by Steven Chan
Paul was a person who was knowledgeable of Judaism and he was zealous of his fathers’ traditions. He was so zealous for his faith that he felt compelled to persecute the church as he felt that they were in error!
“But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.” (Gal 1:11-19)
When Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus, Paul then realized that he had been wrong in rejecting Jesus and His teachings. He was willing to change his beliefs and actions.
After he had been baptized to wash away his sins (Acts 22:16), Paul immediately proceeded to preach the gospel.
“And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. 23 But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God in me.”(Gal 1:22-24)
Paul did not delay in going out to preach the gospel. The early Christians did not delay in going out to preach the gospel:
“At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. 4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.” (Acts 8:1-4)
Likewise, today we should not delay in preaching the gospel.