One man who impacted his nation for Christ is more often
associated with green beer and leprechauns than the proclamation of
the gospel – Patrick of Ireland.
Kidnapped by pirates as a teenager, Patrick was taken from his
well-to-do home in Roman-Britain in A.D. 405, transported to Ireland,
sold to a farmer, and given responsibility for the man’s sheep.
Eventually Patrick escaped from slavery and returned to Britain,
where he became a priest.
Patrick returned to primarily pagan Ireland, determined to bring
the gospel to people enslaved by superstition and Druid worship. By
the time he died, about A.D. 461, he had started a movement of the
church that transformed ancient Ireland.
Patrick was an evangelist commissioned to reach a nation for Christ.
So, too, was Philip. Philip was told by an angel to make an
evangelism call on the road that goes south from Jerusalem to Gaza.
No name. No address. When Philip arrived, an Ethiopian was reading
the Scriptures. Philip explained the Scriptures to him, lead him to
faith in Jesus Christ. His story has powerful implications to
1. People are searching (vv. 27-28).
Our nation is filled with people a lot like the Ethiopian eunuch.
This was a powerful man from an exotic country. He was in charge of
the royal treasury. He had power, prestige, and position, but
something was missing. He still was a eunuch.
As a eunuch, there were certain jobs open to him that were not
open to others. A fair number of government officials were eunuchs.
Eunuchs often were used by the wealthy to manage and protect their
harems. The option of a family was no longer open to him. This man
was spiritually searching for answers
There are many people in our nation today who are like the
Ethiopian eunuch. They have lost the power to bring forth. They are
like a dry tree whose branches crackle and crumble. They are seeking
and searching for answers. All seems hopeless.
2. Good news is for sharing (vv. 32-35).
Isaiah 53, the song of the suffering
servant, predicted the one who had borne our grief and carried our
sorrows. So Philip began with this scripture and told the eunuch that
the lamb who went to the shearer was Jesus, and the good news was that
though Jesus was cut off, God raised him from the dead. And now, God
freely pardoned sin, poured out His spirit to give life to all, and
created a community in which all were valued and accepted and loved.
Philip spoke the good news. The eunuch accepted and went away
rejoicing. He found what he had been looking for. His search was
3. Obedient workers are for sending (vv. 26, 29).
As powerful as this story is, the fact remains that the eunuch
would still be seeking and the good news would have been silent, if
Philip had not been obedient.
When a person listens to the voice of God, swift obedience is
always next. Philip’s obedience reminds us that God doesn’t have
part-timers. He calls men and women to complete obedience. When God
has a worker that is available and adaptable he schedules appointments
that are unforgettable.
During the darkest hours of World War II, Britain faced a
critical shortage of silver for the war industries. Informed of the
crisis, Winston Churchill asked if there were any possible sources of
silver, however remote. The answer came back: Yes, the churches,
cathedrals, and abbeys held beautiful, sterling silver statues of the
saints. From Churchill came the now-famous reply, “Well, it’s time to
put the saints into circulation!” And so they did.
When obedience is manifested in a believer’s life, a saint enters
circulation. That’s what happened to Patrick of Ireland and Philip of
It’s been said that Christianity is one generation away from
extinction. We are not responsible for the past generation or the
future generation. We are responsible for this generation. We cannot
do everything to reach our nation, but we can do something. The
greatest danger to reaching our nation is not ignorance, but apathy.
Philip was not indifferent to the leading of God and the gospel
spread to Samaria and Judea. Patrick did not turn a deaf ear to the
voice of the Spirit and the gospel spread through Ireland.
What will we do as a church and as individuals to see that the
gospel is reaching the searching souls in our country?
by: Rick Ezell, a pastor and author in Naperville, IL