articles of chapter 9

Paul’s Conversion to Christianity

Many people believe that the free will of man will resolve man’s repentance and conversion. Israel’s greatest sinner, Saul (Paul), converted to Christianity in a few moments and it did not ask for his will.

Saul becomes a believer: Act 26:4 All the Jews know how I lived from the earliest days of my youth with my own people and in Jerusalem. 5 They have known for a long time, if they would but testify to it, that I lived as a Pharisee by the standard of the strictest sect of our religion.

Phl 3:6 As far as zeal is concerned, I was a persecutor of the church. As far as the righteousness that is in the law is concerned, I was perfect.

Act 9:1-2 Now Saul, still breathing threats of murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women belonging to the Way he might bring them in chains to Jerusalem.

Act 9:3 ”As he [Saul/Paul] travelled along and was approaching Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. 9:9 For three days he couldn’t see, and he didn’t eat or drink anything.

1 Tim 1:12-15 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who gives me strength, that he has considered me faithful and has appointed me to his service. and the grace of our Lord overflowed toward me, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. This saying is trustworthy and deserves complete acceptance: To this world Christ Jesus came, sinful people to reclaim. I am the worst of them.

God has all power and everything is possible for Him. When God wants something, he just says and it happens. If God wants to save all people, this can take place in in a blink of an eye.  The Son of God, who has all power in heaven and on earth, forced the Pharisee Saul (who became the Apostle Paul) to conversion when Saul was on his way to Damascus to capture Christians.

Paul became a devout Christian and a keen declarant of Christianity to the Gentiles and a writer of the NT. Paul himself said he was the greatest criminal in Israel and yet Jesus turned converted him in a flash of a lightning. Why did Jesus choose Paul? There would have been Christians in Israel eager to take the gospel to the Gentiles. Maybe Jesus wanted to show you that everyone can be converted and no one is lost. Some scholars say, referring to this, that the will of God is that all men truly come to conversion – even if with the power of the purifying fire of God.

Many think that the person’s free will to choose accomplishes human repentance and conversion. Israel’s greatest sinner Saul (Paul) converted to Christianity in a matter of couple of days against his will.

According to the Bible, God wants all people to come to repentance and be saved? If it is certain that both the laymen and the theologians think that to receive salvation you must come to repentance during your life, even at the very last moment. If a person does not repent, then in their opinion, he will face the fire of hell after the final judgment. The fact that God or his Son, have mercy on this kind for sinners is not acceptable to believers, who believe it is only right that the bad people are sent to eternal torment, in the lake of fire.

Stop for a moment to think! If God wants, and we know that he wants, everyone to be saved, and we know that God has a proven means to make it come true, wouldn’t we believe that it will happen? The same way as with Paul on the way to Damascus but on a much larger scale.

According to the Bible, God wants all people to come to repentance and be saved.  Both laymen and learned theologians believe it is absolutely certain, that in order to be saved, man must come to repentance during his life, even if at the very last minute. If a person does not repent, then, in their opinion, a man will fall into the fire of hell after the last judgment. However, the fact that God or his Son would have mercy on such sinners is not suitable for believers who think it is just right that evil men are sent to eternal torment, to the lake of fire.

Even when being crucified, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” – And God forgave them when Jesus asked him for it. Note: The Roman soldiers did not repent and yet they were forgiven! Can we conclude from this that other unrighteous people are forgiven their deeds?

Isa 45:5 I am Jehovah, and there is none else; besides me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known me; 6 that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides me: I am Jehovah, and there is no one else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I am Jehovah, who does all these things.

God has created evil and predestined sin for Adam and Eve, but who believes that? If this is the case, it means that God will fix the matter in the final judgment and not punish people for the endless torture of what God himself has caused.

1 Cor 15:28 … that God may be all in all. – Does this mean also in the people of the fiery lake? 

Different people, especially at different times, have had different perceptions of God; for some he is a jealous God who Exo 34:7” …visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation”. To others, God appears as the God of the beginning of the same verse, he is Jehovah, “a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth” (Psa 86:15)

 

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