Who is Best Qualified to Speak?
How does someone who is interested in becoming a Christian go about finding out whether or not to take the step? Who would be good to ask?
What about interviewing someone who has never been a Christian? Wouldn’t that be like asking someone who has never been to China what it’s like there? Such a person may know quite a bit about the subject, but only from an academic, outsider’s perspective.
So what about asking someone who has been an active Christian, but is no longer? The backslider may share his experiences with the seeker, but is this the best source?
What about asking a brand-new Christian? No doubt the beginner would give a glowing and enthusiastic recommendation of the faith, but will this novice be as sold on it 20, 30, 40 years from now?
Or what about asking someone who has been deeply involved in living the faith for decades? Paul the apostle was such a person. At one time the church’s leading antagonist, he then became its primary proponent.
From a Roman dungeon Paul wrote, “. . . the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith . . . .”
Though about to be executed, he doesn’t despair. He calls his struggle “a good fight.”
But what does he anticipate on the other side? He continues: “. . . in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8 NASB).
No doubt about it. Paul is highly qualified to speak. He has been there—on both sides. As a young man he had devoted himself to persecuting Christians, thinking them worthy of death, but now he understands how wrong he was in opposing all that Jesus stood for.
Having now invested heavily in his faith for more than 30 years, he is 100% sold on the Christ Way. From his own experience he is telling us: No, it wasn’t easy, but it was worth it! Well worth it!