What do you do with a violent man? (Acts 8-9)

 But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. Acts 8:3

Brothers and sisters, I did not get very far in Acts 8 before God arrested my heart and mind. This past Tuesday I listened to a message on this text by a pastor who entitled the message, Crisis and lift. He said in the message, “the crisis was the persecution and the lift was the church launching outside Jerusalem with the gospel.”

Here is how Acts 8 begins: “A great persecution arose against the church.”

As I considered what was taking place, my mind went directly to the one guy who was spearheading the persecution. This man was Saul. According to Galatians 1:13-14, he was a violent man. According to his own self-witness we discover the following about this violent man:

  • He was advancing toward the highest position in Judaism.
  • He worked harder to protect and propagate his beliefs than did anyone of his contemporaries.
  • He felt a personal calling to destroy the church.

Question: What would you do with such a violent man? Here are three suggestions:

  1. Pray for such people.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44.

2. Trust in the divine revelation of God.

11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel.[c]12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:11-12

3. Share the gospel when the door is opened by God. I Peter 3:15

Take the time to read the account of Saul’s conversion in Acts 9. If the gospel could reach Saul it has the power to reach anyone. Be encouraged today to pray, trust God, and to share the gospel with those who seem the hardest to reach.

It could be your Saul will become a Paul. This is the power of the gospel.

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