Saul was a dedicated Jew who did not believe in Jesus> He saw it as his mission in life to stamp out Christianity.
In Acts 9 we read that he was on his way to Damascus to harass the Christians there when Jesus appeared to Him.
Today’s Reading: Acts 9:3-20
In these verses we see one of the greatest turning points in the history of Christianity. Saul becomes a believer in Jesus! In Acts 9 Saul goes into the city and is met by a man who explains to him more about Jesus, what he must do, and God’s plan to use him in spreading the gospel. He immediately is baptized (See also Acts 22:16). Not only is the greatest persecutor of the faith removed but he becomes a great preacher of Christianity. He will spend the rest of his life traveling an preaching the gospel and will write 13 of the books of the New Testament.
What mission in particular did God have prepared for Saul? (Acts 8:15)
This was also a personal turning point in the life of Paul (Saul is called Paul beginning in Acts 13 and this name is used exclusively from that point forward). Like the Jews on the day of Pentecost, Paul was guilty of great sin before God. Just as the were forgiven for their part in having Jesus put to death, he was forgiven of persecuting Christians.
Years later he wrote, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all long suffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. (1 Timothy 1:15-16).
In other words, we can experience the same turning point in our lives. God forgave the Jews on the day of Pentecost, He forgave David for his adultery and murder, Saul for persecuting the church, and He will forgive us!