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Acts 24:1-27

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Do you ever put off things you know you need to get done?
In for we see a story of the worse form of procrastination, we are going to see The governor Felix put off coming to Christ.
Adrian Rogers said “It seems the largest category of those who are lost and who will not be saved are procrastinators. They don’t intend to go to hell. They sincerely intend to one day be saved. But they won’t do it today. They put off a decision to receive Christ now, thinking they will receive Him later on. This sin of procrastination has blasted more dreams, blighted more lives, and damned more souls than perhaps any other sin.” (pg 1251 Adrian Rogers Legacy Bible)
Are some of you procrastinating in coming to Christ?
The last time we where together. God was moving in the middle of Paul’s trail.
Around 9:00 pm the Tribune sent Paul to Felix with an armed guard of 470 soldiers
The commander writes Felix the governor a letter explaining the situation and also confessing he finds Paul to be innocent.
In verse 35 Felix reads the letter and tells Paul that He will give Paul a hearing when his accusers arrive. He sends Paul off to be guarded.
This is where we pick up in chapter 24
Acts 24:1 ESV
1 And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and a spokesman, one Tertullus. They laid before the governor their case against Paul.
Paul has been waiting for 5 days for the the High Priest to arrive.
He finally does. The high priest is the man who has already ordered Paul to be punched in the face. He was the one that Paul called a white washed wall in chapter 23. The elders where the ones I am sure where there that day when they saw all of this go down.
And they hired an attorney named Tertullus who is going to represent them before Felix
Acts 24:2–8 ESV
2 And when he had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying: “Since through you we enjoy much peace, and since by your foresight, most excellent Felix, reforms are being made for this nation, 3 in every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude. 4 But, to detain you no further, I beg you in your kindness to hear us briefly. 5 For we have found this man a plague, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. 6 He even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him. 8 By examining him yourself you will be able to find out from him about everything of which we accuse him.”
Tertullus stands before Felix and gives his opening statement.
First he talk of how great Felix is
This was common in those days.
Felix as I told you last week was a former slave.
He was corrupt, and was known for his violent use of repressive force
And this lawyer Tertullus pours it on strong. Most of it being a lie.
We have enjoyed much peace (vs 2.)
You have brought great reforms to this nation (vs.2)
We are thankful for you. (vs.3)
Second he brings the charges against Paul (vs.5)
Paul stirs up riots among all the Jews (vs. 5)
He is the leader of a sect nazarenes (vs.5)
He may have been called this because the Bible says by Nathanal “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Profaned the temple (vs.6)
then in verse 8 Tertullus says you can see all of this by examining him.
Acts 24:10–20 ESV
10 And when the governor had nodded to him to speak, Paul replied: “Knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation, I cheerfully make my defense. 11 You can verify that it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem, 12 and they did not find me disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd, either in the temple or in the synagogues or in the city. 13 Neither can they prove to you what they now bring up against me. 14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, 15 having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. 16 So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man. 17 Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings. 18 While I was doing this, they found me purified in the temple, without any crowd or tumult. But some Jews from Asia— 19 they ought to be here before you and to make an accusation, should they have anything against me. 20 Or else let these men themselves say what wrongdoing they found when I stood before the council,
Felix nods to Paul for him to speak.
He addresses Felix first acknowledging how he has judged for many years and that he makes his defense cheerfully.
Why was Paul cheerful to make a defense before Felix.
Don’t you find that odd?
Paul is in chains he is standing before the governor, the high priest has brought charges against him.
Paul could make his defense cheerfully because of the subject he is going
In verse 11 Paul says you can verify that in the last 12 days I went up to worship at Jerusalem.
He was not disputing with anyone or stirring up crowds
He had not been in Jerusalem long enough to cause a riot
In verse 14 He confesses that I am guilty of following the way.
I am guilty of following Jesus.
I am guilty of giving up being on the throne of my life for He is my king.
I am guilty of being in what you call this sect. (cult.)
In verse 14 -16
Paul lays out the gospel to Felix the governor.
