Acts 8:1…”And Saul approved of their killing him.” Stephen was stoned to death by the Sanhedrin. The Apostle Paul (at the time known as Saul) was there, and supported this horrific act. How does someone go from wanting Christians to be killed, to actually being physically persecuted for believing those very same things? Only the gospel has the power to make this kind of dramatic change. Once God puts His Holy Spirit in someone, they will inevitably change. This is encouraging for us in our evangelism, because clearly God can save the worst of all sinners. If we’re saved, we know that we’re included in that category as well (or we wouldn’t have placed our hope in Christ for salvation instead of ourselves). So, since we have no control over who He has elected as His children, our responsibility is to share the gospel graciously, live out the gospel faithfully, and trust the Lord as He knew His elect before the creation of the world.
Ephesians 1:4-6For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.