Summary: As Saul was blinded by the light, we may have to experience "blindness" to really see the truth.
“Blinded By the Light” November 12, 2008 Pastor Charlie Wallis
A family had gone to the movies, and on the way in the teenager of the family stopped by the refreshment stand to pick up some popcorn. By the time he got into the theater the lights were already dim. He scanned the theater and couldn’t find his family. He paced up and down the aisle searching the crowd in the near-darkness. As the lights began to go down even further he stopped and asked out loud, “Does anyone recognize me?” (Sermon Central)
Have you heard the expression “The lights are on but no one is home?”
One of the most religious men in the Bible was really spiritually blind. We might think we are spiritual, faithful, or even saved, when we might really be blind!
Review Acts 1-8
• The Pentecostals Party is over: Church won’t always be easy
• Stephen is martyred and the heavens open: when we give to God, he opens the heavens.
• Phillip leaves a successful ministry and leads an Ethiopian in a position of power to the Lord.
Explanation: Acts 9:1-9
• Saul is dragging Christians to prison, thinking he is doing God a favor.
• We can be religious for all the wrong reasons.
• He gets permission to be a jerk (being a Christian is not an excuse to be rude)
One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm, a mother was tucking her small son into bed. She was just about to turn off the light when he asked in a trembling voice, "Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?" His mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. "I can’t, Dear," she said, "I have to sleep with your daddy." After a long silence he said, "The big sissy." (Sermon Central)
We really think we see things clearly, but we are really blind.
Rev. 3:17 You say, "I am rich. I have become wealthy. I don’t need anything." Yet you don’t realize that you are miserable, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.
• Saul thought he really knew God.
• In many ways, we have lived in religious darkness. We have confused Christianity with worldliness. LOVE IS NOT BLIND!
• We get used to darkness. We call it “Normal.”
• The Blind are leading the blind. Jesus said, “Is it possible for one blind man to be guide to another? Will they not go falling together into a hole?” Luke 6:39
• There is no hope for the world when the church is blind. “If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Mt. 6:23
During Creation, God was talking to an angel: "Whew! I just created a 24-hour period of alternating light and darkness on Earth." Angel: "What are you going to do now?" God: "Call it a day." (Sermon Central)
Who are You, Lord? Will we recognize God when He shows up?
• Illus: Turn lights out in the dugout.
• Saul is smart enough to recognize God.
• “Why do you persecute Me?” When we live in darkness, we are sinning against God himself.
• Sin: Not my opinion: Does it offend God? Ps 51: Against you I have sinned.
• If you live in darkness, when the light comes on, it will shock you. “No Way, that’s stupid.” If we really knew Jesus, we would be shocked by many things.
• What will it take for us to see the truth? Can we be sorry?
• Saul had to be blind to see truth. It might take blindness to the world to see God.
Rose Crawford had been blind for 50 years. Then she had an operation in an Ontario hospital. She said, “I just can’t believe it,” as the doctor lifted the bandages from her eyes. She wept - when for the 1st time in her life she saw a dazzling and beautiful world of form and color greeted her eyes and she could now see. The amazing thing about her story, however, was that 20 years of her blindness was unnecessary. She didn’t know that surgical techniques had been developed, and that an operation could have restored her vision at the age of 30. The Dr. said, “She just figured there was nothing that could be done for her condition. Much of her life could have been different.” (Sermon Central)
He picked himself up: When we obey God, the lights will come on!
• Saul is blinded by the power of God. This is Jesus himself!
• We don’t need a little experience with God – we need a spiritual knockdown.
• If we will respond, God will turn our blindness into revelation.
• We need vision, revelation, and truth. We need a wake up call.
• Illus: “your breath stinks” Thanks for telling me!