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Paul The Apostle – What You Didn’t Know
Most of us have heard the story of Paul the Apostle and how he came to serve the Lord, but for those that don’t, I’ll go over it quickly so you will have the background. There is more to Paul than meets the eye and some very interesting facts I want to share with you.
Some of these facts are not preached in churches so I know you will find them interesting. He was quite a man, with strong convictions no matter what side he was on at the time.
He never did anything halfway, whether it was persecuting Christians or serving God. Paul always gave his whole self, which is a great lesson for us today. Paul the Apostle was a far cry from Saul, the Roman centurion!
I will be using the name Paul throughout this post but his name was interchangeable with Saul. He was not called Paul until much later when he was on the isle of Cyprus.
Paul was not mentioned in the bible until the day his life met with a huge interruption from Jesus. He was traveling from Jerusalem to Damascus to arrest more Christians.
That’s right, he was not a friend of the Christians back then. In fact, he arrested and sometimes killed them. His persecution was relentless! Before Paul the apostle he was Paul the Roman soldier, a man dedicated to eradicating Christians.
While on the road to Damascus Jesus ascended from heaven as a great light and Paul was struck blind. The bible tells us that Paul heard a voice saying “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting”. Jesus called him Saul at this time.
On the third day of his blindness, Ananias was sent to tell Paul that his sight is being restored and that he would be filled with the Holy Spirit. Scales fell from Paul’s eyes and immediately he could see. He had been through three days of prayer and was ready to serve God. His first step was to be baptized, which he did straight away.
He spent some time with the disciples learning and studying and then was sent out on his own to do the work of the Lord. This man was on fire for God and ready to get in the trenches. You can imagine being struck blind and then being forgiven and getting a fresh start!
I’ve often thought that Paul, who had killed and persecuted so many must have felt such a great relief inside to get a fresh start. One where his sins were washed away. He was finally free from that burden of guilt!
What You May Not Know About Paul the Apostle
Paul was born sometime between five years before Christ and five years after Christ died. Bible scholars have estimated Paul died somewhere around 64 years after Jesus died. His ministry lasted around 35 years.
During his ministry, he became one of the most important religious leaders since the coming of Jesus! The letters he wrote to the churches are a huge part of the bible and have been an enormous influence on Christian followers throughout history.
Some people think he was one of the 12 disciples but that is not true. Paul visited many of the first Christian churches and taught them how to live a just life. That, plus writing his letters was his calling. His writings were inspired by God.
There are 27 books in the New Testament and 13 of those are credited to Paul. It is said that some of them were written by others but under his direction.
The Mistreatment of Paul The Apostle
Paul, as we Texans say, was put through the wringer during his ministry. His trials were as follows.
arrested and imprisoned three times
beaten with rods three times
pelted with stones one time
whipped with strips of leather five times
Most bible scholars will agree that Paul probably did not die of natural causes! How many of us would continue our work if treated in this manner? I feel ashamed to admit that I don’t know for sure what I would do. Hopefully, I would do the right thing and keep going on for Jesus!
Paul the Apostle had the honor of being one of the first generations of Christians and he did his best to spread the Word. His attitude during trials and tribulations was always upbeat and his thoughts were always on others, not himself.
He was a great teacher who sacrificed and suffered much for the gospel. So many wonderful people have paved the way for Christians today so that we can teach and share the gospel without fear. There are a few countries where this is not true, but most of us do have that freedom!
Thoughts and Questions about Paul the Apostle
I hope learning these facts about Paul will help you appreciate all he went through just to share Jesus. Today most of us are afraid to mention His name for fear of offending or upsetting someone. Please leave any questions you have about Paul the Apostle or any relevant thoughts in the comments section so that everyone can learn.
It’s time for Christians to be proud of who they are and share the good news. That is the great commission that Jesus left us.
When you think you have it tough, think about the early Christians and how hard it must have been for them. God Bless!