Empty Cross Ministries
February 7, 2021
Daily Devotion of Acts 24
Are You Following the Example of the Apostle Paul or of the Roman procurator Felix?
Paul was taken to be judged before the Roman procurator, Felix. False accusations were flowing against the preacher from envious, bitter Jewish leaders who resented Christianity. The Roman judge heard from the accusers.
Felix, however, was not ignorant of who Christians were (Acts 24:24) and what they were teaching. Perhaps, he had heard around the city about Christ or how Christianity had been sweeping the country-side. He had his opinions about Christianity, and he was wise enough not to listen to the complainer’s side of the story.
Felix allowed Paul to speak. Instead of cowering under the authority of the man who was managing the Romans’ affairs, Paul took the opportunity to talk to the ruler about spiritual things.
The preacher spoke of living a righteous life, not indulging in sin, and about the judgments God would bring. Even though Paul’s judge was known for his cruelty, murders, and even considered himself licensed to commit any crime he desired, Paul did not waver or hold back any of the truths from the Word of God. Felix could have easily given the word, and Paul’s life would have been snuffed out, but Paul boldly preached on.
The preaching did affect the procurator. Acts 24:25 records that the man trembled at what he had heard. His fear did not guide him to repentance, however. He dismissed Paul and promised that they might speak again. He had the opportunity to be saved, but he put it off. Felix missed a time he could have been born again.
Many are so much like Felix. They hear the convicting message from the Word of God. It cuts deeply into their heart. Conviction of past sins floods their memories. An uneasiness of their sinful past robs them of their peace. They often have the opportunity to confess Jesus as their Saviour and to get their sins forgiven, but they put it off. They often justify putting off salvation for “tomorrow” or “later.”
For some reason, “another time” never comes. All too often, the convicted miss the last opportunity they had for salvation. They die lost, without Christ, and spend their eternity in Hell. They get close to salvation but miss eternity with Jesus.
Never say “No” to God’s provoking of your heart about anything, especially salvation. You may not have tomorrow!
“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (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.)”
II Corinthians 6:1-2
Words to Understand:
Clemency: ready to forgive
Heresy: contrary teachings of what is believed by some
Pestilent: hurtful; destructive
Profane: not considered sacred; considered spiritually unclean
Sedition: actions or speech designed to cause division or disorder
Tumult: an uproar; causing confusion or a commotion
1 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.
2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence,
3 We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
4 Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.
5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:
6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.
7 But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,
8 Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him.
9 And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so.
10 ¶ Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself:
11 Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship.
12 And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:
13 Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.
14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
17 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.
18 Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.
19 Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me.
20 Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council,
21 Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.
22 ¶ 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 to minister 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 of righteousness, temperance, 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.
26 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.