PART #002 of THE GREAT TRANSITION
“A turning point is an intrinsic and a key part of every life and situation, which can either make or break”.
More often than not a turning point can be a very ‘insignificant’ moment or event that graphically changes the course of our destination.
And at most times, it’s only by looking into the rear view mirror that we get to determine that moment or event.
The reality of a turning point is that it can play both sides of the coin, both good and bad.
We can either be at the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the wrong time.
It’s that ‘catalyst’ in life that can trigger off a series of events for both better or for worse.
The Oxford defines a turning point as, “a point in time at which a decisive change in a situation occurs, especially one with beneficial results”.
And that is really what we want to focus on in this article.
A turning point may not always be a pleasant experience. But they are the ones, which bring us to that vital place we need to be.
And so much of this has to do with the choices we make and the decisions we take.
So it would not be exactly wrong to say that life is always at some turning point.
The Moment Of Crisis
Quite often that crucial turning point comes at the moment of crisis. It is that breaking point when we think that all is lost.
And just about all of us can testify to that in some way or the other.
The great thing about a breaking point is that it brings us to a place of total surrender.
We’ve done all we feel we could have done and can do no more.
This may often look like negativity or passivity, but in really it’s probably the best place we can be in.
For when we come to the end of our rope, God steps in. And from out of nowhere something happens that changes everything.
Though many out of unbelief may not give credence to God’s intervention, but that is exactly what happens.
“I girded thee, though thou hast not known me” [Isaiah 45:5].
“For he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” [Matthew 5:45].
The Mercy of God extends to ‘all men’ without exception and without measure, not just to Christians and Jews.
The wrath of God against all men’s sins was poured out without measure on His Son Jesus Christ, while HE hung on the cross.
And the Mercy of God in full measure was being poured out on all men simultaneously.
Christ’s Breaking Point
The cross was Jesus Christ’s breaking point.
Though being fully God [Colossians 2:9], yet in His humanity Jesus Christ had to come to a breaking point too.
God broke His own Son [Isaiah 53:10], which was echoed through these words on the cross:
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” [Mark 15:34]
That is why Scripture, speaking of God, declares through the apostle Paul in [Romans 8:32]:
“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
And that is a promise we all can take at full ‘face value’, the moment we believe.
That is why even today in the 2000’s, we continue to maintain and proclaim this great Truth.
“That the Person who died two thousand years ago has EVERYTHING to do with us”.
Beyond Human Comprehension
What took place on the cross is beyond human comprehension.
And it was no secret, for the prophets of old foretold of this event in graphic detail.
The Old Testament is full of this crucifixion event that was to take place.
Every major and minor prophet spoke and wrote of it, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit [2 Timothy 3:16].
Peter, in his second sermon to the nation of Israel after Pentecost, reminds them of this in [Acts 3:18].
“But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled”.
This really does prove the authenticity and the inerrancy of the Bible, and can be trusted to the hilt.
The Greatest Evidence
The greatest evidence of the finished work of dealing with all men’s sins on the cross was the resurrection three days later.
God raised Jesus Christ from the dead to prove it.
Paul the apostle, speaking of Jesus Christ, puts it across with tremendous persuasion in [Romans 1:4].
“And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”.
Dead men don’t talk! We indeed have the ‘One and Only” LIVING SAVIOUR.
And this event of the cross is the greatest turning point in all of eternity.
It set in motion a series of events leading to a total change in God’s “modus operandi” to bring salvation to a lost humanity.
Up unto this point, since the days of Moses for the last fifteen hundred years, everything was “under the Law”.
BUT NOW, because of the cross, everything was going to come “under Grace”.
The Greatest Transition
The greatest transition in God’s eternal history, from “Law to Grace”, was about to come into effect.
And to bring this about God chose just one human instrument, which was none other than Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles.
This is what Christendom, as a whole needs to lay hold of.
Paul, and Paul alone, is God’s “chosen vessel” [Acts 9:15] for every single one of us today.
Not James, not Peter, not John, but Paul!
God’s Gospel of Grace lies only with the apostle Paul. We will find it nowhere else in all of Scripture.
And what is so ironic here is that all these three of Christ’s apostles to Israel, James, Peter and John, recognized Paul’s Divine mandate.
That he alone was God’s ‘Hand-picked’ choice for the Gentiles [Galatians 2:9].
Yet Christendom for the most part has not, which explains all the division and confusion.
And our great adversary Satan has capitalized and made hay of this, deceptively setting these three apostles against Paul through denominational pulpits.
He has managed in keeping most of us out of the epistles of Paul.
