ISN'T God amazing? Aren't His ways fantastic? God draws some people
to Himself and they come as easily as did the Ethiopian. Others have
to be scared into it as was the Philippian jailer. You can't
stereotype God's methods. Some are finally dealt with directly as God
did with Saul.
Saul certainly would have been considered impossible, as he was
"breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the
Lord" (Acts 9:1). Is anything too hard for God?
The way God reached Saul is the exception to be sure. As the Lord
spoke to Saul He identified Himself by saying, "I am Jesus whom thou
persecutest" (v. 5). There is a debate as to when Saul was actually
saved. Many believe at this moment he too believed on the Lord Jesus.
From his reactions of obedience, it seems it was right then.
Saul heard the gospel when Stephen preached and was no doubt greatly
affected by his martyrdom (Acts 7:58). He knew the way of salvation
though he did not receive it. Saul having heard the gospel, the Lord
now deals with him. We have seen this direct dealing a number of
times. What an encouragement to witness, knowing God can bring sinners
to Christ without our presence. Some have found it effective to ask a
person to think about things discussed and later, when there is the
least tug at his heart, to let God know he will receive Christ.
One night I witnessed to the husband of a woman in our church. He did
not receive Christ. That night as he drove big
truck down the highway, the Holy Spirit convicted him and he received
Christ by himself and confessed Him publicly the next Sunday. Another
man lying in bed could not sleep and accepted Christ right then. A
woman awakened at four A.M. after rejecting Christ the day before, got
up and reread a tract left her. She was saved right then and could
wait no longer to call us and tell us about it.
Sometimes there may be the tendency to press too hard for a decision
and so leave a person defensive and harder to reach. Let this be an
incentive for leaving the door open for people to receive Christ by
themselves. It works.