Paul’s Heavenly Experience
By Greg Laurie
“Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowds to their side. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he was dead.”
When Paul and Barnabas were in Lystra, an interesting series of events unfolded. They encountered a man who was unable to walk, and God revealed to them that He wanted to heal him.
Inspired by the Holy
Spirit, Paul told the man to stand up, and the man immediately got up and started walking around. This demonstration of faith and power deeply moved the people in Lystra, who were largely pagan. In fact, they thought Paul and Silas were the Greek gods Zeus
and Hermes, and they prepared to offer sacrifices to them.
Paul, however, stopped the people and said, “Friends, why are you doing this? We are merely human beings—just like you! We have come to bring you the Good
News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them” (Acts 14:15 NLT).
The religious leaders, who were outraged over Paul’s
effectiveness, wanted to kill him and managed to turn the multitude against him. Before long, the people who had wanted to offer sacrifices to Paul stoned him and left him for dead. It was at this point that Paul probably had his Third Heaven experience that
we read about in 2 Corinthians 12.
Meanwhile, the Bible tells us that “as the believers gathered around [Paul], he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe” (Acts 14:20 NLT).
What happened to Paul serves as a reminder for us when we’re grieving a loved one who has died in the Lord. Of course, we feel sorrow that they were taken from us. But now that they are in God’s presence, don’t feel
sorry for them because where they are is far better than where we are.