them to understand the truth found in the Scriptures, as Philip did? Just as the Lord provided everything Philip needed to reach the Ethiopian man, He will provide everything you need to help people understand the Scriptures.
The world church emphasis for this coming Sabbath is: "Reach the World through Bible Study." Led out by the General Conference Department of Sabbath School and Personal Ministries, this is a wonderful opportunity to utilize the many excellent resources available to enhance our own understanding of the Scriptures, particularly through the Sabbath School, where we study the Bible each week, and through offering Bible studies through Bible correspondence schools, online Bible studies, as well as small group and individual studies. For more information, visit: sabbathschoolpersonalministries.org
May God bless you as you partner with Him in reaching the world through Bible study!