One of the greatest stories in the Bible is the turnaround of Saul of Tarsus who we now know as the Apostle Paul. He was a Jewish Pharisee who had a blood-boiling rage against the early Christian Church that was known at the time as the Way.
He consented and witnessed the death of Stephen, the first recorded Christian martyr in Acts 7:57-60; 8:1. From that point onward, Saul was on a rampage to stop this new sect. He was hellbent on destruction, his mind was closed and set, his heart filled with hate, and he had orders in hand from the high priest to go to Damascus to continue his havoc on the church.
He was a close-minded, hard-hearted, and adamant enemy of the Way. To say he was an unlikely prospect as a follower of Jesus would have been a gross understatement.
So, on his way to Damascus to arrest Christians, he was arrested by the Lord. He was temporary blinded by the light from heaven and had an encounter with Jesus. While in Damascus, a disciple by the name of Ananias ministered to him so that his eyes were opened, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Saul the sinner became Paul the preacher. The disclaimer became a proclaimer of the Gospel. The one who once spewed venomous hatred from his lips, gave us the greatest essay on love in 1 Corinthians 13. The one who before was on a mission to destroy the church, would become the greatest missionary to build the church.
How many people do we know that appear to be antagonistic toward Jesus. Don’t write them off because they are potential followers of Jesus.
Think about this:
Many people believe Jesus was but not many people believe Jesus is. Reluctant followers believe Jesus was a historical figure, but they need the revelation that He is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, He was crucified, buried, and resurrected.
Hard-headed unbelievers make bold disciples. The stubbornness and tenacity on the unbelieving side of the spectrum will be blessed on the believing side of the spectrum.
The Holy Spirit can plow the hardness of a hard heart. You will never convince them through argument and debate but the Holy Spirit can crumble rocks into good soil for the seeds of the Gospel.
If you think anyone is unreachable by God’s grace, then you do not understand the power of the Gospel and the Jesus of the Gospel. The “whosoever” is a wide brush; unbelievers can become believers. The blasphemers can become “blessers”.
I believe everyone is a potential disciple of Jesus. Why not? Believe and do not doubt the power of God. Pray for a harvest of hard-headed unbelievers to become mighty men and women of God who believe.
Harry L. Whitt