11. Mission Accomplished!
The Holy Spirit, who brought Philip to the deserted road and the traveller's carriage, now takes care of his departure.
Fill in the missing words below, from your Bible.
(NKJ) Now when they came up out of the _________, the ____________ of the Lord caught Philip __________, so that the
eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.
The baptism was now something of the past. It was the climax of Philip's work with the high official. He had had the opportunity of explaining the message to him. The Lord made the work fruitfuL The man accepted the message and was incorporated into the Kingdom of God.
They came up out of the water and the Holy Spirit took Philip away. It is not important exactly how this happened.
Therefore it is not spelled out. Some people say that Philip was transferred to another place by supernatural means. Others say he simply continued his journey in a normal way, on foot. We need not wear ourselves out trying to establish how precisely it happened. The Bible was not written to satisfy idle curiosity. It was indeed written to make known the good news of salvation.
Philip's task was over. That is the main point! So the Spirit took him away towards Azotus.
not mean that our friend from Africa was left to himself. On the contrary! In the place of the Lord's messenger, God Himself was now with him! He was no longer alone. The Holy Spirit, who prepared him to accept the message in faith, now accompanied him. What was more, the Bible in the carriage was no longer a closed book to him. It had become the living Word of God for him! As a believer he would now live as a Christian and serve God.
But Philip had indeed completed his task. It was to make clear what the gospel was.
Without Pay or Thanks
There is something else which speaks to us from this verse. It is as if Philip was removed very quickly by the Lord. There was not even time to thank him or reward him.
Money plays a very big part in the lives of most people in our days. God's messengers can learn an important lesson at this point. If you work for the Lord, you do not do so with one eye
on the thanks or reward you will receive. This naturally does not mean that those who work for the Lord may not be paid for it. They also need something to wear and to eat. If they are anxious the whole day about food and clothing, they would not be able to do the Lord's work to the best of their ability. And this is vitally important: we have to be able to give all our time and energy to the Lord's work.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT THIS?
Turn to Matthew 6:19-21. Fill in the missing words:
(NKJ) " Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on _________, where moth and rust _________ and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in __________, where neither moth nor rust ____________ and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your ___________ is, there your ____________ will be also."
People who regard money as important, will never be workers for the Kingdom of God. The
Lord teaches us to make gains not in money, but in people who are won for the Kingdom of God!
This is what Philip did. He led people to the Lord without being paid for it. Because his work was done in such a spirit, he could win the traveller's confidence. Philip knew that the children of the Lord don't get their reward on earth. It is laid up for them in heaven.
Sorrow or joy?
Philip was suddenly no longer there with the carriage. The Lord called him away. He had
to carry on with his work elsewhere.
READ ACTS 8:39 FOR YOURSELF
Fill in the missing words:
(NKJ) "Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch ________ him no more; and he went on his way ___________.".
The official from Africa was neither sorrowful nor upset. The prophet of the Lord was suddenly taken away from him, but he hardly noticed!
All that is written is that he saw Philip no more.
What follows is most important: he continued his journey with joy. There was no upset with him. He knew only happiness.
It could not be otherwise; he had, after all, just come to conversion. His questions were answered. His whole life was changed. His loneliness was suddenly no more. He was taken into a new group: the believers who knew Jesus Christ as their friend. If this happens to a person, there is always only one result. There is a flood of happiness in the heart!
The Holy Spirit brings happiness
Philip was no longer with the newly converted official. And yet he was not alone. The Lord was with him. He was present in his life and worked within him through the Holy Spirit.
Happiness is always to be found where God's Spirit is. One cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit without getting joy in your heart.
FIND THE PROOF OF THIS IN YOUR BIBLE
Look up the following Bible verses and fill in the missing words on the dotted
lines. The first is Acts 13:52:
(NKJ) And the disciples were filled with _______ and with the _______ ____________.
Now look at Romans 14:17:
(NKJ) "For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but ___________ and peace and ________ in the _________ __________."
Finally, consider 1 Thessalonians 1:6:
(NKJ) "And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with _______ of the ________ _______."
Ethiopian was on his way home. He had to continue his life in his own land in Africa. He would not see Philip again. He would not be able to rely on the support of fellow believers. On the contrary, he would be living among people who had never heard of the Lord Jesus. Every day he would have to work among people of a heathen land and tribe. What did he do? He rejoiced!
This is the marvel of the Christian faith. Things need not go well with a person and yet he can cling to his faith.
You do not have to live and work among believers in order to keep believing. Everywhere and always the Lord gives to each believer the power to stand firm in his faith. Everywhere and always the Lord gives the happiness which fills the life of the believer with peace.
Joy In Heaven
Philip was called from Samaria to this lonely road. He had to lead one lost but searching sheep back to the great Shepherd. One sinner had come to repentance!
I am certain that there
was joy in Philip's heart. But that was not all. There was also joy in heaven.
HOW DO WE KNOW?
Read the words of Jesus in Luke 15:7. Complete the following sentence:
(NKJ) "I say to you that likewise there will be more ________ in heaven over one ___________ who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance."
Once someone comes to repentance, the angels rejoice in heaven. When God achieves his purpose in somebody's life, the joy in
heaven knows no limits.
Has there been joy in heaven because you have accepted Jesus as your Saviour? It there joy in your heart?
Questions to Answer
1. Who remained with the official after Philip had left him - apart from the people who were travelling with him?
2. What was Philip's greatest reward for the work he did for the Lord?
3. Why was the man from Africa not sorrowful when Philip was taken away from him?
4. The official had joy in his heart. Why? How do we know this?