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How Did Paul Come To Christ

Did Paul exercised his free will to come to Christ? He was a murderer of Christians, did he suddenly out of his own free will decide to be a follower of Christ? Why did he change his mind?

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 ---Mark_V. on 12/31/10
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CraigA, please do tell -
1. How is it "a very snobbish twisted version of salvation" when I acknowledge that God will only save those whom He love before the foundation of the world, and that God does not love everyone as taught in the lives of Jacob and Esau?

2. How is it a "foolish pride" when I acknowledge that salvation is all from God alone and it's He who chooses and not man?
---christan on 1/2/11

Such passion...Such boldness. Rare and without regards to the doctrine/scripture changers. Show the scriptures....the argument is with GOD then.
Isaiah 45:4
For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine ELECT, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
---Trav on 1/7/11


Yes, He deceptively thought that he was doing God's service or doing the will of God by persecuting Christians, when in truth he was God's enemy, and Christ spoke to him on the road to Damascus, asking him, "Saul, Saul, why persecute you me?" And after he realized that he was on the wrong side of righteousness, he repented and converted, and he became a Christian himself with signs following.
---Eloy on 1/7/11


I don't think the elect have a choice-they are chosen.

but-those that are called do.

Christ body-church-called out ones-Ekklesia.

The bride is Chosen by the Father and given to the son.
Rev 21:2-14

The quest?
Matt 22:2-14, Lk 14:16-24.
3And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

10So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests


Many are called-few are chosen.
---char on 1/7/11


-- "And they shall all be taught by God, Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me" John 6:45.
---

Thats assuming that those who have heard actually accept what they are hearing and "LEARN" it. A man doesnt believe everythign he hears, even when it comes from God (Abram in Gen 17:17 is a perfect example).

---Eph. 2:8,9. If faith came by man's works he could boast about it. But it comes from God.--

Faith is not a work. There is nothing to brag about when you place your trust in someone else. A drowning man doesnt take the credit for living because he grabbed the hand of his rescuer.
---CraigA on 1/7/11


Craig, as to your question,
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing, it is a gift of God-not because of works, lest any man should boast" Eph. 2:8,9. If faith came by man's works he could boast about it. But it comes from God.
"For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake" Phi. 1:29.
As to the calling, the calling goes out to all nations, not many answer the call. When God draws someone, He teaches them and turns them over to Christ. "And they shall all be taught by God, Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me" John 6:45.
---Mark_V. on 1/6/11




Paul-One of the chosen.Act 9:1-31
One who Loved and Believed-Yehovah Exist-and thought he was doing the will of Yehovah but yet-going against the prick as a sheep to the staff.

Paul knew the scriptures,
Knew and was waiting for the Messiah.
Paul being from the tribe of Benjamin was chosen for a purpose.

Spiritual blindness-sees.
Act9:8-18
---char on 1/6/11


Pharisee, **Jesus clearly taught bodily resurrection**
If you were resurrected without a body you would be a "nothing" Not the old decrepit body that caused your death, but a new one.
If you study Jesus' words you'll see that it is always resurrection of "the dead" no mention of bodies!
Nothing but your breath escapes your body at death!
Pagans cannot comprehend "death" so they manufacture a continue-um! Soul/spirit whatever.
You remain dead 'till you are resurrected (re standing to life).
---1st_cliff on 1/6/11


"Jesus was speaking figuratively" -While I'm aware of that interpretation I don't believe he was simply making an illustration. Here's why:

1. He clearly taught that all would be bodily resurrected.

2. The passage Jesus quotes from Isaiah 66:24 in Mark 9 is a direct quote that is preceded by a prophetic vision of "all flesh" worshiping before the Lord. This can only refer to one period of time. Those that worship will "SEE" the transgressors...they'll exist and "their worm dieth not neither is THEIR fire quenched."

Even if Jesus was speaking figuratively Isaiah cannot be because of the age in which this is taking place.
---Pharisee on 1/5/11


--They do reject the calling, the unsaved for lack of faith, but not "the drawing." --

Is this simply a matter of opinion that the calling and "drawing" are 2 different thing. I have read no scripture making a distinction. Please post some.

