By John Larkins
This past Sunday, I was paging through a King James pew bible in a local church and suddenly startled awake to read “Saul Converted,” Acts of the Apostles, chapter nine.
In several years of re-searching biblical proofs for Jesus Christ’s new belief system (Church), I did not recall such an obvious and powerful statement! Convert! Meaning, stop what you are doing, for it is wrong.
Think of this scene. Saul, a highly educated and res-pected Jewish Hebrew scholar, full of venom and enthusiasm for killing Jesus’s converts and on a mission to kill as many as possible. One moment he is absolutely convinced that he is doing God’s work by stamping out this Jesus movement. The next moment, in a display of absolute power, someone knocked him into a daze and onto the ground.
In verse 4, Saul heard a voice saying unto him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” Saul, soon to be called Paul, was naturally befuddled and shocked. He must have guessed that only God could have done this to him. In verse 5, “And Saul said, ‘Who art thou Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom thou persecute: it is hard for you to kick against the pricks.”
Acts chapter nine, covers the developing story of Jesus’s personal conversion of Paul from Hebrew to Catholic. Oops, no one knows that yet. We will just say Christian to be consistent with a later verse (Acts 11: 26) that reveal Jesus’s disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. So far as I know, no other group was identified in this way. But if Jesus personally ordered and directed Paul’s conversion into His Church, why would a person today not think it important to join Christ’s Church?
Is it clear to you that Jesus Christ’s Church is operating exactly as He said it would? Remember that He said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church?” If you cannot remember that the entire mission of the Savior Jesus Christ is to save the souls of all who want to be saved in Him through the sacraments of the His Church, then you need to think again.
Please be clear about this issue. If it is not necessary for all people – Jews, gentiles, pagans, other Christians – to convert to the full teachings and baptism of the Church, why did Jesus make such a dramatic point of converting Paul to The Way? He directed existing Church teachers to take Paul in and make certain that he knew enough of his new religion to be a teacher and evangelist. Can you suggest anyone who does not need to convert to Jesus Christ’s Church, as did Paul? Even if Jesus knocked them to the ground and blinded them, would they continue to oppose Jesus?
Mark 14: 15-16 docu-ments Jesus’s great commission to the Apostles as He was bodily returning to Heaven: “And He said unto them, go ye into the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Do you understand the word “damned?”
The process of converting our mind, body and soul to Christ’s Way requires a complete surrender of our egotistical and self-centered faith. This conversion must take place while we are yet alive. After our death, Jesus promises righteous judgement and reward for our ACTIONS, not our promises. Sadly, we must note in ourselves and in our fellow Americans signs that we have not yet been converted.
For the past 15 years, John Larkins has evangelized on the street, door-to-door, in tent revivals and in church situations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.