Pointing people to Christ
The most famous conversion recorded in the Bible is surely that of Saul
One minute he is heading towards Damascus with the intention of having Christians arrested and thrown into prison, and the next he is being led into the city having experienced blindness and an encounter with the very One he was denouncing as a fraud and blasphemer.
The word conversion can literally be described as “an about turn” which gives it a military connotation and that is exactly what Saul of Tarsus experienced. His encounter with Christ brought about a complete change of direction.
His priorities changed
His attitude changed
His beliefs changed
His life changed
Even his name changed.
Perhaps the most important thing to notice about Paul’s conversion (Paul being his new name) was that his conversion wasn’t “a flash in the pan” experience. His conversion was to change the course of the rest of his life and on a number of occasions he recalls his experience as he shares his testimony with the various people he meets, sometimes friends, and sometimes not so friendly!
One thing for sure, Paul’s conversion experience was to impact on the rest of his life and his “about turn” was to also affect the lives of millions of people who read his incredible life story.
It cost Paul a lot when he came to faith in Christ. He was no longer part of the Jewish establishment. He became an outcast among his own people and on a number of occasions he encountered mockery, imprisonment, beatings and even shipwreck for the sake of the gospel. For all of these trials and difficulties Paul was able to say “I have learned in whatever state I am to be content” (Philippians 4 v 11).
Paul’s conversion is just one of millions that have been recorded over the centuries and the amazing thing is that each conversion story is distinct to the individual concerned.
Sometimes conversions are dramatic:
The drug addict rescued from heroin abuse
The person on the brink of suicide brought to faith in Christ
The man facing financial ruin because of gambling debts
The woman fighting a drink problem finds hope by talking to a Christian friend.
...but sometimes our
conversions are less dramatic: