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Acts 26:16-18

Paul, recounting his conversion to King Agrippa:

Acts 26:16-18 16 ‘But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;  17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you,  18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’

until people turn to God (repentance) and have faith in Christ:

  1. eyes are closed
  2. in darkness
  3. in the dominion of Satan
  4. unforgiven
  5. without a hope/inheritance
  6. unsanctified

when people turn to God (repentance) thru faith in Christ:

  1. eyes are opened
  2. in light
  3. in the dominion of God
  4. forgiven of sins
  5. with hope/inheritance
  6. sanctified

7 Responses to “Acts 26:16-18”

  1. on 24 May 2011 at 10:29 amSean


    I guess we can’t argue with this one, considering you simply quoted Scripture and listed out the clear implications. So, do we really believe this is true? I find myself constantly and subtly confused by the many hues of gray in our present world. Bad is called good and vice is regularly praised as virtue. It is hard for me to maintain enough mental and spiritual vigilance to resist the constant bombardment of post-modernism entering my eyes and ears from a thousand sources both Christian and secular. Everyone keeps telling me that we are all one human family with many paths to spiritual fulfillment, none of which is any better than the other.

    I hear that some people are “Christian” before they even begin to follow Christ, that they are already living a godly life (w/o God), that they give of their money and time for compassionate causes, that they pay their taxes, tell the truth, don’t watch R-rated moves, that they love their children and their elderly parents, that they give blood even if it means waiting patiently on line for an hour, etc.

    But, what does Scripture say? With three verses all of this is undone. Like a hot knife cutting through mushy room-temperature butter, Jesus cuts through all of this and gives the apostle a commissioning that makes sense. Paul is told he has one job to do. He must partner with God to open people’s eyes to the truth so that they may repent and be forgiven. This is mortal combat against the forces of darkness.

    There are two kinds of people according to Jesus. Those under the dominion of Satan and those under God. Jesus didn’t mention a third category of nice people who have no need of forgiveness. This foul mutation of lukewarm Christianity confuses us and obscures the clarity of our mission. We buy in to the notion that all is well, God loves everyone, people are mostly good, and the judgment will be filled with exceptions. But, what if this is not true? What if my nice neighbors are really destined for condemnation? What if Jesus is right and our culture is wrong?

    For me, it is time to recalibrate my mind on this issue according to Jesus rather than others who carry his name without believing his teaching or obeying his commands. May God open our eyes and wake us up so that we no longer shuffle through life half asleep as if lulled by the slow and steady rocking of a great ship.

  2. on 24 May 2011 at 1:59 pmXavier


    I think this running dialogue regarding the judgment of either the “saved” or “unsaved” is best summed up by Acts 17.30-31:

    God overlooked the times when people didn’t know any better. But now He commands everyone everywhere to turn to Him and change the way they think and act.

    For He has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man He has appointed. God has given proof to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.

  3. on 24 May 2011 at 8:02 pmAntioch

    I’m looking for verses that talk about the time between the first death and the second death. The ‘Christianese’ I have absorbed states that we have to decide for Jesus before we die lest we spend eternity in hell. While I see strong, biblical support for the ‘second death’, what is the support that says we have until our first death to make this decision?

  4. on 25 May 2011 at 1:40 pmSean


    I think the burden of proof should be on the one who imagines a postmortem opportunity for repentance rather than on those who believe death to be the end of all opportunity to find forgiveness. Anyhow, these two Scriptures came to mind:

    Heb 9:27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,

    2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

  5. on 25 May 2011 at 10:19 pmDoubting Thomas

    I personally believe that God has a plan for non-Christians who are righteous and for righteous Christians who are fooled into believing flawed doctrines. I don’t know the details of God’s plans, but it just makes sense that a just and loving God would make some sort of accommodations for people such as these. Paul did say in Romans 2:14-16,

    “For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. (15) They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them (16) on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”

    I believe Y’shua will be able to look into our hearts and judge each of us accordingly. Of course like always, this is just my own humble opinion…

  6. on 25 May 2011 at 10:57 pmRay

    Only through Christ can the work of grace, the saving work begin in the heart of man, and this Jesus does by the power and presence of the holy spirit. I believe that Jesus is with us by this comforter and that by Jesus the work of transformation begins and is ongoing.
    It is being saved by him wherein we have our hope. In his salvation we do rejoice. In him we have eternal life and do hope for it, for we look unto the day when our complete change comes and the day when we enter into heaven itself to be forever with him, having clean escaped this world completely.

    Now we see this only in part, but then we will see it as it is.

    Isn’t the lake of fire the second death? Isn’t that hell itself? Isn’t that the final judgment of the unsaved?

    I think that makes today the day of salvation.

  7. on 30 May 2011 at 11:26 amAntioch


    I wouldn’t preach the idea, just trying to discern what, if anything, happens between the first and second death. Before Jesus, the Jews did not fathom messiah dying and coming back. I think we could be missing something on the same order about post death events.

    As for the doctrine of hell, my sentiments rest with so many, if not all, Christians. It makes no sense, but God is God.

    But I wonder, is that doctrine the Isaac test for all of us? That we would put our faith in God even when He asks us to go against every instinct in our being?


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