--First of all faith comes from God, and in order for someone to believe in Jesus Christ, he has to have faith. He does not force anyone to believe, He gives them the means to believe--

What scripture says that belief in Jesus Christ is given by God? God requires it from US. God opens our eyes to the truth and we either accept that truth and place our faith in Christ or reject that truth as a lie.
---CraigA on 1/6/11


Mark, Im going to assume that you dont agree with the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Ive read it all the way thru and I can tell you now from what it says, God has no intention of saving everyone in the world. It even claims that Christ didnt die for the sins of all men but for the elect only, which is VERY much against what scripture teaches.
---CraigA on 1/6/11




//Paul's conversion.
This answer of course lends itself to pure Calvinism.//

in the movie "A Christmas Story", Scott Farkus was holding Flick's arm behind his back until Flick said 'uncle'.

Under duress, Flick still could have decided to not say 'uncle' despite the damage it could potentially cause if Farkas took it further.

Paul too always had a choice. but, if Jesus came directly to you in any manner, why wouldn't you say 'uncle'.

Paul responded to Jesus not the blinding. the blinding of Paul was only a sign (which jews needed at the time) and not the ultimatum.

there are many examples of those who refuse despite the calling and the manner in which they are called.
---aka on 1/6/11


Mima, why does Calvinism have to come into the subject. We are not talking about Calvinism but about the passages concerning Paul's conversion, the Word of God. We are speaking Scripture. And what Scripture tells us. I used free will because everyone throws it out and I find it no where in Scripture concerning conversion. Who was Paul? A Pharisee, a Roman. What happen to him? Christ appeared to Him, knock him down, blinded him, and did Paul argue with Jesus? There was no arguing with God. What did God say? v. 15, "But the Lord said to him, (Ananias) "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel"
---Mark_V. on 1/6/11


Craig, you said first,
"There are a few people that actually believe God forces people into belief and that is a lie." First of all faith comes from God, and in order for someone to believe in Jesus Christ, he has to have faith. He does not force anyone to believe, He gives them the means to believe. "For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ "you should not only believe in Him" but also suffer for His sake" Phi. 1:29.
Then you said, "He does draw us to His Son but men can reject that calling and do every single day." They do reject the calling, the unsaved for lack of faith, but not "the drawing."
---Mark_V. on 1/5/11


MarkV this answer will delight you.
Paul did not come to Jesus rather Paul was driven to Jesus. In fact I have to guard against jealously when I consider Paul's conversion.
This answer of course lends itself to pure Calvinism. However I believe it's the exception rather than the rule.
---mima on 1/5/11


Martin Luther, John RW Stott, and a handful of other gifted ministers believe that the damned will eventually cease to exist.
-leej on 1/4/11

John Stott backed off that belief several years ago.
---John on 1/5/11


Pharisee, I thought you were aware that Jesus was speaking figuratively, using Gehenna as an illustration.
Gehenna was a garbage dump outside Jerusalem that was kept burning with sulfur.
Trash that didn't make it to the flames hung on the ledges where maggots devoured it!
They also threw criminals, not thought worthy of a resurrection ,into the dump!
Jesus did not say a resurrection of the physical body, but a "resurrection of the DEAD", sea giving them up also. brand new bodies, not a "makeover"
Think about it *sea giving up the DEAD* not dead bodies, there's a difference!
---1st_cliff on 1/5/11


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Paul had a zeal for God, and a passion for truth.
When he heard the truth, he accepted it.

Too many people have no passion for truth and no zeal for God. They want to be called christian, but have no desire to live the christian live.

Isaiah 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
---francis on 1/5/11


Pharisee, I totally agree with your statements. I now understand what you were trying to say. Sorry I had to ask. I have made many mistakes before in not getting the message put out and didn't want to make another mistake. I completely agree with your statements brother.
---Mark_V. on 1/5/11


//Martin Luther, John RW Stott, and a handful of other gifted ministers believe that the damned will eventually cease to exist.//

Jesus compared the spiritual 'pain' of those eternally turned away from the presence of the Father to the pain that those sacrificed in the valley of gehenna felt when they cast into the never ending fires.

