Here is something that stuck out to me today, but could easily be over looked if just focusing on Paul’s conversion story as a whole. I paused in my reading to think about those early believers Paul mentioned when he was sharing his testimony.
Did it make you sad, as it did me, when you read what Paul did to those early believers? “I not only locked up the saints in prison…but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme…” (26:9-11) 😔
Remember reading back in Acts ch. 2, “and they were added that day 3000 souls….and all who believed were together….and day after day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people.” 🤗
Those glory days only lasted a year or two!!😳
These are estimate dates, but it is believed that Jesus died around 33 AD, Stephan was martyred for his faith around 34 AD and Pauls’ conversion happened around 34-36 AD.
So the new Christians were happy for about a year….and then needed to flee for their lives! That is crazy commitment!…An attribute that is kind’a lost on us these days.
Would Christians today in the US stick to their beliefs if persecution picked up after a short period of time in their “glory days” of new belief?
Following Jesus requires crazy commitment……these early believers were great examples for us ~ crazy commitment is required almost immediately!!