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Heroes of the Bible Apostle Paul

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And You Think You had a Bad Day?

Apostle Paul was a man who went from persecuting Christians relentlessly to himself being persecuted "relentlessly."

Paul was born "Saul" in Tarsus to parents who held Roman Citizenship. He received his training from the well respected Rabbi Gameliel, and was a strict Pharisee. He was present at the stoning of Stephen, Acts 7:58. (Actually, he watched over their coats for them as Stephen was stoned to death.)

Acts 9:1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

His conversion happened on a road called Damascus. God struck him blind and knocked him off his horse. That got his attention! He immediately suspected who it was. Terrified, he called him, " Lord," People who are persecuting others know intuitively that they are wrong, but continue anyway.

What a terrible person! Persecutor, liar, murderer-So Jesus calls him into the ministry!

Jesus talked to Paul about his actions against His people. In verse 9:5 of Acts He explained that it was hard for him to "kick against the pricks."

What on earth does that mean? This was a stick or goad sharpened on one end used to stick an ox to make him work harder. Sometimes the ox kicked at the stick, but when this happened he was pricked or stuck even harder! (There were no animal protection leagues in those days.)

Paul with his traditions was kicking against God but there was no way he was going to win because the new covenant was here bought and paid for by Jesus' blood.

So Paul is taken blind into the city after his conversion. Annais is chosen to pray for him but is doubtful, for he knew Paul's reputation. The Lord tells Annais that "Paul is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel and to suffer greatly for my name", Acts 9:15,16.

People who have been called to share the gospel have a million stories of how God knocked them off their horses too, so to speak. Some are funny. Some are hilarious and some are poignant.

However he knocks you off, you usually hit the ground in terror running and preaching. Some ministers wouldn't dare reveal how Jesus knocked them off their high horse. Its too painful to remember.

You are chosen by the will of God. He chooses you and places a mantle or anointing upon you. Many people get angry with God and try to run away from it or hide or even pretend that they are not aware that they are called to preach or teach! Jonah ran away to Nineveh and Saul tried hiding behind baggage.

Often God gives the disobedient chosen ones a supernatural experience like he did Apostle Paul and scares the living daylights out of them!

So now obedient and converted Paul is ready for the ministry.

Here are some ways that Apostle Paul, the former persecutor, was persecuted himself in order to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:24-28 He received thirty nine lashes on his back for the sake of the gospel.

He was beaten with rods three times for the sake of the gospel.

He was stoned one time for the sake of the gospel (He was not HIGH on rocks. He was HIT with rocks! This usually was done in the old days by a group!)

He was shipwrecked three times in travels for the sake of the gospel.

He was thrown in the belly of a ship for a day and a night, (the deep), for the sake of the gospel.

He had many dangerous trips, (among highwaymen and robbers), for the sake of the gospel.

He had to travel through dangerous rivers for the sake of the gospel.

He was often in danger from his own people for the sake of the gospel.

He was in danger from Gentiles for the sake of the gospel.

He was in dangers in the city for the sake of the gospel.

He was in dangers in the wilderness for the sake of the gospel.

He was in danger from false Christians for the sake of the gospel.

He suffered toil and hardship for the sake of the gospel.

He spent sleepless nights for the gospel.

He was hungry and thirsty for the sake of the gospel.

He was in fastings often for the sake of the gospel.

He was in cold and nakedness for the sake of the gospel.

In addition to all of the above, as an Apostle, he had the worry of all of the churches daily on him for the sake of the gospel.

What persecution he faced!

2 Timothy 4:5-7 But watch in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of your ministry.

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.

Read A Woman is knocked off her high horse.

Copyright 2007

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