RIGHTEOUSNESS, SELF-CONTROL AND THE JUDGMENT TO COME!
Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you. —Acts 24:24-25
How sad when people hear the truth and like Felix say, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” Felix heard the truth about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come and he was afraid. This man understood his fate as he comprehended the truth Paul was speaking. Even though Felix was afraid instead of repenting and turning from sin, he sent Paul away. He did not want to hear anymore at that time and said he would send for him at a more convenient time.
But “At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him” (Acts 24:26). Felix had no excuse for not believing. He had plenty of opportunity and yet his motivation for listening to Paul was for money. How strange… so many times you hear that the church is all about money and in some cases surely the motivation is for money, but that is wrong. Here the motivation for hearing was money! Felix was hoping Paul would pay him something for his release. But, Paul was faithful and would not do such a thing. Still, Paul had plenty of opportunity to share God’s Word with Felix. Did Felix ever “come to (his) senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken (him) captive to do his will?” (II Timothy 2:26).
Felix was afraid when he heard Paul speak of righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come. Felix knew he was not righteous, that he did not have self-control and when he heard of the judgment to come he feared. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). What was the final outcome of Felix before he died? “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech” (Proverbs 8:13). Was that fearing enough to encourage Felix to eventually call on the Name of the Lord or did he remain a fool? We do not know, but we will know in glory.
There are those who hear and apparently understand and are concerned, but walk away without trusting Jesus—at least at that moment. Hopefully they will eventually call on His Name as the seed was planted. This happened recently when I was speaking with a husband and wife. They both acknowledged they were headed for judgment and were concerned, but did not call on the Lord at that time. Hopefully they will. May it be so!
Dear Father, help me to encourage others to consider righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come. Oh, that they would see their need and call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus for salvation. May this be so on the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son. So be it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIlXWOnbTlM