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The Converting Light

Alistair Huong


Before he became the Apostle Paul, Saul was a fire-breathing persecutor of the Christians.  However, during a blinding experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus, his life was changed in what seemed like an instant.  What happened in that light that caused the sudden, drastic conversion of this man, and what lessons does this story have for us today?


Alistair Huong

Executive Director of AudioVerse



  • September 21, 2013
    11:30 AM
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Chris is only following a thing for a while for the salvation that is freely given to us in Jesus Christ this morning has come to better understand how to take advantage of this manual was an easier beekeeping presenter and making custom made this message to meet the individual needs of each one of us this is my prayer in Jesus say this morning I want to study with you the second most repeated story in the Nevada the second most repeated story now what the number one most reputed story well it happens all the most important the story of the crucifixion is repeated in all goggles and a fourth needed of losing many more times throughout the New Testament of the second most repeated story anyone want answer yes some people might say is right it's actually not the birth of Jesus if the title of the message is any clue to you as buying the best thing I can tell you the story is repeated three times in the book of acts acts chapter nine act chapter twenty two and accept twenty six and we are going to be looking at the acts twenty six account Sojourner my mother with me now if you have your Bibles accept twenty six and the second most repeated story in the New Testament happens to be the conversions for you the apostle Paul one was call small how does make this confession now this story really discussing Paul pre- conversion when you call saw as well as a possible quality conversion and you understand the difficulty of keeping those two straight so Paul Paul forgive me if I mix them up you know if you want to nitpick you know I is probably happen on the call Paul or solve all before he became all I can call Paul Saul after he became Paul okay just get back on my system forgive me if I confuse you but to the same guy so let's read a story together accept twenty six Pollitt before King Agrippa he's been imprisoned and he is now giving the defense of himself and dumb let's just begin in verse seven unto which promise our twelve tribes instantly serving God then I hope to come for which holds a king Agrippa I am accused of the Jews so he's bleeding into the story now verse eight why should it be thought a thing incredible with you that God can reason that I barely followed myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth first ten is where the story really begins which thing I also did in Jerusalem and many of the Saints did I shut up in prison having received authority from the chief priests and when they were put to death I gave my voice against them verse eleven and I punish them off in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme and being exceedingly mad against them I persecuted them even unto strange cities you see the picture of Saul the persecutor this was before he became as soon when he was still the same the Pharisee in the family he was not a nice guy verse twelve whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority commission from the chief priests at midday O King I saw in the way a light from heaven upon the brightness of the sun is shining around the balcony and then which journeyed with me verse fourteen and when we were all fallen to the earth I heard a voice speaking unto me and saying in the Hebrew tongue Saul Saul why persecute us down the it is a hard rain could be the kick against the pricks and I said who art thou and he said I am Jesus whom you persecute us but rise and stand upon thy feet for I have appeared underneath for this purpose to make in minister and a witness both of these things with Vaseline and of those things in which I will appear under the delivering the from the people and from the Gentiles unto whom now I send the to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me so here we see the familiar story depicted by Paul the road to Damascus experience there he was on the horse at noon time and paying a bright light comes not see him in all of his companions although horses and in an instant this conversation in the light did not take a long time in that instant in that moment on brief encounter we see Saul becoming Paul and also what seemed like a split second in moment Paul was converted he went from firebreathing computer to being an apostle of the man whose followers he had been putting in one short encounter in the light but what about that like what's so significant about the lights slick in Revelation keep your finger six what a revelation with me chapter one what's so special up of white privilege in several one and verse thirteen the apostle John now his writing he says that in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the son of man clothed with a garment down to the foot angered about with passable girls are you describing someone that he sees you seeing that the Son of Man in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks he goes on to describe the physical characteristics of the Son of Man in verse sixteen he says and he had in his right hand seven stars out of his mouth went a sharp to it it's sort and his countenance which is also his face was as the sun shine in so John seen the face of Jesus and his description of the faith of Jesus is that it is shining like the sun and the apostle Paul or Saul in the road to Damascus CC is a life that is brighter than the sun and how do we know and brighter than the sun because these out in the middle of the day at noon time at midday and he see the light is brighter than the noon day sun and in that encounter we know that he saw Jesus and we know now Revelation one tell you that the light emanating from the face of Davis remember Moses when he stopped talking face-to-face you come down in this phase with the glow the light of God Stephen would come back to Stephen when he was getting his defense say his face shone as though it was an angel and here we see small have been encountered in the light that shone from the faith of Jesus and instantly he becomes a different map instantly converted instantly changes Ct. one hundred eighty degrees and he goes from persecuting to be one of the prosecuted so here's the question here is the question what happened in the life what happened in that short moment in time action for this fire breathing persecutor and what lesson does it have for me because if somehow God can change someone has against him as the apostle Paul in the span of such a short time surely he can change me a man so what happened in the light that is the question we're going to try to answer in the balance of our time together three things happen in the light breeze means that happened in the lines number one in the line Saul was convinced Saul became convinced in the Linux what do I mean by that let's think together a little bit about what Paul believes prior to December what was his understanding and his level of believe in visiting man named Jesus Christ what they know and what they believe about Jesus one the me ask you did Paul saw that he believed that Jesus what the literal physical human being who live in Israel yes he did it's not until later on in history that infidels the skeptics begin to revise history in the attempt to stage either the mythical figure he never really existed that was not an issue for Paul Jesus Christ or Jesus rather what a real physical human being he could not deny okay now didn't believe then that Jesus was an influential teacher of course because why else would he be persecuting these people claim to be followers of Jesus seeing new and he could not deny that the teachings of Christ had influenced some of his teachings did all this agrees with all of Christ's teachings or does he actually believe a lot of what Jesus taught did Jesus teach the law and Moses yes and does Paul believe in the law and a note you better believe that Jesus teach about the resurrection yes he did and Paul at the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of Jesus stage that we ought to live a holy life yet he did and Paul as a Pharisee of the Pharisees believe he is living a holy life did not did Jesus teach the authority of the Scriptures yesterday and doesn't call me the thing you can go down the list of teaching that Jesus taught and there are very new to me that the apostle Paul try this conversion would disagree with now another so did Paul Crider 's conversion this fall actually believe that Jesus Christ was nailed on the cross and crucified yes she did she could not deny no one could deny back then because it happened on Passover there were witnesses everyone thought it was a triumphant entry slot is not denied like so many of us sophisticated atheist today say Jesus really want than a real person Jesus never really died as certainly never resurrected soul Psalm we can conclude safe he was no atheist she was nodding individual that had in his mind all of these philosophical arguments to stage either didn't exist than Jesus did not teach the truth that Jesus did not really die he could not deny any of that so the question is the one that he not believe what they mean not only look to look with me or listen to what acts of the apostles by LOI page one sixteen what I will like described going to solve experienced the Savior has spoken to us all through sixty remember the experience even before he was stone when giving their testimony and then all men Nassau and with the key then they lay down the coast at the feet of a young man named Saul before they went and stoned Stephen so small was there those in the stimulus book and the soil through Stephen whose clear reasoning could not be controverted the small near-death statement reasoning his logic was sound he could not debate the Lord of Jew had seen in the face of a larger or rather seeing the face of the martyr reflecting the light of Christ's glory appearing as if it had been the face of an angel there is not a shining with light again there's something here keep that in mind he had witnessed Stephen's forbearance towards enemies and is forgiveness of them all of these things had appealed loudly to solve and had at times thrust upon his mind and almost overwhelming conviction that Jesus was the promised son and at such times we are told she struggled for entire nights against this conviction and always yet ended the matter by our bowing his belief that Jesus was not the Messiah and that his followers were deluded fanatics so now last sentence we see developing one piece of the puzzle that fall within this film one thing that he didn't only people leaving everything except this one thing that if you simply do not believe Jesus was the Messiah that will Jesus was a real man Jesus taught the Bible had to say we believe in Moses and the prophets Jesus had a following he was an influential teacher all of these things he agreed with him on a lot of things even but he simply could not we could not say that Jesus Christ was the Christ so what does it take to convince a man of if you saw Christ resurrected and he has no more leg to stand on and what happened in the line wasn't not precisely what happened in the life Saul looked up and you see the resurrected Jesus and that's why in one instant it didn't take a long time of going back through the textbooks the study things out he did have a formed a committee to discuss this he didn't have to remember all of the things that he had said about why this wasn't true he saw Jesus resurrected and all of a sudden all the arguments melted and in the light he realized immediately Jesus is the Christ Jesus is the Messiah in the line he was convinced she was convinced intellectually now she knew that Jesus is in fact the Messiah who has been for about all nice and good but there's a question here I think deserves answer and others should