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(Acts Ch. 8)
Vs. 26. Philip held a revival campaign in Samaria and there he did many miracles. He had gone to Samaria following a great persecution in Jerusalem. He preached the Gospel of Jesus and the whole city gathered to hear him. He worked a mighty work in Samaria and brought great glory to God.
Philip had a wife and four daughters, a happy family indeed. One day, God's voice called him into the desert. Now the desert is a lonely place, but Philip doubted not. He obeyed God's command.
Vs. 27. Philip was surprised at what he saw in the desert. When we obey God's will we will also meet with unexpected events. Philip came face to face with a royal chariot bristling with bodyguards on both sides. Seated inside was a black Eunuch. This Eunuch was the Minister of Finance of his country, President of the National Bank. He was the king's right-hand man. The Eunuch lacked nothing, except this one thing --- he had no peace of heart because of his sins. God called Philip to preach to him at this moment of time.
When a man is burdened with sin, his heart becomes restless. In Tiensin, the wife of the manager of a mining company heard me preach. She unburdened her tearful miseries to me. She had a husband, children, money and a well-provided living. But she had no peace. Now this Eunuch had perhaps committed murder and graft. Although he was rich and powerful, his conscience had no peace.
Once I met a woman who knelt her way up a hill to seek peace. This shows how one might get anything in a materialistic life without ever obtaining peace. To repeat the sutras or worship Buddha would not bring peace. Money and power cannot buy peace. The Eunuch, having failed to find peace, climbed a thousand hills and dales to the Holy City to find peace in God's House. Many have used every way and means to find peace, but in vain. The Hindus sleep on a bed of pikes to find peace. The superstitious burn joss sticks and candies to find peace. The Eunuch came from a far country to Jerusalem to sacrifice in order to find peace. But he could not find it.
Vs. 28-34. Although the Eunuch has sacrificed, his heart remains distressed. So he opens the Bible he had bought in Jerusalem to read. When he comes to the Book of Isaiah he finds it most gripping. At ch.53, there is recorded the story of a Man who died for mankind. He died to save mankind from sin. Though the Eunuch is entranced by his reading, he does not know Who He was that died for the sins of the world. Could a sinner and corrupt officer like me be saved?" the Eunuch debates in his heart. As he frets over his lack of understanding, God tells Philip to run after the chariot. At sight of Philip the Eunuch gladly extends him a welcome. The Eunuch asks him to explain the meaning of that passage of Scripture. Philip expounds to the Eunuch, The Man you read about is like a lamb. He died for mankind. Now a lamb's tail is a symbol of obedience. A lamb's horns, which droop, signify humility. And when he goes for shearing, he makes no noise --- this is dying for sinners." The Eunuch is still unhappy, but now the Holy Spirit begins to work in his heart. Many there are who read the Bible with a cold heart. They regard the Bible to be some literature. As for the Eunuch, the more he reads the less he understands and the more troubled he becomes. He arrives not at the truth of the Bible.
Once there was an evangelist who went out tracting. He gave one to a young man. That young man tore it to pieces. But these four words Eternal Life, Eternal Death" somehow attached on his person, despite his trying to blow them away. A few more steps got him into contact with another evangelist who also handed him a tract. The tract bore the same words, "Eternal Life, Eternal Death." This troubled his heart. Whether he went to the cinema or whether he played tennis, there bobbed those four words, "Eternal Life, Eternal Death" on his mind. This finally brought the young man to Christ.
An old woman, though unable to preach was a zealous soul winner. Every Lord's Day, she would stand in front of her church to invite passers-by in. It happened that a fashionable young lady passed by that way. The old woman called to her to enter the church, Come and worship, and you'll go to heaven," she cried. To which the fashionable young lady answered with popped eyeballs. When the old woman called to her again, she pushed her to the ground. As she left in great anger, the old woman continued to chirp away the Gospel invitation, "Come and worship and you'll go to heaven." Now the fashionable young lady could not help but ponder over the incident and as this pondering became more and more acute, she heard a voice one night, "Friend, come and worship and you'll go to heaven."
The next day she went to church of her own accord. That day she got saved. Beloved brothers and sisters, by one word of Scripture, the Holy Spirit had taken hold of her, and got her saved.
Vs. 35-40. Praise the Lord! As Philip continues to expound the Word, he says, This Man who died for the sins of mankind is Jesus, crucified at Jerusalem. He is the Son of God come down from heaven. He preached on earth. He healed, He cast out devils. Later He died but on the third day He lived again. This Person is what the Bible is telling us." The Eunuch begins to glow at the words of Philip's preaching. O the joy of finding the peace he has been looking for all the years. His understanding of the Scriptures has led him to the very source of peace.
As they come to a stream the Eunuch requests Philip to baptise him. Now many are baptised because they are forced into it --- perhaps by parents, perhaps at the behest of their teachers. But not the Eunuch. Having been ascertained of the Eunuch's faith that he would believe and confess Jesus Christ to the end, he gladly baptised him. And what peace has come on the Eunuch since his wholehearted repentance.
Now when the angel brought death to the eldest sons of the Egyptians, the Israelites had their doorposts daubed with blood that the whole family might be saved. A little of the lamb's blood could redeem from sin and save. When a person repents of his sin the Blood of Jesus Christ, all the more, can cleanse him from sin.
A certain university student had sought for peace for nine long years. He asked me to pray for him. When he repented he found great joy. He confessed what joy he had missed all this while.
The Eunuch now crucifies his carnal self and has all the sins he has committed down the years washed away. He receives Jesus to live in his heart. He undergoes a complete change for a life of joy and peace.
Now after baptising the Eunuch, Philip does not go with him to Africa for power or money. The Holy Spirit immediately takes him to Samaria that he might not think of wealth but rather work --- the work of preaching and praying.
Beloved brothers and sisters, I was this Eunuch once. At my early age I did not find peace. At 18 I went to study in America. This brought me more sorrow of heart. I studied the philosophy of Laotse. I found no peace. I studied Buddhist scriptures. I found no peace. I studied the Koran. I found less peace. I locked myself in a room to read the Bible, but I found it very hard to understand.
The more I read the more bitter I became. On the night of Feb. 10, as I prayed in tears kneeling on the floor, the Lord said to me, Little child, your sins are forgiven!" From that moment, joy flooded in. The Lord commissioned me to preach. I preached for seven days, but I was taken for being crazy. I was put into a mental hospital. The doctors came to examine me and asked about my ancestry. After I went through the bitterness of a mental institution, I got the real joy. Everywhere I go to witness the gospel, to the way of real peace. Beloved brothers and sisters, nothing can give us peace. Only Jesus can!
Light that groweth not pale with day's decrease,
Love that never can fail till life shall cease;
Joy no trial can mar,
Hope that shineth afar,
Faith serene as a star,
And Christ's own peace.