REAL AS REAL CAN BE
Acts 21/10 And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’ ”
12 Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”14 So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.”
Ok – so you may have ‘stumbled’ upon this Post.
Grab your seat and don’t move – you, who quickly pass on uninterestedly from any thing Biblical.
This passage is about Paul the apostle and his response to a prophet and his Christian companions.
Paul is warned that if he goes up to Jerusalemn – he is in for trouble. He will be ‘handcuffed’ and delivered to the Gentile authorities.
Imagine with me, what Paul could well have said:
Thank you God for warning me about this, through this prophetic utterance, I can now escape by some other route! How faithful you are in giving me a means of warning and therefore deliverance.
I can now testify of how God protects His children, just like you protected me through this warning prophesy. Just like you did Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus on a few occasions. Enabling him to go elsewhere out of danger’s reach.
However his response instead, was to accept the warning as true and to go to Jerusalem anyway, – prepared to suffer.
Why? Because he was convinced that God wanted him to go there.
Acts 20/22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.
His was the destiny of a martyr.
From his first supernatural encounter with The Risen Christ on the Damascus road and immediately thereafter – he was informed that he would suffer for Christ.
Acts 9/16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
This causes us to realise a few things. First the encounter He had was so real, so powerful and so ‘out of this world’ that nothing could cause him to forget it or deny it. It was as real as real as could be.
So powerful and real was the tangible Presence of God in this man’s life He needed no other intellectual persuasion as to the fact that Jesus Christ (whom he had before opposed in his head) was indeed the Son of The Living God.
He had just encountered Him on the Damascus road – blindingly! (Acts 9)
The existence of the afterlife, having invaded his world, was so real, he saw no alternative but to obey implicitly, everything He was instructed to do.
Which was exactly what he did, so that he could, in his latter years, make this statement: II Timothy 4/6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
You and I – have to take the word of a man who had this powerful assurance through this powerful experience – that Jesus and His claims MUST be taken seriously. It’s a matter of life and death.
You may not have had as powerful an experience as Paul – yet he pleads with you to obey his words. The words of the gospel he preached.
So here we are – those who may not have had this blinding experience, this tangible indisputable encounter with God – being asked to give our lives to Christ through prayer.
Before we leave this world and have the ‘Damascus road experience’ of heaven itself.
Provided that is – we accept Christ as Saviour according to the message that Paul preached.