Posted on November 10, 2013
Hope for Saul
The weather was nice that afternoon as some travelers made their way down the dusty road. The man in charge of the group smiled smugly to himself, satisfied by the power that the papers he carried would have. Suddenly, out of nowhere came a light much brighter than the sun. The travelers fell on their faces and trembled in horror. Then came a powerful voice calling out, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” The man in charge, once so proud, shook with terror. “Who are You, Lord?” The man asked. “I am Jesus Christ Who you are persecuting . . .”
Saul was a prominent and well educated Jew. He was there when Stephen, the first of many Christians to be martyred, was killed. Saul, of course, hated the Christians and did everything he could to harm or kill them. Who would have thought that this man would travel the world preaching Christianity, write a large portion of the New Testament, and suffer for the sake of the Gospel that he had tried so hard to crush? The story of Paul’s conversion is an incredible testimony to the grace and mercy of God. It should be encouraging to us as Christians to realize that God can change the hearts of even our worst enemies.
A good modern example of a Saul/Paul conversion in the creation outreach is Dr. Gary Parker’s story. Dr. Parker was a biology teacher at both the high school and university levels. He was a very strong proponent of evolution, known for trying to get students to fit evolution with their faith, and even pushing it so hard he made students cry. As time went on, Dr. Parker and his wife, Mary Parker, became Christians, but still insisted on evolution. A colleague gave Dr. Parker a copy of Morris & Witcomb’s The Genesis Flood, which discussed geologic evidence for the worldwide flood and young earth. Dr. Parker still wasn’t quite convinced, so he went back to school for his doctorate, where he also studied some of the geologic evidence he had read about.
Dr. Parker ended up being convinced by the scientific evidence as well as theological evidence for a young earth. He is now a well-known creationist paleontologist (see the booklet, From Evolution to Creation, an interview with Dr. Parker, published by Answers in Genesis). The Parkers started the Creation Adventures Museum in Florida and also wrote several children’s books. In fact, I loved reading their children’s books when I was very young. My favorite one was called Life Before Birth. Growing up on these books is probably a large part of why I aspire to write my own children’s books on creation topics.
It is important to pray for those that are opposing our ministries. A friend mentioned to me that Richard Dawkins is really a lot like Paul was before he converted. I never would have thought of something like that, but it is a good point to keep in mind when we are dealing with those that are trying to oppose us that they are really fighting against God. Don’t take personal offense to their attacks, rather, pray for them. You never know if Richard Dawkins or whoever opposes your faith may be the next “Paul”.