have heard statements testimony and saw what I believe was an honest person intellectually honest and he saw the logic of Stephen why did he not believe before man this is what it says acts of the apostles again page one thirteen not without severe trial to Saul come to this conclusion there are three things that are listed here as to why he reject did Christ as Messiah number one but in the end his education and prejudices his respect for his former teachers and his slide of popularity brainstem to rebel against the voice of conscience and the grace of God three things his education and his prejudices number two respect for his former teachers and authority in his ride of popularity mercy that sounds like me have you ever went about his experience where you are faced with a decision when you all of a sudden go through I can do that I have a degree from Southern Evans University I was taught this in my class my Bible class in my science class Lottie Glasser my history class what would my teachers think of there a student if I believe there is now can't do now because it would be embarrassing or maybe culturally on my family one of the innocent we were brought up this way we can do that because what Wednesday things and of course the respect for former teachers perhaps of invasion this is more of a problem than for a independent-minded Americans out there the respect for elders right all I can do that it would shame the family whatever one of the truth required only in the Lysol fighting against the truth because of this inertia of education this is the respect for former teachers or parents or elders in the final one that really sealed the deal for him was his pride popularity unit number saw you in the rising star in his party he was a young man on whom the Pharisees pinned all their hopes injury and there was this thing called peer pressure but about all my friends from all the guys that I'm close with what will they think of me if I admitted to them and now I believe in Jesus can it be that these same three things are what keeps today from fully embracing the truth are the three things that the thing that truly keep us from living the life that Christ calls us to be wary so much about what other people will think that we would rather lay sleepless at night fighting the conviction of the Holy Spirit rather than do is our phase with our facts in the light in the light saw became convinced and along with that conviction he realized the truth is more important than education and prejudices and respect for my former teachers and elders it is even worth losing my reputation over with my peers and with my friends in the life Paul was convinced that's number one but guess what being convinced is not enough I was a Bible teacher once in high school and I had a lot of a student in class but guess what having an a in Bible class does not prove that your converted person just because you understand and are convinced of the fact that can spill it out on the test does not mean you are converted so what else does it take the second thing that happened in the light Paul was convicted and know what they mean by convicted convincing convincing happens in the head in the mind conviction happens in the look with me back and asked up to twenty six verse fourteen again and we knew when we were all fallen to the earth I heard a voice speaking to me and saying and what language language is about two people awake out there what language is Hebrew okay leaving the new look that up you know that there is a small herd the voice speaking to him but it wasn't just the voice speaking to him he actually goes to the link to think it was in the Hebrew talk what is significant about interest at this time in history the lingua from the language of business was Greek the New Testament was even written in Greek but Paul was a Hebrew and what language do you suppose he spoke at home what language do you suppose was the language that his mother spoke to him and how many of you here speak a second of the a lot of you and how many of you English is not your letter what base Miguel okay a lot of so you understand what I say that there are certain things that cannot be expressed outside of that language that you use at home right when you agree with them and if you're like me a Chinese come from a Chinese family and me speak multiple dialects and in our home we don't just be Chinese we speak are all unique mixture concoction of the different dialects in a few English words sprinkled in and we have our own language at home yet is something so you probably know what I'm trying to FO and you can use certain phrases certain expression and nobody else in the world with understanding that you and your brothers and sisters in your mind that you got your language and is just like this when I'm out and about in all of them out with my pair with my mom to buy the best example we can converse and we can carry on a English but when there's something on her mind she speaks to me in the language we use she called me by my Chinese name and of course he got up listen for the tone of voice right move the different tone of voice will tell you that something bad is good that on her heart and in the same way all year I just imagine he's telling treatment of this and Agrippa happens to be a very familiar with the Jewish culture to study it out and Paul explained that I heard my name called out is the Hebrew time and he might even reflect back is not just a Hebrew that you hear in academia it was the same accent the same dialect the saying we that we here in my home and hearth this with my parents I heard Jesus speak to me with the language of my home the language of the heart because what was Jesus trying to do Jesus was not trying to reach Paul intellectually like a half I know why I'm resurrected you were right and I was wrong half the change that's not the point the point of this interconnection in Jesus was trying to reach the heart of all and he uses that language the plot instantly recognizes as bad language in my home and Jesus says Paul saw why persecute us down now imagine back when you were