I said yesterday there were two stories in Acts that shows both the election of God, man’s choice, and our need to go and spread the gospel. Looking at today’s story, I think I should make that three stories. (The third is that of Cornelius in chapter 10).
Here is Saul, a Pharisee, totally hardened to Christ, and determined to wipe all Christians off the face of the earth. And had God simply let him be, he would have gone straight to hell. But then God intervened. Why? Because he chose to save him. We see this in God’s conversation with Ananias.
When God told Ananias to go and help Saul, Ananias basically said, “God, are you serious? Don’t you know this guys is trying to kill us?”
Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. (15)
I alluded to this yesterday, but God’s answer here again blows up the argument of, “If God has determined that certain people be saved, then we don’t have to do anything. We don’t have to go and evangelize others. God’s already chosen those who will be saved.”
Can you imagine Ananias using that type of reasoning with God?
“Well God, if you’ve already chosen him, there’s no reason for me to go.”
How would that line of reasoning flown with God? Not very well I suspect. Why? Because God commanded Ananias to go. And he has commanded us to go as well.
Certainly God could save people without our help. But for the most part, he has chosen to effect his salvation through us. He has put the keys of the kingdom in our hands. And if we don’t go, those gates will remain locked to those who don’t know him.
Note that particularly in this story and in the story of Cornelius, while Jesus appeared directly to Saul, and an angel appeared directly to Cornelius, still God required that his people go and talk to them.
He requires the same of us.
Ananias was chosen by God and told to go. Phillip in chapter 8 was also chosen and told to go. And we see here in this chapter that God called Saul also that he might go and preach the gospel to both Jew and Gentile.
You were chosen to go as well.
I heard someone say something once that I’ve already remembered. He asked, “What are the first two letters of the word ‘God?'”
Then he asked, “What are the first three letters of the word ‘Satan?'”
What will you do?