When we hear about a “Road To Damascus” experience what comes to mind?
The phrase has become short hand to describe an unexpected, life changing, supernatural encounter with God.
The first “Road to Damascus” is described in Acts chapter 9.
Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:1-6)
Talk about pulling an 180 degree turn in life.
Who would have ever expected that a man like Saul of Tarsus who (from a world’s eye view) had nothing to gain and everything to lose by abandoning the position and prestige he had achieved in Judaism would embrace a relationship with Jesus?
Initially, even the believers of his time thought this was too good to be true.
But soon they came to a mind boggling conclusion –
“He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.”
And they glorified God in me. (Galatians 1:24-25)
There is no doubt that God is in the life changing business.
The fact that I am writng this is a minor example of this phenomenon.
There was a time in my life where I enjoyed arguing with Christians about their faith from the point of view of an atheist.
I was so mean about it I even gave one Christian friend who shared with me a Ouija board for his birthday.
If you had told me then that someday I would look upon Jesus Christ as my nearest and dearest friend I would have laughed in your face.
In fact when I told my friend Brian that I had become a Christian he looked at me and said, “You shouldn’t make jokes about something that serious!”
It took him about a month to see that I wasn’t pulling his leg.
It does seem that God has a sense of humor.
He delights in doing the unexpected – even reaching those who seem out of reach.
Consider this amazing example passed along today by friend and regular guest on Scott Richards Live, New York Times best selling author Joel Rosenberg.
On Monday night, something remarkable is going to take place in the capital of Syria. More than 1,100 senior Syrian government officials, journalists, business leaders and religious leaders — Muslim, Catholic and evangelical Christian — will attend the gala premiere of a major motion picture entitled Damascus, written, produced and directed by entirely Arab Christians. The film, part documentary and part narrative drama, tells the story of how Saul of Tarsus — one of the first prominent persecutors of Christ-followers in the Holy Land — himself became a follower of Jesus during a miraculous encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus and eventually became known as the Apostle Paul, going on to write much of the New Testament.
It is unheard of in the Middle East to have a major Christian film about the events of the New Testament debut in a Muslim-majority country run by the secular Ba’ath Party, much less have the premiere supported and attended by senior government officials. That’s what makes the Damascus docu-drama project so extraordinary. What’s more, the film is hosted and narrated by one of the most well-known Syrian TV newscasters who explains the historic events of the life of Paul in the very places where those events occurred. Numerous events in Paul’s life are then dramatized using famous Syrian Muslim actors playing the part of Jews and Jewish followers of Jesus.
Follow the link to Joel’s Flash Traffic Blog for the whole amazing story.
But do you catch the irony here?
Today, in Damascus, the stage is set for another “Road To Damascus”.
Not just the release of a movie about “The Road to Damascus”.
But an unprescedented outreach in one of the world’s most hostile environments.
By the way, we have just confirmed that Joel Rosenberg will be our guest on Scott Richards Live on April 15th.
His latest book details the amazing, and often flat out supernatural events that are happening as God reaches out to even the most closed hearts in the most closed countries to the message of Jesus Christ today.
We have even seen a real increase in the amount of hits we are receiving on our web site Scott Richards Live.com from places restricted to missionary activity like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
There is a profound spiritual hunger and thirst in the Muslim world today.
Please be praying for the premiere of this film and that hearts will continue to turn to the love of Jesus in that troubled part of the world.
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