One of the most dramatic conversion experiences recorded in the New Testament is Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Prior to Acts chapter nine, Paul was one of the most vehement and violent opponents of the Gospel and the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. After that day, Paul completely reversed course and devoted the rest of his life to proclaiming the Gospel. Paul has been called the most effective disciple of Jesus Christ in the history of the New Testament church. It would be hard to disagree with that statement. Paul founded numerous churches, preached the Gospel in places that had never heard it before, wrote at least 13 books of the New Testament, and was eventually put to death for his faith. If you are interested in learning more about Paul’s story and his eternal impact on the kingdom of God, I highly recommend the biography written by Chuck Swindoll in his “Great Lives from God’s Word” series.
Paul’s story is a prime example of God’s ability to touch the heart of even the most hardened sinner, and His delight in using some of the most unlikely people imaginable to do His will. God can do anything, with anybody, at any time, in any place as Bible scholar A.W. Tozier has stated. What God did with Paul, He can do with you.
In the limited space I have left, I want to highlight two things that stand out to me about Paul the Apostle, and leave you with the two questions he asked on the Damascus road.
The first is Paul’s ability to focus on what is most important, which does not come naturally to us as human beings. For us, the important is always at the mercy of the urgent. Paul refused to be distracted from preaching “Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).
Secondly, Paul was devoted to discipling the next generation of believers and instructs us to do the same (2 Tim. 2:2).
Now to Paul’s two questions. Two simple questions that are the decision of a moment and the discovery of a lifetime: “Who is Jesus, and what does He want me to do?” (Acts 9:5-6). Jesus is none other than the only begotten Son of God, the only means by which a person can be saved, and what He wants us to do is to trust Him and proclaim Him to a lost and dying world.
Chris Murdock, retired pastor.