Summary: How many times has God’s Word convicted you, but you have tried to put any decision to follow through on what God has told you to do off until a later date.
Shaken, Not Saved
Have you ever had an experience that has left you a bit shaken? Losing a loved one? Been involved in or seen a terrible accident? When someone close to us has been diagnosed with a life threatening illness? — all of these experiences can shake us up.
How about when God’s word shakes us up? He will use His word to speak to us directly, Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
God’s word always has a purpose and as a result we are left shaken (conviction)
Many times in the Bible God uses these "Shaking Experiences" to get peoples attention and as a result lives were changed. The Apostle Paul’s life was changed after he was shaken up on the road to Damascus, and as a result was saved.
The Philippian jailer was left shaken after the jailhouse was rocked by an earthquake, through this shaking the jailer believed and was saved. Like Paul’s experience, this was a good shaking.
However, not all the shaking experiences in the Bible led to salvation for example, Felix the judge, who we will look at tonight. He was shaken, not saved?
Paul’s in trouble again with the Jews. They’ve been trying to find a way to kill him, they tried to get the Roman Government to execute him for blasphemy, and they wouldn’t have except they had a small problem. Paul was a Roman Citizen so he was protected a bit by their legal system; so Paul is brought in front of the Governor Felix.
Verse 22 tells us that Felix is well acquainted with the Way, or the Christian Faith as he had dealt with the conflicts between the Jews and the followers of Jesus, he had come to understand the conflict and the beliefs and claims of the Christians.
Who is Felix? - He was a cruel ruler whose name brought terror to his people. With the help of the Syrian troops under his command in Caesarea, he crucified thousands of Jews and Gentiles. He was a greedy man and was motivated by his desires, he was not a just man and would take bribes from prisoners.
Drusilla was nineteen years of age when she came with her husband Felix to hear Paul. I have no doubt she was somewhat acquainted with the teachings of Christ. Her father was king Agripa I who killed the apostle James in Acts 12. Her great-uncle, Herod Antipas, had killed John the Baptist at the request of his wife’s daughter. Her great-grandfather, Herod the Great, killed many innocent children of Bethlehem in his unsuccessful attempt to destroy the baby Jesus.
Felix and Drusilla would do anything to gain power and maintain their lifestyle. They were unjust, irreligious, and immoral—unafraid of God and man. They knew Paul was innocent of any crime, but Felix refused to set him free because he was hoping for something.
In verse 26 we read, "He hoped"—that word is elpizôn, meaning continuously hoping, daily hoping—"Felix was hoping that he would be offered a bribe in return for Paul’s release, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him."
Act 24:24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul,
Why had Felix called for Paul?
1 It may have been out of curiosity. He knew of the gospel, verse 22 indicates this. Many people in our day visit a Bible preaching church out of curiosity. They see the life of one of its members; they notice a change in the life of a family member or old friend. They want to know what happened.
2 It may have been out of boredom (or to keep the misses happy?) It was something new and different and would pass the time away. How many people go to Church to keep their spouse happy? (Phil & Carol)
3 It may have been for material gain. Verse 26 seems to indicate this possibility. Felix may have thought the early church would pay to get Paul released.
4 Or was it because of a hungry heart? They may have longed in their soul for a better way of life, they may have had conviction for the way they were living their life and had thoughts of God, eternity, and judgement. Some people search for the answers, they know that there is something more than this life.
Here is Paul, who is innocent coming before the man who had the power to release him. Paul could have easily been tempted to argue for his release but he wasted no time at all. At every opportunity he preached Christ, the latter part of verse 24 says and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come,