Do not water down the Scriptures with the opinion of a few gifted men.
---aka on 1/5/11


Mark, you missed my point. My point was that according to Hebrews 3 and the very words of the Holy Spirit, man can resist His voice calling us if we harden our hearts to Him. There are a few people that actually believe God forces people into belief and that is a lie. He does draw us to His Son but men can reject that calling and do every single day.

God is warning us not to harden our hearts.
---CraigA on 1/5/11


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Cliff that's what Jesus taught, if I've interpreted it wrongly I'll pay for it, but let me ask you, what did Jesus mean when he quoted Isaiah speaking about worms that don't die and fires that don't go out?

Sounds to me like eternal/perpetual decay and burning. He also taught that there would be a literal resurrection of the physical bodies of everyone that ever lived. What else could be meant by the "graves will be opened" Spirits don't live in caskets, corpses do. I don't see how you could conjure up any other idea from what he said, but then again you don't believe Christ is Lord (Kurios/owner/keeper/master) either. You got the main message of Jesus preaching wrong (himself) how could you have anything at all straight?
---Pharisee on 1/5/11


1st_cliff - there are no volcanoes around Babylon.

Secondly while the traditional belief of the church is that the damned will suffer eternally in the lake of fire,not all theologians believe God is the kind of God that will make the damned suffer eternally.

Martin Luther, John RW Stott, and a handful of other gifted ministers believe that the damned will eventually cease to exist.

So from a doctrinal standpoint you are not required to believe in everlasting punishment of the damned.

The belief in everlasting punishment in the lake of fire has been a one method used by pastors to keep their flock in line and keep the collection plates filled up.
---leej on 1/4/11


Pharisee, **Will burn in a fiery hell for all time**
It's this kind of a statement that is a dead giveaway that your belief is straight from Babylon where they use to throw humans in a volcano to appease the gods!
The God of scripture (my God) is defamed by your saying he tortures humans by fire forever. My God is a God of Justice ,mercy and benevolence. Your god is a fiend!
There's no place on this planet where a lake of fire is burning underground (fire needs oxygen)volcanoes become fiery when they reach the surface (air).
Cremation does not "hurt" the dead person! (pagans believe that something escapes the body at death)only pneuma/ruach =breath!
---1st_cliff on 1/4/11


Craig, you will always be told not to make the same mistake as them. Who is told? The believers. Not to make mistakes as those in the Old T. did. The none-believers don't care what God says. They don't believe in Him. If you disobey, you will pay the consequences because all of God's children are partakers of His chastening. If you are not chasten, you are an illegitimate and not a son of His.
---Mark_V. on 1/4/11


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Mark I'm simply saying that the Spirit testifies of Paul and everything he's written, not only that he makes me to remember whats he's written when I need a word from God to guide me just as he does with the Lord's words recorded in the gospels.

1 Corinthians 10:20 shows that false Gods are not empty spiritually but are the attachment of devils. Those with a Christ other then the genuine Lord have a devilish spirit they commune with that perverts scriptural interpretations so that they only see a part of the truth at times, and at others miss it entirely. The teaching that Paul is no Apostle is from a devil and people who believe that have a False Jesus who will laugh at them for eternity in Hell.
---Pharisee on 1/4/11


Pharisee-- Your BOLD statement was well made. There is no way to "convince" otherwise, those who are determined to reject Paul and his teaching.
You are not being sanctimonious. You spoke the truth.
---Donna66 on 1/4/11


--To this day we are under that Covenant, and no where in that Covenant does God say, "only if you let Me" Or "only if you use your free will."
-- MarkV

Hebrews chapter 3 Mark. An entire chapter of God telling us not the make the same mistake the children of Israel made then they came out of Egypt. The Holy Spirit is warning us not to harden our hearts to Him. Those that do shall not enter into his rest. (3:11)
---CraigA on 1/4/11


Pharisee, all i can say is amen.
---aka on 1/4/11


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Pharisee, I like almost all of your answers and cannot for the life of me make out what you are trying to say about Paul. Get you explain a bit for me? Thanks.
---Mark_V. on 1/4/11


\\People who cannot reconcile the writings of the apostle Paul with those of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot possibly have the gift of the Holy Spirit. \\

I'm not aware of anyone contrasting them, much less opposing them.
---Cluny on 1/3/11


I'm going to make a bold statement:

People who cannot reconcile the writings of the apostle Paul with those of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot possibly have the gift of the Holy Spirit. Even within Paul's writings there are opposing statements that if they are not spiritually discerned for you by their true author will absolutely knock you loopy.

