Paul And The Procrastinating Governor Series
Contributed by James Lee on Dec 9, 2016 (message contributor)
Summary: How many of us actually have a problem with procrastination? Adapted from a series by pastor Jerry Shirley.
Paul and the Procrastinating Governor Acts 24:24-26
If there was a club for procrastinator’s I would most likely be elected president. But honestly, how many of us actually have a problem with procrastination? We’ve got that project we started several months ago that is still waiting for us to, not only finish it, but to actually get started.
In our text we find Paul in Herod’s palace in Caesarea, standing before the procrastinating Governor Felix. These palace walls and floors have witnesses the bloodshed of many, who were brutally murdered in this palace and the screams of believers were often heard echoing down the halls, before they were suddenly silenced.
But today will be different, in that there will be no bloodshed or screams of pain. Today these walls will hear a sermon as the Apostle Paul stands before Felix, the Governor of all Judea.
If we look at Felix from a secular worldview perspective, Felix’ life is a success story. He was born a slave and later freed and eventually he worked his way up to Governor of Judea. From slave to Governor, sitting in judgment over Judea, he was also known to be a very cruel and greedy man.
In our text, Felix, with all the noise of a dramatic entrance, walks in with his entourage and sits on the judgment seat. He is followed close behind by his wife Drusilla, who comes from a very wicked bloodline. Her father, Herod Agrippa I, had the Apostle James put to death and her great grandfather was the same Herod who attempted to kill the baby Jesus by having all the infant males in Bethlehem murdered.
After all the dignitaries enter the court room, in walks the Apostle Paul. He too has his own entourage. Paul is followed closely by Roman soldiers and, instead of trumpets, the chains that bind him rattle as he moves across the stone floor.
But there is something I want you to see.
Paul is standing before Felix bound by chains so, by human standards, Paul is the prisoner and Felix is the free man. But in reality Felix’ soul is in chains waiting for his death sentence, while Paul, who is physically chained, is inwardly free for all eternity!
As a child of God you may be chained by some outward bondage, something physical, yet because of Jesus you are free for all eternity?
In our text, Paul stands before the one man who had the power to remove his chains and, physically, set him free but he didn’t beg for his life or his freedom.
He made no deals but, instead, used the opportunity to share Jesus with the Governor of all Judea because Paul knew the only thing that mattered was whether Felix was a believer in Christ!
Maybe we need more preachers like Paul willing, in spite of the possible consequences, to speak the truth.
Our text says that Paul “reasoned” with Felix.
Paul reasoned with Felix about 3 things, according to verse 25.
1. Felix needed a righteousness not of his own making. Look at verse 25.
Man often thinks of himself as righteous but what appears as righteousness to man is nothing more than filthy rags, when compared to the righteousness of God.
[Isa 64:6 NKJV] “But we are all like an unclean [thing], And all our righteousnesses [are] like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.”
Isaiah is not talking about the bad that we do but the best we can do, in our own wisdom and strength. AS good as I can be, I’ll never scratch the surface of God’s goodness.
I am so thankful that Paul didn’t try to pull God down to Felix’ level but instead preached a righteous God who hates sin…today it’s about God’s love & none of His righteousness…
Grandma Bessie used to tell me, when I would tell her that I hated a person. She would say, “Now son you can hate the sin but you can’t hate the sinner.”
And we know that God loves sinners…BUT understand…He is a righteous God who hates sin.
In the 21st century we may call sin a weakness, but God still calls it wickedness…
We call it an accident but God still calls it an abomination.
We call it chance but God still calls it choice
So Paul showed Felix a righteousness unlike his own self-righteousness…
2. He needed a self-control which he did not practice.
The idea of “self-control” is something very foreign to Felix.
He was also a politician who took bribes and if we look at verse 26 we’ll that he was holding Paul, hoping for a bribe.
He was a corrupt man and I have a feeling Paul called him an adulterer, a thief, and a murderer, and the Bible says these, in their unrepentant condition, cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.