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Monday, November 18, 2002

Edifier du Jour-Acts 24:22-27(NASB) [Paul was defending himself from Jewish accusations in Felix’s court in chapter 24]
22 But Felix, having a more exact knowledge about the Way, put them off, saying, "When Lysias the commander comes down, I will decide your case." 23 Then he gave orders to the centurion for him to be kept in custody and yet have some freedom, and not to prevent any of his friends from ministering to him. 24 But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, "Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you." 26 At the same time too, he was hoping that money would be given him by Paul; therefore he also used to send for him quite often and converse with him. 27 But after two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, and wishing to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul imprisoned.
I think a lot of people are like Felix in verse 25. When faced with the idea that they are sinners who can’t get to Heaven on their own, they have four options. Assuming they believe in God at all, they can either (1) take a universalist stance and reject the idea that anyone’s not good enough to get into heaven, or (2) reject the idea, for they think their good works can get them into Heaven or (3) not want to face the idea, knowing that their works aren’t enough but don’t want to follow Jesus or (4) accept the teaching at face value and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Felix is either in camp #2 or camp #3. Many people today have an idea that generally good people get to Heaven; if they are good citizens, they think that they will get a passing score on Heaven’s entrance exam. However, I think Felix knows that he’s a scoundrel, being on his third wife and being a venal politician. He knows he’ll flunk that entrance exam, but doesn’t want to live the right ways and give up his hedonistic lifestyle. He doesn’t reject the need for salvation out of hand, but wants to face the problem later. Later never came for Felix; he needed to see that he would gain far more than they he would have given up by accepting Christ; becoming a believer doesn’t mean living a monastic lifestyle. The reason many people avoid giving their life to Christ is that they think the loss of control and loss of pleasurable sins will make the converted life not worth living. Far from it; I’m not alone in saying that I’ve had more fun as a believer than I did before.

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