A Revelation That Leads To A Decision
Pastor Steve Ellison
The God of the Bible has always had a missionary heart. Some people have the wrong idea that because God chose a special nation for Himself in the Old Testament that He did not care for the rest of the world. That could not be further from the truth. God created every person who has ever walked on the face of the earth. From the very beginning, every person had the opportunity to follow God but the whole world turned to idolatry. After God sent the Great Flood and started over with Noah, once again the whole world turned to idolatry. Even when God chose Abraham and told him that he would father a nation that would be God’s special chosen people, God told Abraham that the whole world would be blessed by that nation. Later as that chosen nation entered the Promised Land and God was exercising judgment on people resulting in death, He gave them opportunity to repent and return to Him.
In the ninth chapter of Acts, God gives us a picture of how every person who has ever been saved got saved. Please note that this incident is recorded in two other places as well, Acts 22 and Acts 26. When God chooses to use precious Biblical space to record something three times, we ought to suspect that He considers it to be of special importance. In Acts 9, Christ burst into the sinner’s world, revealed himself to the sinner, and the sinner responded in faith. The lost person is not saved because he (or she) decides to follow Christ. Rather, the sinner is saved because Christ reveals Himself to the sinner and the sinner responds in faith to that revelation. Then, and only then, can the sinner decide to follow Jesus. The salvation experience is always initiated by God. He came to seek and to save the lost. The lost sinner does not seek God. Saul of Tarsus was on his way to Damascus to beat and arrest or murder any followers of Christ that he could find. The Bible says that we were all enemies of God; that prior to salvation no one was seeking Him. That seems to be a pretty accurate description of Saul and me.
There was Saul, going his own way, rushing headlong into destruction, when suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. That light was a great gift from God. That light put Saul where he should have been all along, face down before the Lord. Before Saul could open his mouth, Christ began to reveal Himself to Saul. Saul heard a voice, the voice of Christ. Acts 22 tells us that the others traveling with him heard the noise but did not understand it. Grace turned on the light that allowed Saul to see himself as the sinner that he was. No person can be saved until he comes face to face with the brutal fact that he is a sinner deserving of nothing except eternal punishment. Any other verdict is completely and totally undeserved.
It is an amazing thing but we are saved individually not in groups. Saul was traveling with a group and the others heard the noise and saw the light. However, the others did not see their own sin and they did not recognize the Savior. It is truly an awesome and amazing thing that God does for us on a person by person basis. If you are a child of God, saved by grace, walking with Him, you should have inexpressible gratitude that Christ revealed Himself to you in such a way that you responded in faith. You can probably remember a time before you were saved when you were with some other people, maybe in a church service, and you heard a spiritual noise and saw a spiritual light but that was all you saw and heard. You did not recognize Christ or His voice. How tragic it would have been if Christ had not returned to you with another revelation of Himself. Praise Him that He did! ….…….firstname.lastname@example.org