Summary: A sermon that discuss how we are blind to opportunities and the work of God in our lives.

I Am Blind So That I Might See

Acts 9:1-18

Rev. David Rogers Bethlehem Baptist Church

April 24, 2005

I have asked myself many times how blind I must be. Things that are right there in front of me and I can’t see them. Sometimes It is physical objects that I can’t see and other times it might be something as simple looking at the facts and seeing reality but for some reason I can’t see it. How often do we do this?

I don’t know about you but I am blind to a lot of things. Saul was a lot like that. He was very well educated. He had been trained by Israel’s best teacher of that time and he was the star pupil. He knew the Old Testament from cover to cover but to the prophecies about Jesus Christ he was blind as a bat. He persecuted the Christians and fully believed that he was doing God’s will when he was attacking God’s Children. In a sense Saul could see physical but spiritually he was blind. We was blind because of his devotion to religion and tradition. The persecution of the Church continued because Saul would not allow it to cease. Even after the Christians had fled and scattered throughout Asia Saul traveled to search for them and bring them back in chains. Saul was even so zealous to traveled over 150 miles to Damascus to persecute the Christians. You see his blindness to the truth caused him to go to extreme lengths to justify his position. People do that today. We persecute people, because we don’t like them or because they are of a different race or speak a different language. Whenever we look down on someone because they look different, act different, or speak a different language from us we are persecuting them, just as Saul was persecuting the Christians because he was blind to the truth. Because of this blindness many Christians throughout history have been persecuted.

1. John died of extreme old age in Ephesus.

2. Judas Iscariot, after betraying his Lord, hanged himself.

3. Peter was crucified, head downward, during the persecution of Nero.

4. Andrew died on a cross at Patrae, in Achaia, a Grecian Colony.

5. James, the younger brother of the Savior, was thrown from a pinnacle of the Temple, and then beaten to death with a club.

6. Bartholomew was flayed alive in Albanapolis, Armenia.

7. James, the elder son of Zebedee, was beheaded at Jerusalem.

8. Thomas, the doubter, was run through the body with a lance at Coromandel, in the east Indies.

9. Philip was hanged against a pillar at Heropolis (Abyssinia).

10. Thaddeus was shot to death with arrows.

11. Simon died on a cross in Persia (now Iran).

Yes Many of us have been persecuted often by people who claim to be well educated. We can assume that Saul came from a very wealthy family. Now the Bible does specifically say this but we can make this assumption because we know 1. he was a Roman citizen and 2. he had studied under the foremost teacher in Israel at that time. Paul was a Jew and the Jew of this time period were extremely racist especially the wealthier people. We know that Saul was very zealous for Judaism and it was very much a part of his life. He simply could not believe that Jesus was the Messiah because Jesus said that He had come to save the world not to build a physical kingdom that would make the Jews top dogs in the world’s dog fight.

The 19th-century Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard identified two kinds of religion—Religion A and Religion B. The first is “faith” in name only (2 Tim. 3:5). It’s the practice of attending church without genuine faith in the living Lord.

Religion B, on the other hand, is a life-transforming, destiny-changing experience. It’s a definite commitment to the crucified and risen Savior, which establishes an ongoing personal relationship between a forgiven sinner and a gracious God.

This difference explains why for many years British author C. S. Lewis had such great difficulty in becoming a Christian. Religion A had blinded him to Religion B. According to his brother Warren, his conversion was “no sudden plunge into a new life, but rather a slow, steady convalescence from a deep-seated spiritual illness—an illness that had its origins in our childhood, in the dry husks of religion offered by the semi-political churchgoing of Ulster, and the similar dull emptiness of compulsory church during our school days.”

Saul was blind because of his pride and racist attitude. Notice that God would take Saul the racist giant and turn him into the Apostle to the Gentiles. God would take Saul’s blindness away. Saul had visibility zero before God healed him of his blindness.

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