Encountering Christ

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:3-6)
Recently, I’ve heard news and sports commentators casually use the expression that something was a “come to Jesus” moment. Now they weren’t really trying to express anything of a spiritual nature; they were just using the expression to indicate a significant turning point in someone’s life. The apostle Paul had just such a turning point when he actually met the risen Jesus on his way to Damascus to persecute the followers of Christ.
We all will meet the risen Lord someday. For some of us, we meet Him as the Lamb of God, who invites us to “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)
For those who believe in Him, He assures them, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37)
For the rest, their encounter with Christ will be as the Lion of Judah. For He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth to render judgment. When the Son of Man comes in His glory, He will sit on His throne in heaven and separate the sheep (those who have believed in Him) from the goats (all the rest).
To the sheep, He will say, “Come, you who are blessed by the Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world…” but to the goats, He will say, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels…” Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. (Matthew 25:34,41,46)
For Paul, his dramatic encounter with Christ produced such a profound change in him that he recounts the story again and again as he defends his divine appointment by the Lord to witness to the Gentiles. In his zeal to persecute Christians, he became one of the most prominent missionaries for Christ.
How has your encounter with Christ changed you?
By Jim Connell






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