We can be very presumptuous in how we think God will work, whether in ordinary matters of providence or in the special grace of salvation. We are quick to cast our judgements on others and to declare what the sovereign will of the Lord will be.
Salvation is wholly of the Lord. It comes in His timing upon whom He wills, to the praise of His glory.
In Acts 9, Luke documents the salvation of a persecutor of the early church, the leader of stonings on his way to bring about more chaos, disruption, and hurt to the young Christians in Damascus.
Luke intentionally has highlighted the work of Saul in the previous couple chapters of Acts. It was a work of destruction toward Christ’s people. He was the dread of many Christians, presumably the subject in many of their imprecatory prayers and psalms.
This would be something akin to a leader in something like Planned Parenthood today. If there is anyone to whom we should apply our imprecatory prayers, would it not be her?
Saul was a chief persecutor of the church. As he later testified of himself, he was the chief sinner.
“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.” (Acts 9:1-2)
Saul was traveling to Damascus with his companions with the blessing of the high priest to bind up those Christians he found in the city.
“As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.” (Acts 22:5)
Saul was breathing out threatenings and slaughter. The overflow of his heart was deep hatred for Christ and Christ’s people, desiring nothing but their destruction, their slaughter.
Saul was not satisfied to see the church in Jerusalem persecuted and spread abroad. There would never be enough bloodshed to quench his hatred, because Saul was seeking to wipe out the very one who commanded his submission and obedience.
Peace only comes through a reconciled relationship with God through Christ. This applies to every fight we are faced with in our lives. There may be individuals who make statements you agree with regarding Black Lives Matter. Someone may push back against the organization’s Marxist ideologies or the inconsistent application of which black lives matter (neglecting those in the womb). But none of that is truly helpful if they have the wrong foundation.
If these individuals are not rooted in Christ, they too are preaching folly and vanity. The question is, if they successfully uproot the ideologies of Black Lives Matter, what do they replace it with?
Only recognizing that we are made in God’s image gives us each value and dignity. And only in Christ can there be true reconciliation between God and man, and from there reconciliation between men.
Paul sought to bind the Christians in Damascus and carry them off to Jerusalem, for he himself was bound by Satan, living without peace.