Hear me. I'm not being high minded, I telling you the bedrock truth, the Spirit I have that is given to me makes all the connections. Anybody who rejects Christ's preincarnate deity is a stranger and will burn in a fiery hell for all time. Further I have ZERO doubt that Paul was a true apostle. THERE ARE DIFFERENT JESUSES, and the right one confirms the one he sent.
---Pharisee on 1/3/11


cliff, i apologize. Peter called him beloved brother. Peter and his companions, which were once hunted and killed by Paul, now call him beloved brother. Maybe, by this time, the others finally understood the message that Paul brought to us from Jesus Christ and stopped twisting Scripture to their own destruction.

And, i will be glad to finish the sentence that you request if you answer why we should not believe Luke in a blog about Luke, and i can answer why 'i do' instead of 'we should'.
---aka on 1/3/11


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Sometimes people say that God elected groups of people, but not individuals to salvation. In some views, God just elected the church as a group (sound familiar?). But Romans 8:29 talks about certain people whom God foreknew ("those whom he foreknew"), not just undefined or unfilled groups. And in Ephesians Paul talks about certain people whom God chose, including himself: "He chose us in him before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4).

To talk about God choosing a group with no people in it is not biblical election at all. But to talk about God choosing a group of people means that he chose specific individuals who constituted that group.
---christan on 1/3/11


Craig, My point was to show God has an election. Those people whether they were Jews or not, did not exercise their free will in order to be saved. God chose a remnant for Himself. They did not do the choosing.
"Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to grace." The grace of God was given to others, (Gentiles) who are of the elect. And it was not given because of works of man using his free will, "And if by grace then it is no longer of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace." If man contributed by his works Scripture says, "But if it is of works, it is no longer grace, otherwise work is no longer work"
The New Covenant is by Grace along.
---Mark_V. on 1/3/11


Craig 2: Under the New Covenant passed to Gentiles, works of man are excluded. To this day we are under that Covenant, and no where in that Covenant does God say, "only if you let Me" Or "only if you use your free will."
"Then I will sprinkled clean water on you, and you shall be cleanse, I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, I will I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Now hear this) I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statues, and you will keep My judgments and do them"
He didn't say if you want to with your free will. Free will is excluded.
---Mark_V. on 1/3/11


CraigA, please tell me and everyone here after you read Romans 9, what is the proper context and the references according to you? I have yet to hear your "proper context" in this chapter except to tell someone they are out of context.

I have never labelled myself as a Calvinist except to agree with him as what he teaches is taught clearly in the Scripture. And Calvin isn't the only person that teaches predestination and election. Before Calvin was Paul, whose an apostle to Jesus Christ and wrote the majority of the Epistles in the Scripture. It was Paul who taught and revealed that God has elected and predestined not only Christians to salvation but everything else you see happening before you and I.
---christan on 1/3/11


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CraigA, "The body of Christ (those who put their faith in Him) are chosen from the foundation of the world to receive a reward as a GROUP. Not each individual man." Show scripture that supports your claim. Your sequence is: Put faith in Christ = God will choose you = salvation.

Scripture contradicts this, saying "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth."

Sequence based on Scripture: God loved and elected Jacob + grace & mercy + justify him by faith + sanctification = guaranteed salvation (glorification). (confirmed in Romans 8:29-30)
---christan on 1/3/11


Christan, because you refuse to read the chapter in its proper context and cross reference the quotes mentioned.

There are typically 2 kinds of Calvinists. Those who are so afraid of losing their salvation they cling tightly to predestination to salvation doctrine without properly researching when and where the doctrine came from and those who want to be Christians only because Calvinist doctrine feeds their desire to be set above everyone else.

One is rooted in fear, the other in selfishness. Neither is in love

Perhaps soon someone will start a blog on Romans chapter 9 so we can discuss it verse by verse.
---CraigA on 1/3/11


The body of Christ (those who put their faith in Him) are chosen from the foundation of the world to receive a reward as a GROUP. Not each individual man.

