In the eighth chapter of the book of Acts to read about the Ethiopian Eunuch who’s life was about to change forever in the words of Philip. “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saving, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goes down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet” (Acts 8:26-28).
He was returning to Ethiopia from Jerusalem. He had gone there to worship the God of Heaven. All are aware that certain feasts of the Jews were to be attended by the men of Israel. Here is a man who, having embraced the JEWISH religion, had to come all the way from Ethiopia to Jerusalem for one of these feasts. To emphasize how much this passage brings out his zeal, earnestness and sincerity, take a map of the area and note the distance from Ethiopia to Jerusalem. It was several hundred miles. Now remember that he was not flying on a fast airplane or riding in a luxurious automobile, but rather he was traveling on a horse drawn chariot. He would have to take days and days just for travel time. He must have been sincere and zealous in what he believe and practiced to have come so far to worship God.
He was meditating on a passage in Isaiah which he had not been able to fully understand. The passage was a prophecy relating to the trial and crucifixion of Christ but not knowing Christ, the eunuch wondered if Isaiah was talking of himself, or of another. Here again we see a commendable characteristic in this man. He was not so arrogant as to be unwilling to seek help and guidance; nor was his pride so great that he thought it shameful to admit he needed help. When Philip said, “Understand what you read?” this man replied, “How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” Verses 30-31.
When the eunuch asked Philip about the passage he was studying “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what prevents me to he baptized? And 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. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.” Verses 35-39.
In spite of the sincerity and devotion he was not religiously right. However, his earnestness and sincerity are manifested in his eagerness to do what was necessary to be pleasing to, God. As soon as Jesus was preached unto him he wanted to act immediately. There must have been something in Philip’s sermon when he “preached unto him Jesus” about baptism for the remission of sins. As soon as they came to water the eunuch asked why he could not be baptized. When told that he could be baptized if he believed in his heart, he confessed with his mouth that Jesus was the Son of God.
There is absolutely no evidence that any excuses were offered against immersion at this time. Today men try every possible way to postpone and refuse immersion for remission of sins. He didn’t ask for a more convenient day as did Felix (Acts 24:25). No! His response was immediate.
Even though this eunuch was an earnest religious man, he had to do something else in order to be saved. When he learned of Jesus and what he had done for sinful men he immediately decided to do what Jesus commanded in order to be saved (Mk 16:16). What he didn’t say was what Jesus preached in Matthew 7:21-23. These justified themselves by their good deeds as opposed to their obedience to God’s will. What it got them was eternal damnation.
Many today who are honest and sincere need to realize their need to do what the Lord commands in order to be saved from sin. Have you believed with all your heart in Jesus as God’s Son and confessed such before men (Rom 10:8-10); repented of your sins and been immersed into Christ (Acts 2:38)? Eternal life is not solely determined on your morality, though moral you must be, but rather your obedience to the gospel of Christ. Many moral and good individuals will be cast into the lake of fire come the day of judgment because they neglected to do what God commanded them to do here on earth. Could you be religious, but religiously wrong? Don’t wait until the judgment day to find out. Do what the Eunuch did immediately, and that is, obey the gospel of Christ, and then you too will have the right to go on your way rejoicing!