What about those who have never heard the gospel? Is God limited by natural circumstances when revealing Himself?
1 Chronicles 19 & 20
His-story, Eunuchs, & Believer’s Baptism
The Ethiopian Eunuch
In this passage we meet an Ethiopian eunuch who had been to Jerusalem to worship. He was reading from the Prophet Isaiah and seeking to understand what it meant. As a eunuch, he would not have been accepted by the Jews, but God saw his heart and sent Philip to share the gospel with him:
Verse 35 says, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.”
Philip started where he was and explained how it all pointed to Jesus.
Jesus Christ and God’s salvation through Him is the ultimate theme of both the Old and the New Testaments. It’s one continuing story—His-story.
The Importance of Believer’s Baptism
Acts 8.37, also, reminds us of the importance of “believer’s baptism.” When the eunuch asked if he could be baptized, Philip said, “‘…If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'” Notice Philip said, “if you believe.”
If you have not been baptized since you came to saving faith in Christ, I would encourage you to take that step of obedience. While baptism doesn’t save us (Eph. 2.8-9), we are commanded to be baptized once we have come to saving faith (Acts 2.38).
Infant baptism is not the same. When a baby is baptized, it’s a decision his or her parents make. We are not saved by being born into a Christian family or baptized as a infant. Each of us must come to that point of decision for ourselves. Believer’s baptism is a public declaration of our personal decision to put our faith and trust in the gospel and should be one of our first steps of obedience.
Also notice, when Philip and the eunuch came up out of the water, the Spirit of God “caught Philip away.” God could have just as easily made him miraculously appear as disappear. God is well able to reveal Himself to all genuine seekers of truth anywhere and at any time.
Today’s Other Readings:
Confidence at His Coming
1 Chronicles 19 & 20:
Did you notice how God omitted any mention David’s sin with Bathsheba here in 1 Chronicles and how it focuses, instead, on God’s redemptive work and His covenant with David? It’s much like what will happen to us when our redemption is fully realized and we stand before Him at the judgment seat of Christ. Whatever we have done will be tried by fire and those things we did for Christ with a pure heart will be purified like gold, silver and precious stones and that which was worthless will be burned up like wood, hay and stubble (1 Cor. 3.12-15).
That does not mean that we won’t answer to God for those things. Jesus said we will give an account for every idle word that we speak (Matt. 12.36). And 1 John 2 says:
28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.
When Isaiah saw God on His throne, he said, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips …” (Is. 6.5). And when Peter caught a glimpse of who Jesus really was, “… he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!’” (Lk. 5.8).
While there will be a time when our works will be judged and some will at least momentarily “shrink back” because their hearts and lives are exposed, Jesus has already dealt with the punishment for our sins. Praise Him for His mercy and grace!
More than Hunger
Even though God supernaturally fed the Israelites manna in the wilderness, the people refused to be satisfied with the provision of God.
Verse 30-31a, “They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them.”
This was not just natural hunger, this was lust, and God gave them over to it.
We, also, see this in Romans 1:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; …
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened …
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, … 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections … 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over …
When men and women are intent on going their own way and having that which they lust after, they can come to a point where God gives them over to their own lusts and the natural consequences of pursuing them.
Life & Peace
Verse 27, “Cease listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.”
This verse reminds us of the importance of staying in the Word—that is daily Bible reading and meditation. It doesn’t mean we should have a legalistic attitude, fearing God’s displeasure if we miss a day. But it’s a reminder that, “the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace” (Rom. 8.6 NASB).
Have a great day in the Lord,
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Does this sound like you? “Troubling thoughts flood my mind. I lie in bed alone, beseeching God on behalf of my three children. The tears come as I wonder why the Lord seems so far away and why prayers remain unanswered. Life seems so unfair. Why is it so hard? In the “depths of despair” I know I have a choice to make. Am I going to allow these feelings to destroy me?”