Let’s continue in 1st Timothy
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, 13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 14 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. 15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. 16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal , immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
We are given grace by God to perform whatever ministry He places us in. And it does not matter what we FORMERLY were: we are all born in sin needing a Saviour. While in this state, we are acting ignorantly when we reject the truth of God’s word.
Many people think they are very astute, and their intelligence is why they reject God and His word. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is man’s ignorance and fallen nature that causes him to reject the love and word of God when it falls on his ears.
But God, in His mercy, continues to send servants to preach to sinners so faith can be birthed in their hearts and they will surrender to their Creator. Paul was the chief of sinners and God sent Ananias to proclaim the gospel to him.
Acts 9: 10 Now there was in Damascus a disciple named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, Ananias. And he answered, Here am I, Lord. 11 And the Lord said to him, Get up and go to the street called Straight and ask at the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying [there]. 12 And he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias enter and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight. 13 But Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard many people tell about this man, especially how much evil and what great suffering he has brought on Your saints at Jerusalem; 14 Now he is here and has authority from the high priests to put in chains all who call upon Your name. 15 But the Lord said to him, Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of Mine to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the descendants of Israel; 16 For I will make clear to him how much he will be afflicted and must endure and suffer for My name’s sake. 17 So Ananias left and went into the house. And he laid his hands on Saul and said, Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, Who appeared to you along the way by which you came here, has sent me that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Ananias was not enthusiastic about approaching this persecutor of Christians and, after a short argument with God, he found the courage to go. This obedience caused the greatest movement of salvation among the gentiles and it continues today. Remember that when God tells you to speak out and you are afraid.
Also remember that God is extremely patient with people, He is longsuffering, but He will not wait forever. In 2nd Peter, judgement that came upon the world through the universal flood is discussed and how God WILL BRING JUDGEMENT on this world again. He has promised this.
And what He has promised, he will do. But He is extremely patient to man and is holding off judgement to give each man a chance to come to Him.
2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.
God does not want any of us to parish. Won’t you accept this gracious invitation while the door of opportunity is still open?
To Schedule Paul Holbrook to speak at your meeting, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 941-565-3821.