The reward is given to whosoever places their faith in Christ. There is not a single place in the Bible where it says that God withholds salvation in Jesus Christ from anyone. (Jesus Christ died for everyone) Nor does it say God planned for anyone to spend eternity in hell. I challenge you to find ONE SINGLE VERSE.

The Romans 9 core of Calvinism is grossly misinterpreted. Its not the beginning of the letter. You have to take into account the other 8 chapters before it to properly read chapter 9 in context.
---CraigA on 1/3/11


Cluny, **then how do you know it's reliable?**
When has God ever stopped satan from doing anything??
Messing with truth is his stock and trade,the gullible never know the difference.
Reading the bible and "studying" it are two different things!
Like the late Johnny Cochrane used to say "if it doesn't fit , you must aquit"!
---1st_cliff on 1/3/11


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Mark, that whole passage of scripture is about the children of Israel. There is an election of grace among them and that election has a purpose (v.10) It is to spread Gods word to the rest of the world.

Verse 24 simply shows us that not all of the children of Israel elected to this responsibility are Jews. Some of them were Gentiles at the time of this passage.

The Bible is very clear that we become 'heirs' like Israel thru FAITH in Jesus Christ. We are not heirs not elect before faith. You have grossly misinterepreted that entire chapter.
---CraigA on 1/2/11


1stCliff, if you think that Satan can mess with the transmission of the NT, then how do you know it's reliable?
---Cluny on 1/2/11


CraigA, please do tell -

1. How is it "a very snobbish twisted version of salvation" when I acknowledge that God will only save those whom He love before the foundation of the world, and that God does not love everyone as taught in the lives of Jacob and Esau?

2. How is it a "foolish pride" when I acknowledge that salvation is all from God alone and it's He who chooses and not man?

You call my understanding of election "twisted" when Scripture clearly declares that God has chosen before the foundation of the world. These words are written in Scripture and unless you can prove otherwise that it means something else, it is you who's got the twisted mind.
---christan on 1/2/11


In the LXX and Vulgate, the name of the first king of Israel is NOT rendered "Pavlos/Paulos," but "Saoul/Saul."
---Cluny on 1/2/11

WRONG Cluny!

The LXX/Vulgate made NO attempt in any of the OT names to translate them into either Greek or Latin.

Names were kept in their orginal Hebrew.

Otherwise Cluny we would have had Latin/Greek names for Moses, Abraham, David, Elijah, Jonah. Zachariah, Samuel, Daniel and on and on and on.....

IN FACT...

Joshua would have been called Jesus, if what you said were true.


NICE TRY!
---John on 1/2/11


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aka, Is it really surprising that Peter would call Paul "brother"? Peter wrote this circa 65CE, Paul had been leading the "church" for some 30 odd years writing 12/13 books of the NT by this time. Yes he swayed them all with his glibness!Establishing "churches" with mega rules and regulations,from which sprang our thousands of "denominations" of which Christ had no part!He sent out evangelists two by two!
BTW, finish this sentence ,if you will , although Luke was not an Apostle, or even Jewish,never met Jesus, "We should believe Luke because.........."
---1st_cliff on 1/2/11


--you know what happened when the folks around Calvin didn't believe...in predestination presented in his manner-- aka on 1/2/11

If memory serves me correctly they were executed for not being the "elect" or giving reverance to the teachers who were the "elect".

A real heart of Christ that man had. Guess thats why the Lord said we shall know his children by their fruit. He obviously wasnt a man of God at all. Just someone who wanted to be held in high esteem.
---CraigA on 1/2/11


A dangerous precedent exists here, the thought that satan could never mess with NT scripture! Give one good reason or scripture that every word of NT is pure and unaltered! And straight from God's mouth!
---1st_cliff on 1/2/11


Paul still could have chosen not to at that time. We just do not know what would have happened if he would have chosen not to believe at first like Zacharias or Abraham and Sarah. why would Paul not believe when the Truth was presented in that manner?.

balance.

again, it is curious to me why it is so important to convince of predestination when one is predestined not to believe in predestination. you know what happened when the folks around Calvin didn't believe...in predestination presented in his manner.
---aka on 1/2/11


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Thats a very snobbish twisted version of salvation, Christan.

One day you might actually read Romans 9 for what it actually says instead of twisting it to set yourselves above the rest of humanity.

