“Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come—that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” (
Not everyone will have a “Damascus Road” experience—where Paul saw a blinding light, heard the voice of Christ, and was struck down to the ground by an encounter with God. Some of our experiences, as to the circumstances and feelings accompanying our salvation, may not be so dramatic. Our experience must, nevertheless, be just as miraculous inwardly if not outwardly—a genuine experience with Christ is required.
Perhaps we were very young and in simple, childlike faith we received Christ. Maybe as a young teen, we were at camp and stirred emotionally, responding to the Gospel invitation. It might have been akin to Paul’s experience—we were adults in rebellion against God and brought to our knees. All I know is that there must be a turning point—that moment when we cross from death to life, from the broad road that leads to destruction to the narrow way that leads to glory, and from a self-centered life to a Christ-enthroned heart. When was your turning point? Have you had one? You must!
I remember as a child hearing the Gospel message continually. When the church doors were open, we were there. I went to church so much, that I went nine months before I was born! But, being born in a Christian home no more made me a Christian than being born in a hospital made me a doctor! There were great blessings, however, in having a grandfather who was a preacher and a father and mother who were Gospel singers. The seed of salvation was abundantly sown in my heart. It would lay dormant for years, however, as I pursued a lifestyle of increasing debauchery. Oh, I marched down an aisle, joined the church, was baptized, and believed in my head all the Bible taught—that belief did not migrate to my heart, however, and so what I was on the inside began to manifest itself more and more on the outside. Yet, as Paul discovered, you can’t run away from God. The Hound of Heaven had been unleashed to track me down, and in desperation came the turning point one dark night. The Gospel seed germinated and new life became mine. I have never been the same. Not that I am perfect—far from it—still, Christ has changed my life, and continues working on me.
Like Paul, Christ has saved me for a purpose. My life mission is to share the message even as others did with me. That has brought me into the pulpit. Again, not everyone will be called to be a pastor, but everyone is called to be a witness. Others need to experience their turning point, and you need to tell them the story of yours, even as I have once again shared mine. That’s what Paul did persistently whether before some obscure person or in the presence of a king—in all seasons and in all spheres, whenever opportunity presented itself. Let us be on mission for God today. Someone out there is being prepared for their turning point, and you may be the pivotal person to bring them there!