Yes, we may read them, but without really getting our teeth into them, for that is where the meat really is.
Paul is the thorn in Satan’s flesh and his greatest nightmare!
Consider this, that even an evil spirit of Satan, a demon, knew just who Paul the apostle was in [Acts 19:15].
“Jesus I know, and Paul I know………….”
Does Christendom say that today? Certainly does not seem like it!
Maybe this is something worth seriously considering.
The Conversion Of Saul
Apart from the cross, the greatest turning point in all of Scripture was the conversion of ‘Saul of Tarsus’ to ‘Paul the apostle’.
God gave the nation of Israel every valid opportunity to embrace their Messiah, Whom they crucified through their ignorance.
God beseeched them for seven straight years after Pentecost, through His designated apostles for them.
Signs, wonders and miracles were performed one after the other to prove to them that the One they crucified, God raised from the dead.
HE was alive and they could yet have the Kingdom with its covenanted promises, if they would only repent.
Apart from a handful, the nation of Israel as a whole refused to believe.
And they stoned Stephen to death outside the city gates [Acts 7:54-60], displaying the pinnacle of their unbelief and rejection.
This stoning event triggered off fierce persecution by Saul of Tarsus against the Jews who had embraced Christ Jesus.
As a result, these believing disciples scattered out of fear throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria.
But Saul followed them, caught up with them and brought them back bound to Jerusalem to imprison and put them to death.
Men, women and children were all victims of Saul’s persecution. He spared nobody.
His sole mission was to stamp out the Name of Jesus Christ and he would do whatever it took.
Saul of Tarsus was a perfect example of religious fanaticism. He actually believed that he was doing the God of his fathers a great service.
But Heaven had him marked!
A Divine Interception
Saul was on his way to Damascus when the Ascended Lord Jesus Christ Himself intercepted Paul’s fanatical mission.
“Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou Me?” [Acts 9:1-6].
Falling prostrate to the ground and recognizing Who He was, Saul asked the question.
“Who art Thou Lord?”
“I Am Jesus Whom thou persecutest”, came the reply.
It suddenly struck home to him at that moment that the One he’d been persecuting was the same One he was worshipping.
His fellow Jews, whom he had persecuted, imprisoned and killed, had embraced the same One he revered his whole life.
This Jesus was the same God of the Old Testament.
This realization left Saul of Tarsus trembling, astonished and broken!
“A Turning point is that moment of naked acceptance of the Truth”.
This Divine interception was his breaking point, which left him with just one final question.
“LORD, what wilt thou have me do?”
He was going to be the ‘bond slave’ of Christ for the rest of his life.
The Crucial Turning Point
Apart from the cross, as mentioned earlier, this Damascus Road encounter was both the most crucial and greatest turning point in all of Scripture.
This was the man God was going to use to reach out to what all the Jews, including Saul, called the “uncircumcised dogs”.
Saul of Tarsus, converted to Paul the great apostle, was to be God’s human instrument to usher in the “Age of Grace”.
All the hidden mysteries from eternity past were to be revealed both to and through only this man for us today.
God was going to take out from the Gentiles, “a people for His Name” [Acts 15:14], called “THE BODY OF CHRIST”.
Even Jesus Christ, during His three years of ministry on earth, never mentioned or used this term.
This revelation of the Body of Christ, accompanied with all its higher doctrines of Grace, was reserved strictly for Paul for us today.
By God’s Divine decree, Paul was the first member in the Body of Christ. And the “pattern to them (that’s us) which should hereafter believe to life everlasting” [1 Timothy 1:16].
The Word Of God Complete
Paul, the apostle was God’s divinely chosen instrument to fulfill, make fully known and ‘complete’ the Word of God [Colossians 1:25].
The “whole counsel of God” [Acts 20:27], without being shunned would be declared only by this apostle.
This was going to be God’s final dealing with the human race before winding up history as we know it,
There would be nothing more to be said or done, for everything would be in place.
And indeed so it is today!
That is why it ‘must be’ that the final letter to Timothy is chronologically the last letter of the New Testament.
For that would fit in just so perfectly like the last piece in an Intricately Woven, Architectured and well Manicured jigsaw puzzle.
The great transition had begun as the Gospel of Grace for us today was directly revealed to Paul the apostle [Galatians 1:11-12].
This Gospel stands in concrete, immovable, non-negotiable, and without controversy by which ‘all men’, without exception must be saved.
Our eternal destiny rests in this Gospel alone.
And it is by only believing in this saving Gospel that becomes our ‘turning point’, which changes the course of our eternal destination.
“Jesus Christ died for our sins, and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day” [1 Corinthians 15:1-4].