a child your home and your mom comes to you and she had this sound in her voice that without her saying very much you know that she is very disappointed that you have done something that you should not have to can you remember that feeling when your heart sinks as a knot in your throat and maybe when you're needed you're really young the tears start to well under way oh no what I do now and you hear your mom caught him they in that sweet little boy my son my daughter that emotion that you feel that was what's all that were in that we what went on in his heart he realized on thing that is something had gone wrong and he hears the voice of Jesus and why are you persecuting me it is hard for me to kick against the pricks and he says who are you Lord and he said hi and she's cool you persecute what happened when those words sunk into the mindful what do you suppose she felt when you hear the voice of the very person he had been fighting against in that instant when he realizes when he realizes that I have been doing all of these things in the name of the glory of God industry in the third to vindicate my God defend the faith to be a faithful witness to be doing all of these things my church and I'm going out there and I'm just giving it my all and then now he realizes everything that he's been doing has been hurting the very God 's been trying to start the very person that he had devoted his life to he is crushing out his spirit he is twisting the knife in his back in an horror in horror all realizes what he has been doing with his life in the moment he realizes that he has been much greater to the God that he had found his life to defend is only one word I can use to describe that he was broke he became broken in that because also now call could defend himself he is a I really defend this defender of the faith and he and I go out and do whatever he needed to take care of you when now he realizes everything you dependent on everything you need to lean his weight on our crumbling before life is nothing but good and I'm hopeless and helpless everything I knew to do actually have been against the God I've been serving he was broke but at the same time you wrecking that in that same voice that called out to him with the screwed or disappointed tone that same God in that tone of voice with giving him he realized that Jesus Christ could have killed him instantly but that's not what he realizes that this God whom he had been fighting against is actually here to save and invest home Paul realized that there is no grade will keep you and absolutely nothing which he can depend on for his own salvation except Jesus Christ it became clear abundantly clear to him that his own righteousness was good for nothing is all an effort led him to persecute Jesus Christ by Yahoo! thinking that had come down and called his name using his language and has raged in Venice all in the same instant Wendy Christ is his story heart game in the whole that there is still alive in the future I like how Seabrook said that he says when he looks at himself when I look at myself I don't know how I can be safe whatever I don't know how I can be lost and can you imagine that feeling when Paul in that moment I laying down on the on the ground on the road he looked up at him one side is that I'm a dead man after all I've done I'm a dead man but then as he realizes Christ is here to save me easier to pick me up as set me on the right course alleluia how then can I when he was a someone has directed at me that she considers VoIP in that moment he was convicted in which the heart he realized I am saying because of the mercy and compassion in the grace of Jesus not because of why because I've been persecuting the man who wants the same Christ reach down and he wrote Paul Silva has a contrite penitent man he might have that salvation for which he had tried to work so hard for Christ reached his heart Paul was convinced in the light Paul was convicted in the light in his mind now the facts are straight in this part he is now bound up in the man Jesus Christ the one last thing happen in the way that also starts with C in the life she was commission in the light Paul was commissioned versus sixteen verse sixteen is said that Ron 's and stand upon by further putatively for this purpose to make you a minister and a witness both of these things which you have seen and of those things which I will appear under the earlier Jesus Christ and it is hard for you to kick against the pricks out with an end of the transmission this says it didn't go GOE well brings one code is not pointy stick used to guide cattle the cattle rancher they use them to hope the oxen to make them go the direction where they want to go and it reminds me of another another place in the Gospels were Christ actually uses an illustration of cattle and box in Austin GE says take my yoga upon my learn of me my yoke is easy and my burden light is all this time Christ had been trying to direct the apostle Paul Horsfall to become the possible to go in a certain way to face a certain direct and Paul was resisting resisted resisted how do we know he spent whole nights sleepless against conviction of someone with kicking against the pricks and hear Jesus this Paul Oppy says but broad you have fallen on the rock and you are broken but not get get up because you have work to you have now come message today what you have been convinced that what you have been convicted up go and tell the world in verse eighteen is very significant to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light from the power of Satan unto God that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is being me notice what Paula supposed to do he saw a light in the face of James he saw the light beam reflected from the face of Stephen and out Jesus said go open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light the light that convinced the light that convicted your the life that now shines on your pathway as you embark on this gospel commission go share that life there that like the world opened their eyes go Teresa got every creature and after that Paul