The ends of the earth is an expression people use when they want something to go everywhere. In the ancient church God gave the charge to his church to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth. The Ends of the Earth is a new movie produced by our church body that highlights the ministry of the Apostle Paul going to the Roman Colony of Philippi. For the first couple months of the year we’ll be working through the topics of the movie in our after worship Sunday morning Bible study.
In this first lesson we find Saul (the Apostle Paul’s name before his conversion) face down on the road to Damascus. He is called by Jesus who asks him why he was persecuting Jesus. During this time Saul has flash backs to times in his life when he oversaw the capture and execution of Christians in the early church.
The movie doesn’t take time to describe what happened to Saul after Jesus speaks to him, so we explore his conversion. He is struck blind and led in to Damascus where Ananias, one of the local Christians shared the good news of Jesus with him and baptizes him.
It is worth spending a little time talking about conversion. God tells us in Romans 10 that faith comes from hearing the message. God doesn’t go into too much detail as to the exact logistics of the moment of conversion. There are some who mistakenly think that a person must make a decision for Christ – that is – to ask Jesus to come into his or her heart. That is the moment of conversion. The problem with that is it places the focus on the sinner, not on God. People have asked, “How do I know if I really made my decision?” “How do I know if I really believe?” No where does the Bible speak this way. In fact God says the opposite. Faith is a gift from him. If we can say, Jesus is Lord, then the Spirit is working in us. So, if a person can say, “I am a Christian.” That’s because there is already faith at work. The only trouble – if we have to have some – is finding the exact time and know how the Spirit works. These are details best left to our God. He doesn’t tell us everything we might like to know. He calls us to trust him and assures us that he loves us.
Want to hear more? Watch this week’s lesson from our video series End of the Earth: Conversion.
Please click HERE to view the Bible class slides.
Please click HERE to watch the movie clip.