Lincoln preserved against all odds. We too should preserve in our walk with Christ. “The blood of the first martyr splattered across Saul’s clothes while he stood nodding in agreement.” God can use anyone he chooses ever the greatest enemy of the 1st century church. Saul didn’t realize that God was leading the events of his life to dramatically impact his world and ours. God is at work in our lives and in the world even when we cannot see it. The leader of the Sanhedrin threw Peter and John in jail. God sent an angel to let them out. God works supernaturally in the life of his children. Peter and John were not discouraged but they preached more boldly then before. Persecution brings about boldness in a life of a believer. “Then the captain went along with the officers and proceeded to bring them back without violence (for they were afraid of the people, lest they be stoned).” (Acts 5:25-26) The lost are ruled by their fears. Saul was a Hebrew of Hebrews, all that he could be in the world’s eyes but that does not please God. Peter and John had an expected ally among the Council. Gamaliel, the same man who instructed Saul, instructed the Council to let them go. He said if it wasn’t from God it was go away but if it was from God he did not want to be responsible for acting against God. When we face circumstances that are hopeless God may provide an unexpected ally. After Peter and John were beaten they rejoiced. We should also when we face that type of persecution. Swindoll said that they are remarkable courageous because the wound had not dried before the when back to preaching about Christ. We can learn from Paul life that we all have a dark side. Regardless of what we have done no one is beyond hope. Despite our past there is new beginnings with Christ. We should not focus on what we once where but on the one who saved us Christ.
The life of Martin Luther, Jim Vaus and Chuck Colson demonstrate that peace without God is impossible. Martin Luther was a pious man and tried to follow all the rules but he still was empty. Until he read Roman 1:17 the words “shot like flaming arrows off the page piercing deep into his heart, melting hardened layers of guilt and fear.” These men show us that there is no grace and forgiveness apart from the blood of Christ. They also teach that God uses hard times to get our attention. These men also demonstrate that proud men do not come to God “A proud man is always looking down on things and people,” – C.S. Lewis. At the end of their ropes God provides them a hand.
We as Christian struggle with these types of people who have converted because we want them to be like us. But “we confuse conversion with maturity.” I ask myself if I tomorrow Nancy Poloicy got on TV and said “I am now a born again believer,” I would be very skeptical and would want to see proof. That truth is salvation is between the sinner and God. How often we forget Paul was a violent man and he...