About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Jesus' First Promise Jesus Made To Paul
We all know that Paul had one special conversion experience. Have you ever thought, or given any consideration to what our Lord promised Paul when he first got saved?
After blinding Paul our Lord told Annanias to go and pray for Paul so that he would receive his sight. Annanias was not too thrilled about seeing Paul, the one who was persecuting as many Christians as he could find. Jesus told Annanias the following. "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name." (Acts 9:15-16)
Now these are great words to hear just after getting saved, don't you think? This is far from the "promise box" promises that Christians like pulling out to find words of encouragement. God actually promised Paul that he would suffer. If that were you or I, we might have changed our minds at this point.
Paul didn't change his mind, but proceeded to be the greatest apostle ever. Yet from the very beginning Paul knew he would suffer immensely for the name of Christ This promise definitely came true, didn't it.
I mention this because so often we try to make it as easy as we can to bring people to Jesus, yet in so doing we may not present an accurate picture of what the Christian life is all about. We may miss the point of repentance for example, because we don't want to tell people that they are wretched sinners, as Paul puts it in Romans 7:24. If a person doesn't get born again properly, is he really born again? If a person comes to Christ under false pretence, will he last? Probably not. Is it really fair to candy coat the gospel. I don't think so. Our churches may be filled with people who think they are Christian yet aren't because we have not really led them to true salvation.
Jesus wasn't easy on Paul. Maybe there was a special reason for this because of the ministry Paul had. Still the point needs to be made, when we bring people to Jesus, we must tell them the truth, without sugar coating it. The truth is that we all are miserable sinner, wretched without Christ. We need to repent, change our ways, and trust Jesus for all things. Nothing we can do mean anything when it comes to salvation. We must tell people that there will be some hard times ahead when following Jesus. Yes, He does give us great things in relation to the abundant life, but as with Paul, our faith will be tested.