The Apostle Paul (known as Saul at that time) was an UNSAVED Jewish man until the day that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke to him out of Heaven above. Paul was a severe persecutor of Christians, and he gave his own approval to the DEATH of many of those same Christians. The only problem was that Paul was a very religious man, BUT he was also a very LOST man. Paul was never the same after he got SAVED, and he began to preach that Jesus was the Christ (Messiah) immediately after that. Paul suffered severe persecution himself from his fellow Jews and others also, but he kept going despite the many hardships that came his way. Paul was given the opportunity to testify before a King named Agrippa, and here is what he said:
Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things CONTRARY to the name of JESUS of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of THE SAINTS did I shut up in prison, having received AUTHORITY from the CHIEF PRIESTS; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice AGAINST them. And I PUNISHED THEM oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being EXCEEDINGLY MAD against them, I PERSECUTED THEM even unto strange cities. Whereupon as I went to Damascus with AUTHORITY and COMMISSION from the CHIEF PRIESTS, (Acts 26:8-12)
Paul was preaching about the Lord Jesus Christ
He told the King that he formerly opposed Jesus Christ also
He shut up true believers in prison and approved of their deaths
He compelled those precious souls to blaspheme the Lord
Now here comes the good stuff
At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, ABOVE the brightness of the SUN, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the HEBREW tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, LORD? And he said, I AM JESUS whom thou persecutest. (Acts 26:13-15)
Do not miss this!
The Lord spoke from Heaven above
The Lord Jesus Christ spoke to Paul (Saul) in the Hebrew language!
The Lord spoke out of Heaven = to a murderer = of Christians
Now Listen = To what Jesus said out of Heaven
But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a MINISTER and a WITNESS both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, (Acts 26:16-17)
Now we know Jesus = had a special assignment = for Paul
But he also has an assignment = for EVERY true Christian
To open their eyes, and to turn them from DARKNESS to LIGHT, and from the power of SATAN unto GOD, that they may receive FORGIVENESS of sins, and INHERITANCE among them which are sanctified by FAITH that is IN ME. (Acts 26:18)
1] Open their eyes
2] Turn them from darkness = to light
3] Turn them from the power of Satan = unto God
4] That they may be forgiven
5] That they may receive an inheritance = through faith in Christ
Without Jesus Christ EVERY person is still blinded by Satan, and under HIS power.
That same person has NOT been forgiven of their sins.
That same person has NO inheritance in Heaven at all!
Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not DISOBEDIENT unto the HEAVENLY VISION: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should REPENT and TURN TO GOD, and do works meet for REPENTANCE. For these causes THE JEWS caught me in THE TEMPLE, and went about to KILL ME. Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying NONE OTHER THINGS than those which THE PROPHETS and MOSES did say should come: That CHRIST should suffer, and that he should be the first that should RISE from the DEAD, and should shew LIGHT unto the PEOPLE, and to the Gentiles. (Acts 26:19-23)
Paul got SAVED and his fellow Jews wanted to KILL him!
Paul was now on the other end of PERSECUTION!
Paul had the Spirit of God within him!
Paul preached what the prophets said would happen! Nothing different!
The Jewish people had the very same scriptures that Paul had, BUT they missed the whole thing when they rejected Jesus as the Christ (Messiah)!
The Lord opened the spiritual eyes of that man Paul, and he will also open the spiritual eyes of ALL who truly desire salvation.
There is absolutely no other way to be saved, outside of Jesus Christ! (John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12)