A blinding light struck the Pharisee and knocked him to the ground. Only moments before Paul’s conversion by the Spirit, he was confronted by a truth that many today dislike hearing, and many today dislike telling. “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
In other words, ‘Saul, your life and what you’re doing with it is a great offense to me. You think you know me, but you are actually persecuting me.’
Isn’t this true of all people prior to coming to Christ? Before Paul lived for the gospel, was beaten, stoned, and imprisoned for the gospel, he first faced the reality that he was on the wrong path, and would remain there until the God he persecuted, was believed on in his heart. But Paul’s belief was not without brokenness. God had blinded him from the life he once served, and his simple belief would soon turn to a relentless zeal for His lord.
Christ the master, and Paul, the willing bond-servant.
The question to ask is this; Is there concern in our hearts, we, the redeemed saints of God, over the condition of men’s hearts outside the doors of our Churches? Surely some more than others. But why? Could it be that many began easy with Christ? Have some entered a relationship with God, having never been told that sin utterly hurts and greatly offends the heart of God? Does this make for strong, or weak saints?Saul trembled at the blinding light, and the piercing word of truth. Do men tremble before truth these days? Saul felt heavy conviction. Can you encounter a holy God without it? Do we avoid offending others while avoiding the very needful but often offensive rebuke from God? His rebuke is designed to break the man whom he intends to mend and make holy.
There is an important lesson for us here. There are Pharisees, sinners, deceived, rebellious, God-hating, holiness-hating, men and women among us. God loves them as he did Saul. God himself preached the gospel to him. God himself converted him. God alone loves and converts sinners today, but is it true conversion without the awareness of offense? Is the whole gospel preached when the men who hear it feel they’ve offended no one?
Let’s not be unaware Christians who rarely grow in zeal, fervent service, and spirit filled worship in daily life.Let’s not expect persevering, victorious “Christians”, when the “gospel” we’ve preached does not also, break and rebuke the one whom God is saving.
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