If callings were chosen by popular elections, Saul of Tarsus would have garnered the same number of votes as King Herod or Caiaphas for the calling of apostle: zero. After all, Saul hunted believers down, murdered them, tossed them into prisons and tried to force them to blaspheme. He was the main reason Jerusalem Christians opted to go on long missionary trips.
In addition, historians described Saul as a skinny, 4’6″ lightweight who was not much of a speaker. These traits would have also hindered Saul’s popularity because the Grecian style of leadership with its polished oratorical skills and a strong physical presence were admired by the Gentiles.
The Lord’s reasoning behind His choice: “…for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
So what did God see in Saul’s heart?
He saw Paul the apostle to whom God could reveal His mystery of Christ, that the Gentiles and the Jews would be joined together in the Bride of Christ, His church. He also saw a man who would willingly suffer afflictions for Christ and His body.
Today, there are some who want to downgrade Paul and his teachings and just go with the red letter words of Jesus in the four Gospels. They don’t like Paul’s teachings on sexual immorality and other subjects. But if this were actually followed, where would the guidelines and revelations of the Church come from?
Furthermore, if Paul had not appeared on the scene, Peter and James would have most likely caved into the Jewish influence on the early church. And today our churches would be little more than a revamped Temple 2.0 System, complete with circumcision, priesthood and sacrifices.
Thank God for the Apostle Paul, right?
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9: 37-38 Amplified Translation)
Likewise, the Lord has looked down on San Francisco, especially the Castro District, and has seen men and women who have hearts much like Saul of Tarsus. He’s not concerned that these people are now actively engaged in lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender life styles because He remembers Saul the murderer. He knows how the life changing power of His heavenly light and just one divine experience will cause each to ask, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then, He will answer each one, “…I am Jesus …”
The Lord doesn’t want to lose any of these callings as each has been specifically chosen to be a leader in His Church for the dark days lying ahead in America. So important are these callings that the Lord has assigned teams of fully prepared fishermen and hunters who will search through the alleys, streets and haunts of San Francisco for these prized callings.
The teams of fishermen and hunters will suffer bloodshed, pain and jail cells. Who will persecute these teams? The chosen Sauls. Yet, the chosen Sauls will have the gospel preached to them by how the fishermen and hunters handle the persecution: with humility and love.
In the end, the chosen Sauls will come out of San Francisco as Pauls who will help lead the Church into victory after victory. What Jesus said about the woman who wiped His feet with her tears and hair will be true of these chosen Pauls:
For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little. (Luke 7:47)