You carry a foolish pride in your heart. The Jews did the same thing and it led to them down that dead end road. They chose to rest in their election because of their heritage as well and they were cut off from Christ.
---CraigA on 1/2/11


\\Paul is just Saul in Latin/Greek. \\

No, it isn't.

In the LXX and Vulgate, the name of the first king of Israel is NOT rendered "Pavlos/Paulos," but "Saoul/Saul."

Since, however, Saul was a Roman citizen and quite well learned in Greek letters and culture--and doubtless, Latin as well--he might have taken, or been given by his friends or parents, a Graeco-Roman name.
---Cluny on 1/2/11


It is SO like God to choose unlikely people to do great things! He surprised everyone by choosing David, shepherd boy and musician, to lead His people. He made a Samaritan the hero of parables to teach Samaritan-hating Jews.

Saul was THE most unlikely Jew to ever follow Jesus, since he was dedicated to torturing and killing Christians! It is unimaginable that he made this sudden choice on his own. The blinding light, the voice Saul (aka Paul) heard were more than just "persuading".
Who knows, the least appealing person you know, may be among those chosen by God!
---Donna66 on 1/2/11


The Seg, thank you so much for the blessing you call for, may the Lord keep blessing you and everyone who works so hard to bring the Truth on this website not for our glory but for the glory of Christ.

"God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scriptures says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 'Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down You altars," and the Divine response was, "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of Grace. and if by Grace then it is no longer by works"
---Mark_V. on 1/2/11


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2Pe 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
2Pe 3:15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
2Pe 3:16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

Peter calls Paul a brother. Barb and others say don't be deceived. The Apostle Peter says not to be ignorant and twist Scripture to your own destruction. I will listen to Peter and Paul.
---aka on 1/2/11


Aft he was blinded by The Light
then he done what The Lord said,
Acts 9 v's 17 - 18. Apostle Peter preached Acts 2 v's 37 - 42 on the day of Pentecost & then from there so did the other Apostles, even Apostle Paul preached The Same Salvation Plan. God did Not give The One Plan to Apostle Peter & the others something diff, they
All Preached The Same.
---Lawrence on 1/2/11


Seems like many here just hate the very thought that Paul was a chosen vessel (an elect) of God to teach the Gentiles. Paul is like Jacob and all the elect of God, they are loved by Him. And election as taught by Paul himself is UNCONDITIONAL, including himself -

"For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth."

Please find a verse that says God chose Paul because God saw that Paul was going to preach the Gospel and that God decided to choose him because of that, please find that verse...
---christan on 1/2/11


It was NOT their first encounter! Christ decided for Saul.
("And it pleased G-d")

Jesus had been pursuing Saul for years. "Its hard for you to kick against the goads." Jesus had been prodding and pricking "The Wild Beast" ( Lukes description). About the same age, Saul likely heard/seen Jesus.

Saul was a Religous Zealot Pharissee, schooled by Gamaliel. A Young Superstar headed for the Sanhredin. "Hebrews of Hebrews". He heard Christ/Holy Spirit but resisted by ALL means and continued to pursue the Church. The last person who would ever convert.

So Christ had to intercede with a BIG STICK!

So Saul lost his career and gained his life!
("And it pleased G-d")
---John on 1/1/11


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The things some believe!
God does not force anyone to (become a follower of/believe) His son.
Right he doesnt!

Rom 14:11
For it is written!
As I live, saith the Lord!
Every knee shall bow to me!
And every tongue shall confess to God!

Does this sound like someone asking you to choose?
But man, try to understand. Hes not forcing anyone!

He is all there is, there is nothing else.
It's like here on this earth, you think and it look like, people are saying no to him.
And they are saying no to him!
But its only because you dont know him.

