Bible Story - The Apostle Paul
Before his conversion to the
faith of Christ, Paul was called Saul, and he persecuted the
Christians, believing that they were doing wickedly and that he
ought to punish them for it.
But while he was in the midst of these persecutions, and as he was
journeying toward Damascus one day, he saw suddenly at noon-time, a
light shining in the heavens which was greater than the light of the
sun, and he and all that were with him fell to the earth in wonder
and awe. Then Saul heard a voice speaking to him and saying, "Saul,
Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" And Saul said, "Who art Thou, Lord?"
And the voice answered, "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest."
Then Saul was instructed as to what he was to do, and was told that
he would become a minister of Christ. From that time Paul preached
and taught the Christian religion, and converted many people to it.
But he was persecuted in his new work as he had persecuted others,
being finally taken prisoner and threatened with scourging; he
declared himself a Roman citizen, however, and therefore safe from
such treatment, and went on openly confessing his faith and telling
of his conversion, and he appealed for protection to the Roman
He was then put on board a ship as a prisoner to be taken to Rome.
While they were at sea a violent storm came up, and Paul warned the
sailors that they were in great danger; but they would not listen to
him. At last the ship was wrecked, all on board being cast ashore
upon an island, whither they had been carried, clinging to boards
and broken pieces of the ship.
The barbarous people of the island treated them kindly, building a
fire that they might dry their clothing and get warm; for it was
cold and they were, of course, drenched.
The men were very glad to be safe once more; but a strange thing
happened after a little: Paul gathered up an armful of sticks to put
upon the fire, and as he placed them upon the flames, a viper, which
is a kind of poisonous snake, came out of the bundle and clung to
his hand; he shook it off into the fire, however, without the
slightest sign of fear.
Those who were about him thought that the hand would swell and that
Paul would die from the effects of the bite, and they watched him
closely, believing that this trouble was sent to him as a punishment
for his sins. But no evil results came from the wound, and then the
barbarians thought he was a god and looked upon him with great
Paul and the men who were with him remained upon the island for
three months. At the end of that time they went away in a ship,
finally reaching Rome, where the prisoners were given up to the
authorities; but Paul was allowed to live by himself, with only a
soldier to guard him, and after a while he called the chief men of
the Jews together and told them why he was there and preached to
them the Word of God. His preaching was received by some with faith,
but others did not believe.
Paul went on preaching and teaching in Rome for two years, living in
a house which he hired, and he brought many to Jesus. He was a man
of excellent education and a powerful preacher. His Epistles, given
in the Bible, are full of power and the fire of conviction, and he
did a wonderful work for the great cause in which he believed with
all his heart.
Paul was physically small and deformed; but mentally he was a giant.
He had been taught the knowledge of the Romans, and was therefore
well fitted to take up this new cause in a manner which would appeal
to educated people as well as to those who had no learning.
From the time of his conversion until his death he labored
faithfully in the ministry of Christ, fearing no persecution or
hardship when he could do the Master's bidding and teach His holy
will. The work which he did was a wonderful work, and his influence
in the Christian world has been a very remarkable one. Brave,
untiring, devoted to the cause of Christ, he at last lost his life
in that cause, adding another to the list of martyrs whose memory
the world loves and reveres.
The story of Paul's experiences reads like those tales of adventure
which are so full of absorbing interest that when once they have
been taken up, we do not feel like laying them down again until they
This is true also of many others of the Bible stories, and great
authors have taken their themes from them for the writing of books
which have become famous.
The more we study the Bible, the more wonderful it becomes, and the
more we learn that in that marvelous book are set forth nearly all
the experiences of which human life is capable, with the teaching
which each of these experiences should bring and the lesson to be
learned by the reading of them. In all the world there is not
another collection so wonderful as this.