Legend has it that the apostle Paul was only about 4 feet 6 inches tall. Physically he was a small man but spiritually he was a giant in God’s army. As a soldier of Jesus Christ, he felt constant sorrow in his heart for those who did not know the Savior. Gladly, he would have suffered eternity in hell if it meant that lost people would be saved. When threatened with death for preaching the gospel, he knew that he was standing against the gates of Hell and he would not back down.
Paul was devoted to the task of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. He was determined to boldly open his mouth and preach truth to all people. He knew what was right and would not let the world turn him around. He put on the whole armor of God and ran to battle with the ruler of darkness. He did all he could to stand and then he stood his ground. Knowing that the shield of faith would protect him from the fiery darts of the evil one, he refused to back down.
When Paul went to war with the enemy of Christ, Satan came against him with everything he had. Five times Paul was whipped almost to death. Three times he was beaten with rods. Once they stoned him and left him for dead. No matter where he was, he was always in danger and spent many cold, sleepless nights with a hungry belly. But for him these were light afflictions that could not compare with the eternal weight of glory that waited for him. When they finally took Paul’s head off, he entered heaven to a hero’s welcome while in hell Satan licked his wounds. Paul counted it all joy to suffer for Christ and he would not back down.
Today Paul is among a great cloud of witnesses in Heaven. They watch to see if anyone will let the love of Christ compel them to stand for righteousness. As Christians, we should continuously grieve for those who are lost because without Christ they have no hope. Would you pray that the Word of God would become like a fire in your bones that cannot be quenched? Because God demonstrated His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We should be determined that even if they stand us up against the gates of Hell, we won’t back down.
Douglas & Deborah Huff
From Down Where The Pavement Ends