No one knows the father, but the son!
No one knows the son, but the father.
Hard to believe, I tried!
---TheSeg on 1/1/11


Excellent points MarkV, and in the form of questions, I love that:o)
---Josef on 1/1/11


Everyone knows the story Ms Donna. I am not going to repeat it here. You probably don't know either.
---Robyn on 1/1/11


Robyn--Since you apparently do read your Bible daily, how would you answer the question?
---Donna66 on 1/1/11


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God does not force anyone to become a follower of His son. The being that appeared to Paul was not and never could be the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul was deceived. Let us NOT be deceived.
---barb on 1/1/11

Barb I share Paul's story, God forced me to believe him, all doubt was removed. Could I still have rejected Christ? Sure if I was insane, when the evidence is given to you so greatly that you yourself can no longer deny it there's only one thing left to do. While I'd love to agree with your statements I KNOW differently from my own experience.
---Pharisee on 1/1/11


Mark_V: Read your bible. This is a shame. You need to set time aside each day or most days, and just read. You need to study also but at least, read your bible! It tells the whole story.
---Robyn on 1/1/11


God does not force anyone to become a follower of His son. Free choice is free choice and to think that Jesus would knock Paul off of his horse to get his attention is just wrong. The voice of God is a still small voice and you either hear it or you don't.

The being that appeared to Paul was not and never could be the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul was deceived. Let us NOT be deceived.
---barb on 1/1/11


John 13:20 .. "He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me, ..."
to receive the Lord Jesus Christ you must receive the ONE that He sent. The Lord sent Paul alone, to be the apostle of the Gentiles.
On the Damascus road Acts 9, the Lord appeared to Saul.
Acts 26:15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.16 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, 17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
---michael_e on 1/1/11


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Salvation is totally of God. There is really nothing man can do but respond to the gift God offers to those to whom He has elected to save. Eph. 2:8-10

I agree with the Westminster Confession of Faith IX.3

Man by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation, so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good. and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.

Paul has little choice in face of the evidence given in grace to him.
---leej on 1/1/11


I've posted 100+ times on Christian Ignorance.

So I decided to teach in my last several posts.

NO Saul never changed his name. It was always Saul.

Paul is just Saul in Latin/Greek. If he were in Mexico it would have been Pablo. Luke just mention it when Saul was on his way to Europe. This was many many many years after his conversion.

Which was not exactly instant. More on that later.
---John on 1/1/11


It would certainly get my attention if someone who was supposed to be dead suddenly appeared before me and his countenance was so bright that it blinded me.
---CraigA on 1/1/11


Gameliel was president of he Sanhedren and chief Pharisee whom Paul looked up to and studied under.He made the statement that "maybe they ought not to be persecuting Christians"
On the road to Damascus fresh after stoning Stephen it hits Paul like a ton of bricks "what have I done???"
No one saw "Jesus" no one heard the conversation, Christ had made a scathing denunciation of Pharisees "You are from your father the devil" Now he's going to call a Pharisee to lead the church?? Naw!
Maybe Luke thought so! He was a Gentile and wrote this whole story!
---1st_cliff on 1/1/11


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Paul didn't come to God, but rather God came to Paul with special instruction. This you can read about in the Bible in Act 22:6ff.
---wivv on 12/31/10


Because Jesus in His mercy appeared to him in the Uncreated Light.

Wouldn't that get YOUR attention, too?
---Cluny on 12/31/10


God bless you mark!
What a beautiful way to end 2010.
Just reading your question gives me such Joy.
Again God bless you brother!

Ps. you know people sometime I feel so dumb. In saying God bless you.
Because, why should I ask him to do that, which he has done already?
But, with all my heart I say God bless you all.
Happy New Year!
---TheSeg on 12/31/10


Jesus confronted him on the road to damascus, after this incounter when his named changed from SAUL to Paul, only God knows why he had a true conversion,but Jesus visiting him might have been the starting point.
---Candice on 12/31/10


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Yes, yes...Paul changed his mind because he saw the Light (Jesus). :) (Jn. 1:5-8, 12:46 ~ Acts 22:6-9)
---Leon on 12/31/10


Hello Mark_V John 6:44 states that no man can come to Christ except the Father draws him. We all have to be called by God before we can come to Christ. Paul's calling happened on the road to Damascus. Re: free choice: Many are called, few are chosen. Those chosen are those who respond to the call.
---Simone on 12/31/10


Paul saw the unbelievable faith of someone who was being stoned to death for his belief in the teachings of Jesus.It was a shocking experience for him.
This event changed his future for the remainder of his life.
His mind suddenly experienced a life changing moment where God finally reached him and he discovered God personally.
---earl on 12/31/10


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