Summary: What do you do when everything you’ve ever believed becomes unreliable? Here’s what happened to Paul and what he did about it!
When Belief takes a Wrong Turn
Is it possible to believe you are right and you are really wrong?
There were six men of Hindustan,
to learning much inclined,
Who went to see an elephant,
though all of them were blind,
That each by observation
might satisfy his mind.
The first approached the elephant,
and happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
at once began to bawl,
"This mystery of an elephant
is very like a wall."
The second, feeling of the tusk,
cried, "Ho, what have we here,
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear,
This wonder of an elephant
is very like a spear."
The third approached the elephant,
and happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
thus boldly up and spake,
"I see," quoth he,
"the elephant is very like a snake."
The fourth reached out an eager hand,
and felt above the knee,
"What this most wondrous beast
is like is very plain" said he,
"’Tis clear enough the elephant
is very like a tree."
The fifth who chanced to touch the ear
said, "E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
deny the fact who can;
This marvel of an elephant
is very like a fan."
The sixth no sooner had begun
about the beast to grope,
Than seizing on the swinging tail
that fell within his scope;
"I see," said he, "the elephant
is very like a rope."
So six blind men of Hindustan
disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
exceeding stiff and strong;
Though each was partly in the right,
they all were in the wrong!
If all you have is religion, you don’t have enough!
Some people think that it is enough to have had a relationship with Jesus at some point in their past. They claim that they are still religious, although they rarely find time for worship service, substituting an occasional walk in the woods chasing “Bambi” for meeting with the one whop knows them best and loves them most. These same folk think that they can demand God’s attention whenever they find themselves in trouble, as if they have God’s 911 number on the speed dial of their spirit, yet they rarely give Him thanks of seek His direction. Perhaps when they feel guilty for not relating to Him, they come to church or pray a quicky before bed or at mealtime.
Did Jesus waste His time coming to earth, dying on the cross, just so that we could add religion to our resume’?
Jesus did not come and give His life just so you could be religious!
God wants an one-on-one relationship with you!
He has paid the price to make sure that happens. If Christianity were just simply accepting a bunch of religious ideas, Jesus would not have had to have gotten involved at all. But because God has always sought fellowship with man, and you and I have always tried to ignore God’s prompting.
Religion is not enough!
I want to introduce you to a man whose belief took a wrong turn. Here’s what he said about his own religion:
4 … I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:
5 circumcised on the eighth day,
of the people of Israel,
of the tribe of Benjamin,
a Hebrew of Hebrews;
in regard to the law, a Pharisee;
6 as for zeal, persecuting the church;
as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
He was so convinced of his religion that he neglected why the religion was there in the first place.
I want to introduce you today to a man who was so sure that he was right that he had to be blinded before realizing how wrong he really was.
In order to introduce you to this man whose belief had taken a wrong turn, let’s take a quick tour through a few days in the life of the early church as recorded in the book of Acts, beginning in chapter 2.
Just fifty days after Jesus died on the cross from the dead,
everything about this man’s religion changed!
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.