Essay on Paul the Apostle
This is a persuasive essay that was assigned for Advanced English in college. I chose the subject of persuading someone to be a Christian. It was written in 2007:
The prisoners were all huddled in the center of the damp dungeon. The cold and wet pierced their broken bodies so that the group of men seemed a moving mass of tattered material. Bones of small rodents littered the floor and cobwebs caked the stone of the cells. The putrid smell of decaying waste filled the muggy air. Suddenly, footsteps were heard on the cobblestone hallway leading to the prison door. The fumbling of a key in the lock and the creaking of the rusty hinges brought the men stumbling to their feet. The guard who opened the door shined his lantern in every dirt smeared face. Time seemed to freeze until finally the guard yanked a small man to his feet and dragged him out of the dungeon, slamming the door behind them. The prisoner’s name was Paul. He had been captive in Felix’s castle for two years because he had caused an uproar in Jerusalem. (Acts 24:27) Many hearings were held in Jerusalem but the dissension between the Jewish scribes was so great they had sent him to Caesarea unto Felix. Paul was not threatening in any way, he just knew the truth. He not only knew the truth but had been an eye witness of the truth. The problem was he not only proclaimed his testimony to his own people the Jews but was now spreading the truth to Gentiles. His plea: All men everywhere should repent because Jesus who they crucified was now alive.
Paul’s life was not overtly depressing or one with a lack of opportunities. Paul was reared the best of the best, a Pharisee among Pharisees to his Jewish brethren. Why then would Paul completely change his life and preach that others do the same? Our lives will be the same today as they were a year ago except for the people we meet and the books we read. Paul discovered the truth about living in a Person, the very Truth itself. Paul had an experience with Jesus Christ.
All men everywhere should repent because they have broken the laws of Jesus Christ, this Person of truth, which is God himself. In Genesis 2:16, 17, God gave the first man on earth, Adam, one command, “…But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it…” Man’s response was in chapter 3:6, 7 “…she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
Repentance should be every man’s priority because they have put a gap between themselves and the God who created them because of sin (their disobedience). Genesis 3:8 talks about God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. After man sinned, God drove the man and his wife from the sweet fellowship of the garden in Genesis 3:24. More than 400 years later, God still talked to his people through a mediator. Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and became God’s spokesperson to them. In Exodus 19:3-8 God asks Moses to tell the people he wants to be their God if they will but obey his commandments.
Every man who has character or who needs character should repent because the righteous God-man, Jesus Christ, died in their place. Ecclesiastes 12:13 says “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Romans 5:14, 15 also says, “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”
Lastly, men should repent of their sin because their own works cannot take them to Heaven but to a place designed for Satan and his angels (Hell). Ephesians 2:8, 9 “For by grace are ye saved though faith…Not of works, lest any man should boast.” God’s Word also tells us a true story in Luke 16:19-31 about a rich man who died and a poor man. The rich man, who no doubt worked his whole life to be rich, lifted up his eyes in torment in Hell while the poor man Lazarus rested in Abraham’s bosom (Heaven). Paul’s life story was similar in that he worked. His life was good except for one thing: the Christians. Paul decided he would persecute them so they would no longer be in existence. But while on a journey to a town where Christians resided, Paul met the One Christians were living for. Paul met Jesus Christ and his sins against him were forgiven. Paul turned his back on his life as a Pharisee and became God’s spokesperson, often suffering the same things he himself had afflicted on Christian people. Paul traveled many places preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When Paul visited Jerusalem, some Jews were disgruntled because they claimed Greeks had been in their temple. A mob gathered around Paul and soldiers were called in. The Jews cried for his scourging but the soldiers were afraid because he was a Roman citizen. Paul was brought before the Sadducees and Pharisees (Acts 23:7) but was sent to Caesarea because a forty man band vowed to neither eat nor drink until Paul was killed. At Caesarea, Paul was accused of profaning the temple by the orator Tertullus. (Acts 24:6) Felix was afraid of Paul’s testimony and Paul became bound in the castle. Festus came to visit Felix which resulted in Paul’s two year imprisonment for the Jews entertainment. (Acts 24:27) Paul was called then to a court of hearing because of his appeal to Caesar. (Acts 25:9-12)
King Agrippa sat alongside Festus in the court of hearing. Paul stood before them after he was cleaned from wallowing in the dungeon. He squinted his eyes as little beams of sunlight shined through the castle walls. He had just asked the King a serious question, “Believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.” A heavy silence filled the court as the weight of Paul’s testimony rang in everyone’s ears. The King’s answer came crushing down on Paul’s heart, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”