The Big Idea
Meeting Jesus transformed Paul from persecutor of Christ and his church to sufferer for Christ and his church.
From today’s talk I realised that Saul (Paul when he was a Jew) was a terrorist. He went around terrorising Christians and even wanting and making it happen to have them put in prison and killed. It made me think, I should be praying for other terrorists to become Christians. People like Asama Bin Laden (missed opportunity for me) Islamic, Hindu and other terrorists around the world.
I was also impacted by the fact that Saul wasn’t converted through hearing the gosple of Stephen or the fact that he was willing to die for Jesus (as impactful as that would have been) but it took JESUS himself to confront Saul to convert him. I wonder if this is what is needed for more people today? Was this just the case for Saul or are there more people that need to meet the very person of Jesus before they will believe (irrelevant or if thy have heard the gospel)? And thoughts from anyone?
While we need to be careful about imposing today’s labels on people from other times in history, there are certainly parallels between Saul and those we might call terrorists today – religious motivation, fighting a “holy war”, a fierce hatred of those they oppose, self-righteousness, and a willingness to kill in order to win…
And so I love how different God’s strategy is. Instead of eradicating his enemy he wins him over by his gracious love. As Paul put it years later, “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
So Yes, we should be praying for many similar conversions which put God’s mercy & grace on display. We should also remember that apart from Christ we are all God’s enemies and so his grace is no less necessary for you or me than it was for Saul. If we remember this, then our capacity and impact as witnesses to the gospel will be far greater than we imagine it could be.
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