Westphal became the apostle Paul he became the converted a converted man who was convinced who was convicted who was commissioned and this is the same Paul says if any man be in Christ he is a new creature all things are passed away behold all things are become so what does it take to be converted what have we learned in that story of the light on the road to Damascus what does it take to take all three it takes being convinced it takes being convicted of taking the commission these three things put together results in conversion of the character and of the Christian heart sometimes we try to get one without the other you know that's you know the feeling where we know all the facts we know what the Bible says but without that part brokenness experience with Jesus there's no-fly there is no endurance there is no stamina in the Christian life we might know one thing that we live and do an sometimes there are those whose heart is completely melted and with meal and with passion but I think they go out and they don't know the Bible they don't know the truth but there just on fire and sometimes I fire fizzled out and end up in fanaticism within the duties and crazy thing because there their roots are not in the word they haven't been convinced but they just simply have the fire of conviction in their perhaps the words are sometimes those who feel compelled transmission but have no message that there is no experience with Jesus and they just go out and end up causing a lot of trouble but we need them all we need to be convinced we need to know our Bibles we need to know what the three Angels messages say we need to know what the final event the going to be we need to know what the message of warning is that we been given to tell the world we need to be convinced of it but that must be combined with that constant experience like Paul says what we die daily recognizing every day that we are not that then Saul on the road to Damascus about the hunt down workers to recognize that our lives as we make these committees is whether willingly or unwillingly but we are yet persecuting crucifying the flesh and to recognize there is no good thing that Christ lives in me why have a chance in eternal life of course to live the life fulfilling the gospel commission to preach the God of everlasting Gospel to every nation kindred Tonya a converted person is in Sam we are not living a life in which we are burdened with the salvation of souls perhaps there is still a piece missing in our conversion experience because it takes all three sides we conclude here I invited during the final text of this message second Corinthians chapter four in verse six a Scripture reading for the day written by the apostle Paul second treatise chapter four verse three he writes for God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus some of us might say yeah Paul nice for you to say but the life they use on the road to Damascus I wish that would happen to me that doesn't happen here although they shine his light knocking at the horror horses like he did back then but wait a minute wait what did we just read second grid is for verse six is said thought had already commanded the light to shine out of darkness into our with the thing however this book light into existence he has spoken the light in your through the word of God which has been preserved for us that we can hold in our hands today that they want the same life that continues contained within it the potential power to convert the worthless that are right is shining in our hearts today so have you seen the light have you seen the light of day perhaps some of us in this church today we are still struggling with some aspects of the truth maybe there's some thing about them I something about the doctor 's something about the teaching the right sniping my favorite salvation that we are not fully convinced maybe there's something that we need to be convinced that anything the light are you willing to look into the light for bachelor may be others of us we know the facts we know Jesus we know what the documents teach we know what the Bible has to say but we had trouble living the right life in Jesus we struggle with that conviction every day were not really consecrated in Jesus and we need that brokenness that Paul experienced you would need to be convicted in our hearts have you seen the are you willing to fall on the rock paper and maybe there are others of us who we know God is calling us to some is calling us to some line of ministry is calling us to minister to that friend that family member that coworker she calling us to some activity for him we are resisting in the light Paul was commissioned and God as also through the light is trying to commission us for his service have you seen the license for God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness sets shine our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ I want that light to shine ever brighter and brighter in my dark dark heart of June twenty converted fully and completely to be a new creature about astray father this morning this afternoon as we have spent a few thoughtful moment investigating the conversion of Paul Board we desire that experience for our set shine that light from your word into our hearts may we be supple may we be malleable may we be able to understand and to be convinced of the facts the truth that you wish to teach us but Lord me speechless as he spoke to Paul speak to our hearts in exactly the way that we need to hear that we might be broken we might recognize that Jesus Christ is not just a Savior that he is a lie and lower strength in a skirt up our loins that we might become the sole winners ministers for you and strengthen us to that today bless us as we continue on the Sabbath to and maybe to recover grow brighter and brighter into your life yes Jesus this media was brought audio nurse a website dedicated to spreading God 's word to the sermon audio and much more we would like to know more about our universe is much more so than please visit www. .com universe .org


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