Would every individual who gives their life to Christ have the same type of change in character as the apostle Paul did?
Acts 9 records the extraordinary events that converted Paul to the gospel and to Christianity. As he traveled on the road to Damascus with his caravan, desiring to imprison Christians for their faith, Paul personally met the Lord Jesus Christ.
These dramatic events, the booming voice that sounded like thunder to the others of his caravan, the blinding light that blinded Paul for three days, and the conversation he had, gave him an immediate conversion.
He says in Galatians that he immediately began preaching the gospel. This is a man who was one of the most dangerous enemies of the church until he had this experience. His life completely changed, going 180° the other direction. He went from locking up Christians and approving of their deaths to becoming one of them, one of their greatest missionary evangelists.
I have met people, been witness to, and read many biographies of other Christians who have had dramatic conversion experiences like Paul. Their lives have also taken a complete turn the other way from what they used to be. Every conversion experience takes us from the old self, or the all life, to the new self and the new life in Christ (Romans 6:1-4; Ephesians 2:1-4).
God uses these conversion experiences to prepare them for incredible tasks he has before them as believers. Not everyone has such dramatic conversion experiences. Or at least, we don’t realize we do. Anyone who is converted by the Christian gospel to Christianity is a miracle.
What I mean by this is that when we begin to realize what all happens for us to hear the gospel, understand it with spiritual ears and faith, our spirits to be awakened by the Holy Spirit, and for us to believe in faith, follow Christ as his disciples, and lead others to him, is a miracle.
All of these things are impossibilities until you involve God, the Holy Spirit speaking to us and waking us up to the message of the gospel, Jesus’ death granting us forgiveness and God’s grace, and the Father planning our growing in holiness.
Only God can raise a dead spirit to life, through his word of life. So in that sense, every conversion to Christianity is dramatic like Paul’s. Every Christian is commanded to do what Paul did, to impact the world for Christ.
As long as you are impacting the world and influencing it for Jesus, you are fulfilling the same call that Paul received. Whether it is what we would refer to as dramatic, or ministering to people one day at a time, you are doing exactly what God wants you to do.
No matter how you view your conversion experience, just as Paul grew in the face and in his Christian character and became holy, so every Christian goes through these experiences. God the Father plans for us to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-30).
The experiences we go through, especially trials and persecution, strengthen our faith and Christian character. The Holy Spirit is with us every step of the way, giving us his power to live the Christian life.