A More Convenient Time
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – Jn. 14:6
Hey, readers! I’m sending love your way today. Thank-you for showing love to me in reading. I appreciate you!
We’re still in the book of Acts and hoping to restore Christianity to what it was in the first century. We are looking at what the church of the New Testament did so that we can follow in their path.
In Acts chapter 23, Paul was sent from Lysias the commander to the governor, Felix, to spare him from the scheme that 40 Jews had devised to kill him. In Acts chapter 24, the high priest Ananias and other elders went before Felix with the lawyer Tertullus to present their case against Paul.
Tertullus said of Paul, “For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to profane the temple, and we seized him, and wanted to judge him according to our law” (Acts 24:5-6). It’s possible they wanted to diminish Paul’s religion by referring to it as the sect of the Nazarenes, since the term carried with it negative connotations. But recall that Jesus was a Nazarene (Mt. 2:23).
When Paul began to defend himself, he responded, “But this I confess to you: that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets” (Acts 24:14). He did not deny and was not ashamed of being part of the Way.
The Way is another term for the church or Christianity. It is used throughout the book of Acts (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22).
Apparently, the governor Felix had already been informed about the Way (v.22). But even after hearing Paul’s defense, he did not make a decision to let him go free. He said that he would wait to hear from the commander Lysias who had sent Paul to him (v. 22).
Paul was probably unaware that he would eventually have to go above the governor and before the king and say what might be comparable to us, today, saying kindly, “Mr. President, I want my freedom.”
He didn’t deserve to be imprisoned and in bondage, anyway. Just like no one has the right to sell another person, Paul didn’t deserve to be unjustly seized by the Jews, turned over to the Romans, and held in prison. He didn’t put himself there. Paul wanted to be free.
In the meantime while Felix waited for the commander, he took his wife Drusilla with him to hear Paul preach on faith in Jesus Christ (v. 24). “Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, ‘Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you'” (v. 25). The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (Jn. 16:8).
Felix was convicted after hearing Paul reason with him. He had some things that he needed to make right before God as he was of the character that he was willing and hoping to take a bribe from Paul to set him free (v.26). Yet his response was to wait until a convenient time.
We must be careful not to be like Felix.
When we are convicted of sin, of what is just and right, and of the judgment to come, we must act immediately because tomorrow is not a guarantee.
There may never be a more convenient time. Yet some still choose to wait until they do this or do that to appropriately respond to the gospel message. Recall that the Philippian jailer had the same response of being afraid before Paul (Acts 16:29). Yet, he did not wait until another time, he immediately asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” and he obeyed the gospel (Acts 16:30, 33).
Let’s not put off what needs to be done today. Tomorrow is not promised. If you are convicted of your sin, like Felix was, then do the right thing. Turn to the Lord today. Believe that Jesus is Lord, confess that He is to others, and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins; then follow the Way.
Don’t wait for a more convenient time that may never present itself. Let’s not wait to find time for the Lord but make time for Him.
The convenient time is now.
“Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” – James 4:14
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