Summary: When Felix heard Paul preach the Gospel in a private audience, he was deeply affected...but he procrastinated, sealing his eternal doom. This sermon asks us, "What are you waiting for" about several key decisions God wants us to make in our lives.
What Are You Waiting For?
February 11, 2018
TEXT: Acts 24:24-25 - "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 [self-control], 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."
Illus.- At exactly 8:02 pm on May 8, 1902, almost 30,000 people died instantly in one of history's worst natural disasters. The IMMEDIATE cause of their deaths was the violent volcanic eruption of Mount Pelée (pron. Pey'lay) on the French colonial island of Martinique which hurled millions of tons of rock and boiling lava and a terrible blast of super-heated air at the town of St. Pierre. - Once the volcano erupted, the townspeople never had a chance. The INDIRECT cause of the catastrophe was the sordid record of human stupidity, greed and political opportunism. The volcano first began misbehaving a full week before the final disaster with a number of clear signals that danger was ahead. But, with few exceptions, none of those in authority made any effort to evacuate the town which lay at the foot of the rumbling volcano
The question should have been asked of every official: "What are you waiting for? Danger is ahead. Why aren't you taking action? What are you waiting for?" Once responsible actions had been initiated by authorities, the same question should have been asked of every citizen: "What are you waiting for? The mountain could blow at any time. Your life is in danger. You must leave to save your lives. What are you waiting for?"
One of the great tragedies of life is that people procrastinate, gambling with their lives. Even more tragic is when people gamble with their souls and their eternal destiny by putting off important spiritual decisions.
In our text, the Roman procurator of that area had a prisoner in custody named Paul, and after an initial hearing, he asked to have a private meeting with him. Perhaps he was intrigued by these Christians and was truly searching for answers. Many scholars believe Felix met with him privately only in hopes of extracting a bribe
Not one to be corrupted by a bribe to get a free pass from prison, Paul did what he always did when he had the chance: he preached the Gospel with Felix and his wife.
1) He spoke to them of FAITH IN CHRIST.
You can have all the good deeds and religion in the world, but they will never impress God one bit. A person must come to a living, abiding FAITH in Jesus Christ.
2) He reasoned with them about RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TEMPERANCE (self-control).
Like most Roman leaders, Felix and his wife were wicked and debauched, so Paul got right to the nub of the matter of the sin in their lives. They desperately needed salvation from their sin through Jesus Christ.
3) And he reasoned with them of JUDGMENT TO COME.
Hebrews 9:27 says, "…it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
Every one of us will die, then we'll have to face our Maker. And anyone who has not received God's gift of salvation provided through His Son, Jesus, will be judged by God and cast into the lake of fire.
Paul shared all of this, and whatever Felix's initial motivations were, it made a profound impression upon Felix. Luke, the author of the book of Acts, tells us that Felix trembled with fear. Not everyone responds so dramatically to the Gospel like this, but I've preached before and seen people's literally trembling before God in their seats at church.
I'm sorry Felix didn't turn to the Lord and become a believer that day. He should have done it when the Lord was working in his heart. He should have responded when the Holy Spirit had brought him to the place of conviction and fear and shame before a holy God. I can imagine Paul waiting for Felix's response, thinking to himself, "Come to Christ now before it is everlastingly too late. Felix, what are you waiting for?"
But Felix DIDN'T trust the Lord that day, and there's no evidence he every did. He said to Paul, "Go away for now; I will call for you at a more convenient time." But you know what?-It's never convenient to trust the Lord. Satan will always give you an excuse to put off your most important spiritual decisions. Today in the pit of hades, awaiting his day of judgment before the holy Judge, Felix is wishing he had responded to God when he had a chance.