Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 10 How Long Will You Wait???
There is a story in the book of Acts that I want to touch on today, for I think it is so pertinent to the day in which we live—a day much like Felix, Festus, and King Agrippa—curious, but not really wanting to know God or have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, The Son. Paul had answered Felix the governor of the charges brought against him by the religious leaders, and Felix, being familiar with the situation had allowed Paul to openly respond, and Paul shared Jesus with him/them, and called his accusers into account for the things they accused him of. Let’s pick jump in and take it on through portions of Acts 24-26!
“And when Felix heard these things,
having more perfect knowledge of that way,
he deferred them,
and said, When Lysias the chief captain
shall come down,
I will know the uttermost
of your matter.
23 And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul,
and to let him have liberty,
and that he should forbid
none of his acquaintance
or come unto him.
24 And after certain days,
when Felix came with his wife Drusilla,
which was a Jewess,
he sent for Paul,
and heard him
concerning the faith in Christ.
25 And as he reasoned
and judgment to come,
Felix trembled, and answered,
Go thy way for this time;
when I have a convenient season,
I will call for thee.” Acts 24:22-25
And just to remind us of what Solomon said, “there is no new thing under the sun”—politicians haven’t changed:
“He hoped also that money
should have been given him of Paul,
that he might loose him:
wherefore he sent for him the oftener,
and communed with him.
27 But after two years Porcius Festus came
into Felix’ room:
and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure,
left Paul bound.” Acts 24:26-27
I think we learn something from Paul, though, even though I’m sure he knew that a little “grease across the palm” could have purchased his freedom, God had already told him that HE had plans for his travels so Paul took every occasion to share the gospel with Felix for some two years. He didn’t give up, get tired of the rejection, and he didn’t resort to fleshly solutions. How about us? How about you? Are you and I becoming “weary” in “well doing” or are you like Felix and just keep putting Jesus off. You don’t know how long you have.
“Boast not thyself of to morrow;
for thou knowest not
what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1
To make a long story a bit shorter, Paul went through almost the same things with Festus so he appealed (as a Roman citizen, he exercised his right to appear before the emperor rather than the Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem) to Caesar and in the course of events had the opportunity to speak before King Agrippa, who had heard from Festus about Paul; and it also reminds us that our opportunities aren’t ours to set.
“And he said,
Therefore said I unto you,
that no man can come unto me,
except it were given unto him
of my Father.” John 6:65
So, as we consider Paul’s encounter with King Agrippa, I think it worthy our examination of our own relationship with Jesus. What’s your excuse for denying Him? If you’re HIS, what’s your excuse for not serving HIM now?
“But when Paul had appealed to be reserved
unto the hearing of Augustus,
I commanded him to be kept
till I might send him to Caesar.
22 Then Agrippa said unto Festus,
I would also hear the man myself.
To morrow, said he,
thou shalt hear him.
23 And on the morrow,
when Agrippa was come,
with great pomp,
and was entered into the place of hearing,
with the chief captains,
and principal men of the city,
at Festus’ commandment
Paul was brought forth.
24 And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us,
ye see this man, about whom all the multitude
of the Jews have dealt with me,
both at Jerusalem,
and also here,
crying that he ought not
to live any longer.” Acts 25:21-24
To continue we see the result of Agrippa’s desire to hear Paul. After sharing his personal testimony, Agrippa made his famous reply. Will you stand with Agrippa in rejection or bow in repentance and faith before Jesus, and be born again?
“And as he thus spake for himself,
Festus said with a loud voice,
Paul, thou art beside thyself;
much learning doth make thee mad.
25 But he said,
I am not mad, most noble Festus;
but speak forth the words of truth
26 For the king knoweth of these things,
before whom also I speak freely:
for I am persuaded that none of these things
are hidden from him;
for this thing was not done in a corner.
27 King Agrippa,
believest thou the prophets?
I know that thou believest.
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul,
Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
29 And Paul said,
I would to God,
that not only thou,
but also all that hear me this day,
were both almost,
and altogether such as I am,
except these bonds.” Acts 26:24-29
Will you stand with Paul for all of eternity IN JESUS, or will you bow before Jesus in judgment with that said wail: I was “almost persuaded…. but lost”? I pray that you will hear the voice of God’s call and come to Jesus today!
“…I am the way,
and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me.” John 14:6
I stand at the door, and knock:
if any man hear my voice,
and open the door,
I will come in to him,
and will sup with him,
and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
“(For he saith,
I have heard thee in a time accepted,
and in the day of salvation
have I succoured thee:
behold, now is the accepted time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.)”. 2 Corinthians 6:2
Today may be all we have.
Amen and Amen!!!