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Service Archives > Paul's Long Road to Rome > A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Damascus!

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Damascus!
Acts 9:3-6
Skip Heitzig

Acts 9 (NKJV™)
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.
4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
5 And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads."
6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" Then the Lord said to him, "Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Paul's Long Road to Rome

Historians still talk about the amazing transformation of Saul of Tarsus. How did the chief opponent of the gospel become the chief proponent of the same gospel? The funny thing is that some who have investigated Saul's conversion have come to believe in the same Jesus. Let's examine the four stages of Saul of Tarsus' transformation on the Damascus Road.

Skip Heitzig teaches through a series of messages on the life of Paul. Paul the Apostle stands out as one of history's greatest figures, towering above most everyone else, with the exception of his own Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. We'll take a peek into his unique background - a mix of both Jewish and Greco-Roman nurturing. Let's see how God used this distinctive individual as one of His finest tools.


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I. Interruption (Vss 3-4a)

II. Interrogation (Vs 4b)

III. Conviction (Vs 5)

IV. Resignation (Vs 6)

What About You?
1. Describe a way that God has gotten your attention? How has God used the episode to teach you about Him? What have you learned? Someone once stated, "God speaks to us through the regularity by which He disappoints our plans." Do you agree with that?

2. The goads of conviction: Can you still feel them from time to time? Is your heart getting more calloused to conviction or are you still tender-hearted?

