“And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.”
When the governor of Caesarea reached the end of his political term, he decided to leave Paul in prison, hoping to do a favor for the apostle’s persecuting kinsmen. Why were they persecuting Paul, and why was Felix going along with it all? Why were the apostles being faced with such concentrated opposition?
It wasn’t because Paul had a Christian bumper sticker. It wasn’t because he wore a religious T-shirt. It wasn’t because he played his Christian radio music loudly while waiting at the stop sign.
More than once, Felix had heard Paul “speak about faith in Christ Jesus,” and “about righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment.” (Acts 24.24b-25)
This was not Paul being religiously obnoxious, nor was it his romantic shot at promoting a new religion to a well known ruler. For Paul, to proclaim the Gospel was an act of utter meekness and love. He wanted to see this man delivered from the spirit of this age, and brought into a true union with the Son of God, so he risked his well-being to set forth the Kingdom of God.
Are our words declaring such Light? Are our lives conveying the reality of faith, righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment? What will be the legacy of our lives? Will it be one of frivolity and lightness, that we were funny guys, and the life of the party? Will we be known as complainers, gripers, and grumps?
Or will we be remembered as those whose eyes were set on eternity… Those who demonstrated a supernatural reality… those who loved men with a Godly compassion… those who spoke as though God Himself was speaking… those who bucked the free-for-all spirit of this perverse generation… those who spoke “about faith in Christ Jesus,” and “righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come?”
You can be sure that when you are filled with God’s Spirit, and proclaiming the life of Christ Himself, many will encounter the mercy of God in you. The result will be the same as it was for Jesus and Paul. Be prepared for rejection, dear saint. It’s an inevitable part of the experience. But don’t forget that God Himself will get glory out of your suffering, and it will all be worth it in the end.
“… some men joined him and believed…” (Acts 17.33)