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
What do people fear? Death or the way they may die? Cancer or some other illness? Tragic loss of a loved one? Loss of a job? The dark? What is fear? It can be something that is terrifying, something a person may dread, something that causes horror, something can be frightful or brings on panic or alarm or anxiety.
In the above verses we are told that Governor Felix, Governor of Judah, “was afraid.” What was he afraid of? Paul was talking to him about three things: righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come. Righteousness: we have none of our own and cannot attain righteousness through good deeds or anything that we can do. Righteousness only comes through the finished work of Jesus on the cross (John 19:30; II Corinthians 5:21). Self-control: This fruit given by the Holy Spirit showing evidence that a person has been made righteous through trusting Jesus and has been sealed by the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians 1:13). Judgment to come: Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). We are not to fear man who can only kill the body, but we are to fear God who can bring the judgment of hell upon us. This is what caused Felix to be afraid and rightly so. Anyone who hears the message of judgment to come should truly be concerned and trust Jesus.
This is one thing, among many, that is hard to get my mind around. Because many people cannot understand hell they just do not want to believe that it exists, but God’s Word is clear about this judgment to come and we are told that “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!” (Hebrews 10:31; 2 Peter 2:4; Matthew 10:28; Luke 16:24; Jude 12-13; Revelation 14:11; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10; Luke 16:25; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-9; Matthew 11:20-24; Luke 11:32; Revelation 18:5-6).
This is not some made up idea. The person who truly knows God’s Word knows that judgment and hell are surely coming upon those who have not trusted Jesus just as surely as those who have trusted Jesus are going to heaven. In the above verses Governor Felix was afraid when he heard about his. Why? Because he knew he was headed to hell in his present unrepented state of not trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior. Did he ever come to the place where he trusted Jesus? More importantly, have you truly repented of your sin and sincerely trusted Jesus for salvation? If not, let this warning ring in your ears—in your present state you stand “condemned already” (John 3:18) and “God’s wrath remains on” you (John 3:36). As with Governor Felix, this should cause you to be afraid.
But now, because Jesus loved us so much He went to the cross to take the penalty and punishment for our sin. If we truly repent (turn from) our sin, ask Him to be the Lord of our life, then we come into relationship with Him and we can be forgiven now, have eternal life now, can serve Him now and be with Him in heaven forever—a glorious, perfect place! Oh, that you would truly follow Jesus!
Thank You Father for sending Your Son, Jesus so that we could have eternal life in Him, be forgiven of our sin, live for Him now and be in heaven one day. I am eternally grateful that I will never experience condemnation and hell because Jesus saved me from that. All praise be to His Name!