3. When was the last time you asked the "second question" that Saul asked Jesus?

Topic: Salvation

Keywords: conversion, converted, transformation, rebirth, saved, salvation,

Additional Messages in this Series

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Date Title   Watch Listen Notes Share Save Buy
10/28/2006
completed
resume
Profile of a Radical Rabbi
Acts 21; Philippians 3
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Today we begin a series of messages on the life of Paul. I feel a sense of inadequacy in trying to "unpack" the life of this man. He stands out as one of history's greatest figures, towering above most everyone else, with exception of his own Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. Today we take a peek into his unique background—a mix of both Jewish and Greco-Roman nurturing. Let's see how God used this distinctive individual as one of His finest tools.
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11/5/2006
completed
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Vendetta!
Acts 7-9
Skip Heitzig
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The salvation of Saul of Tarsus stands as one of the most significant events in history. But before he surrendered to the will of God, he was entrenched in blind religious zeal that was fueled by his rage. Let's trace the steps of this man's animosity towards early believers in Jesus Christ. This will help us to better appreciate the wonderful change in him and his influence on us today.
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12/3/2006
completed
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Calisthenics for New Converts
Acts 9:10-26
Skip Heitzig
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Every new believer in Christ needs some basic training in spiritual disciplines. We often instruct them to read the bible daily, pray regularly, gather with other Christians habitually and witness for Christ frequently. Maybe we should include another: Prepare for persecution inevitably. Paul's conversion was not in a church nor in a crusade but on a desolate road. Yet the Holy Spirit prepares him for his future with a few spiritual exercises that will train him for effectiveness.
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12/10/2006
completed
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Surprising Ingredients for Greatness
Acts 9:23-31;Galatians 1:1-24
Skip Heitzig
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When people study the life of the Apostle Paul, they normally focus on his conversion on the Damascus Road and then his missionary journeys. Today we look at the most overlooked period of Paul's life—years shrouded mostly by silence and obscurity. During this time Paul was molded into greatness. What he emerges as later on is largely determined by what he experiences during these early years of privacy, difficulty and obscurity.
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12/17/2006
completed
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The Power of Applause
Acts 11:19-26
Skip Heitzig
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Encouragement greases the wheels of relationships. Marriages, business partnerships, and churches run smoothly when encouragers are near. We have Barnabas to thank for the ministry of Paul. He not only introduced him into fellowship but gave him a position of leadership. At key moments in Paul’s early ministry, Barnabas stood in Paul's balcony cheering him onward.
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1/14/2007
completed
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Growing, Growing, Gone!
Acts 13:1-4
Skip Heitzig
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We often measure physical growth in terms of inches. “My how you’ve grown!” is a common refrain describing our reaction to the development of a niece or nephew. It seems like one minute the children are babies, and then they’re moving out and going to college! But how do we measure spiritual growth? The first Gentile church at Antioch was Paul’s base of operations for his first missionary journey. Let’s see what things marked the stages of growth for the believers there.
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1/21/2007
completed
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How Amazing IS Grace?
Acts 15:1-21
Skip Heitzig
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The most popular Christian song by far ever written is the hymn penned in 1779 by John Newton entitled “Amazing Grace.” Why has it endured in its appeal more than 200 years? Is it the melody? Is it the words of the song? Perhaps these are some of the reasons for its success. But I suggest it’s because Grace really IS amazing! However, if one group had their way 2000 years ago, this song could never have been written. Paul faced a doctrinal dilemma of epic proportions after his first missionary journey. Let’s see what happened.
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1/28/2007
completed
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The Seminary of Pain
Acts 13-14;2 Corinthians 12
Skip Heitzig
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Will Durant, the great American historian remarked concerning his own education, “Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing!” Funny how that works, isn’t it? The Apostle Paul emerged on the church scene after years of theological training in Judaism. But his education was just beginning. God had His own school for Paul to enroll in—The Seminary of Pain! A study of Paul’s life would not be complete without considering this important aspect.
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2/4/2007
completed
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An Apostolic Boxing Match
Acts 15:36-41
Skip Heitzig
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It may seem surprising that two of the Early Church’s great leaders didn’t see eye to eye; in fact they hotly disagreed. But it should also comfort us. G. Campbell Morgan wrote, “I am greatly comforted whenever I read this…if I had never read that Paul and Barnabas has a contention, I should have been afraid.” What can we learn about handling disagreements within our spiritual family?
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2/18/2007
completed
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The Fork in the Road
Acts 16:1-10
Skip Heitzig
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Big doors turn on small hinges! What may seem difficult or confusing at the time may actually be the hand of God redirecting our steps. And God uses a variety of things to get our attention and to give us direction. A phone call, a chance meeting, an overheard comment or a distasteful experience can all be ways that God supernaturally uses in natural ways. Let’s consider how God guides and directs His people.
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2/25/2007
completed
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The Family Business
Philippians 1:3-7;Acts 16
Skip Heitzig
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You and I are part of a family business. We’re partners with God our Father and with our spiritual brothers and sisters. In this age of individuality and independence it’s time to reconsider this family business and our participation in it. Let’s see how it works as we consider Paul’s ministry at Philippi.
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3/4/2007
completed
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Surviving and Thriving in a Cultural Swamp
Acts 17:16-34
Skip Heitzig
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To visit one of the great cultural centers of the world (New York, Paris, London) can be exciting. Museums, plays and galleries fill the landscape. Activity is constant and creativity is rampant. But beneath this veneer of cultural glitz is a murky swamp of loneliness and vulnerability—a spiritual void. How can we survive in our culture? And even more importantly, how can we be a significant influence in it? Today we consider four things that will help us make an impact.
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3/11/2007
completed
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The Seed-Picker's Sermon
Acts 17:24-31
Skip Heitzig
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The Athenian philosophers who encountered Paul accused him of being a "babbler" (literally, a seed picker). The word refers to one who picks up scraps of thought from various sources. They thought Paul was some "armchair philosopher" and so they invited him to speak to them. What a surprise they were in for! Paul's message was filled with solid theology to counter their flimsy philosophy. Let's see what Paul believed about God.
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3/18/2007
completed
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Maximum Impact!
Acts 18:1-11
Skip Heitzig
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Life cannot be lived in a vacuum. We live our lives in public, rubbing shoulders with people, both believers and unbelievers who are always watching us. How can we influence people with maximum impact? What ways can our example make an eternal difference right where we live? Paul's excellent example shows us exactly that. Below are the four "ships" that can noticeably impact the sea of our own sphere of influence.
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4/15/2007
completed
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Power Encounters! - Part 1
Acts 19:11-22
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
On Paul's way to Rome he encountered both victory and opposition. While in Ephesus, where he stayed longer than anywhere else, Paul interacted with the spirit world in a dramatic way. Today and next week we will study these "power encounters" and discover what our relationship to the supernatural is and should be. In part one of this study we will consider how both the miraculous and the demonic affect our world and thus our lives.
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4/29/2007
completed
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Power Encounters! - Part 2
Acts 19:11-22
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
On Paul's way to Rome he encountered both victory and opposition. While in Ephesus, where he stayed longer than anywhere else, Paul interacted with the spirit world in a dramatic way. Today and next week we will study these "power encounters" and discover what our relationship to the supernatural is and should be. In part one of this study we will consider how both the miraculous and the demonic affect our world and thus our lives.
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5/6/2007
completed
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Sleeping In Church
Acts 20:7-12
Skip Heitzig
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Have you ever sat next to someone in church who is nodding off, even snoring? It can be funny and embarrassing. But before you judge them too harshly (there are lots of reasons people get tired), consider the first guy who was caught sleeping in church—during one of Paul's sermons! Today let's get beyond the physical to a deeper issue—those who are asleep spiritually: whose bodies are present at church but their heart is absent.
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5/27/2007
completed
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Are You Driven or Called?
Acts 21:1-14
Skip Heitzig
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This world is full of driven people. We need to see more who are called. There is a difference. Driven people are motivated by a sense of accomplishment and see life only in terms of results. They work hard and want to be noticed for doing so. Called people have a settled sense of who they are and an inner strength to move forward even against all odds. To understand Paul, we must comprehend what moved him. He was not driven by the flesh but rather led by the Spirit.
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6/10/2007
completed
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The Deadly Art of Procrastination
Acts 24:10-27
Skip Heitzig
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Someone remarked, "Tomorrow must be the longest day in the week—judging from the number of things we are going to do then." We all have things we rather put off until later. But when it comes to spiritual choices they must be made today. Every delay to follow Christ is a gamble with eternity. Paul's Road to Rome included a pointed conversation with a man who had mastered the deadly art of spiritual procrastination.
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7/1/2007
completed
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Storm Stories
Acts 27
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When Paul the Apostle took this final and eventually fatal journey to Rome, there was no navigational equipment, no GPS, no Electronic Chart-plotter, no color depth sounder nor radar aboard. A storm came suddenly without warning and threatened these travelers. But the divine GPS (God's Positioning Spirit) was aboard to direct them to Rome. From Paul's storm experience, what can we learn about facing difficulties in our own lives?
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7/8/2007
completed
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Rome Sweet Rome
Acts 28:11-31
Skip Heitzig
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The day finally arrived when all that Paul dreamt of came true. He arrived at Rome, lived there under house arrest and then…the book ends abruptly, without a suitable ending. Why? What happened to Paul next? How did he die? As we move from the actual and the historical into the probable, we wonder if the Holy Spirit isn't trying to communicate something to us through such an unusual ending to this great story of Paul's long road to Rome.
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There are 21 additional messages in this series.