Paul says he worship the God of our fathers.
That he believes everything in the law and prophets
He says his Hope is in God,
I place my trust in God.
Do you put your trust in God?
I was listening to someone speak this past week and they said. We trust God with our salvation. We trust God with his shed blood being enough to cover our sins. But then when it comes to the small details of our lives. We want to be in control.
Paul here is saying I am placing my life, my situation, everything in Gods hands. I trust Him
Paul then says by the way these men who have brought charges they accept all of this and they even believe there will be a resurrection of the just and the unjust.
Paul was right, the jewish people are right. There is coming a day when their will be resurrection of the dead.
There is coming a day when the dead in Christ will rise first.
Is your soul ready for that resurrection?
Have you accepted the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Have you made him your savior. If not then dear person you are not ready for the resurrection of the dead.
The difference between the Jews and Paul was: Paul believed that his hope was found in Jesus and because of Jesus Paul could be among the righteous, the just during the resurrection.
But there is also a day when those who don’t believe in Jesus as their savior will stand in Judgement as well.
Which judgement will you be at.
In verse 16 Paul says so I always try to have a clear conscience toward God and man.
Paul had a clear conscience because Paul was a man of the word.
He studied the word
He followed the word
In verse 17 Paul lets Felix know why he came to Jerusalem.
In verse 17 Paul lets Felix know why he came to Jerusalem.
He came after being gone for several years to bring an offering back to help the church.
In verse 18 they find Paul purfiying himself in the temple.
While there purifying myself some Jews from Asia made some accusations.
Then Paul points out they are not here to testify.
In verse 21 Paul then confesses to sinning as we saw in chapter 23
Acts 24:22–23 ESV
22 But Felix, having a rather accurate knowledge of the Way, put them off, saying, “When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case.” 23 Then he gave orders to the centurion that he should be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that none of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs.
Acts 24:22–23 ESV
22 But Felix, having a rather accurate knowledge of the Way, put them off, saying, “When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case.” 23 Then he gave orders to the centurion that he should be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that none of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs.
Felix at this point stops the trial. Felix had accurate knowledge of the the way.
It is not enough to have head knowledge. It is not enough to have accurate knowledge of being a Christian.
You must have heart knowledge as well.
Even Satan and his demons have accurate knowledge of God.
Maybe you are like Felix this morning. As you come to church you feel you have an accurate knowledge of the way.
You know that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice. You know the reason died on the cross was for the sins of mankind.
You know that 3 days later he rose from the grave.
Maybe you think being a Christian is saying a prayer and walking a isle.
You know that he was not just a prophet or a great teacher, you know he was the very son of God.
You have accurate knowledge just like the demons and Satan. Today I want to know do you have heart knowledge.
I want to know have you given up your life to follow Him.
You Can have all the accurate knowledge in the world and it still not be good.
Do you have accurate knowledge of the way.
Let’s say a man knows in his mind that he has to drink water each day or he will die. And he does not take the action to drink water each day. Then the result is he dies. Just because he had accurate knowledge does not mean he took the steps to apply that accurate knowledge.
It is my fear that some of you under the sound of my voice may have accurate knowledge of how to make Jesus your savior but yet you have not taken the steps to give your life to Christ.
How does one come to Christ you might ask. You find the answer in the gospel
The Gospel which means good news .
Do you have accurate knowledge of the gospel.
The Gospel which means good news .
We are all sinners. We have all thought things, said things, and done things that God does not like.
And all of us have driffted from Gods plan and we drift from Gods plan or purpose it is sin.
Romans 3:23 ESV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Sin leads us to heart ache. Sin leads us to trouble and disappointment.
When we reach here
Because of our sin we deserve death. We deserve Gods wrath, we deserve the penaltiy for our sin.
But God gave us a free gift. That free gift is eternal life and it is only found in Jesus Christ
Romans 6:23 ESV
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For Christ never sinned. He never thought anything, did anything, or say anything that God hated.
He didn’t deserve God wrath, He didn’t deserve death, He didn’t deserve to be punished.
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
And because Jesus who never sinned shed his blood on the cross and died and rose from the grave our sins can be forgiven by placing our faith and trust in in.
Romans 10:9–10 ESV
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Romans 5:9–10 ESV
9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
This morning the subject of eternity is to big to not have ackurate knowledge on Salvation.
This morning the subject of eternity is to big to not have ackurate knowledge on Salvation.
Chair illustration
This morning I call on you to confess with your mouth that is Lord and believe in your heart.
This morning I am calling you to call on the name of the Lord. To give up your life and follow Him.
I am not calling to just have more accurate knowledge. Accurate knowledge alone will send you to Hell.
Felix in verse 22 tells the guards to take Paul away until Lysias can come down.
In verse 23 he gives him some privileges like his friends can attend to his needs.
Acts 24:24–27 ESV
24 After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.” 26 At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him. 27 When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.
Acts 24:24-
After some days had passed Felix called for Paul to come to him and speak to him and his wife Drusilla.
His wife was Jewish. Her father was King Agrippa I. She left her husband to marry Felix, scholars say she was easy on the eyes.
He wanted him to speak to him about Christ.
Talked about righteousness, self control and the coming Judgement.
Paul preached a gospel message Felix and his wife needed to hear.
They had, had an adulterous affair.
They had forsaken Gods righteousness
I am sure he told them that God is complety righteous.
That God is without guilt or sin
And the only way for us to become righteous is through the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
Next Paul preached to them about self-control
This couple had not shown self-control. They had, had an affair. She had left her husband to marry Felix.
To say they where unconfortable at this point may be an understatement.
Paul third point was the coming Judgement.
You see each of us here this morning will be judged. There is a coming Judgement for all of us.
For the Christ follower. For the one who has given up his life you will be judged.
2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
2 Cori
Christ follower you will stand before Christ not to be judged about your salvation for if you truly follow Jesus then your name is in the lambs book of life. But you will be judged by what you have done in the body. You will be judged on your works or lack of works.
You will be judged on the motive of every action you have done in the church.
And based on your motives, based on your work or lack of work you will recieve crowns and rewards that you will have the honor to lay at King Jesus feet.
The Lost person will be judged as well.
Revelation 20:11–15 ESV
11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Dear friends, if you have not given your life to Christ. If you have not made Jesus your savior then your name is not in the lambs book of life and if you where to die to eternity would be the lake of fire. Hell.
So today I encourage you to call on the name of Lord.
Felix responded to the gospel by sending Paul away.
He procrastinated.
He rejected the gospel.
and to our knowledge it is very likely that Felix is in Hell today.
Felix feel under conviction and instead of responding by making Jesus Christ his savior. He sent Paul away.
This is not the only time someone has ever been rejected for preaching the Gospel.
Paul just preached the gospel. He preached that you should have self control and that Judgement would come for Felix where he would stand before a Righteous God and give an account for his actions.
I am sure he also shared that his sins could be forgiven by make Jesus his Savior.
This is not the only time someone has ever been rejected for preaching the Gospel.
What about John the Baptist in . Where John the Baptist was killed for preaching the gospel.
Not everyone who falls under conviction responds by calling on the name of the Lord to be saved. Some will fall under conviction and instead of repenting they push people away. They quite coming to church.
They will even get mad at the person who delivered the sermon or message.
However, it concerns me and should concern you when people respond like Felix and reject the gospel.
It should concern us to our core when people procrastinate in responding to Jesus. Some here this morning I believe with my heart could be procrastinating in coming to Jesus.
I know some of you think I am nothing more than a young preacher, that does not even know how to tie his shoes yet.
However, it concerns me when some respond like Felix and they quite coming or they push people away.
Please listen to this warning.
For there is no guarentee you will fall under conviction again. For those under conviction God is calling you to himself. But I do believe their comes a time if we don’t repent and make Jesus our savior. He turns you over to yourself.
Everytime the gospel is preached. It calls for a response.
Some here this morning will respond by calling on Jesus to be your Savior.
Others will respond like Felix rejecting the gospel and turning from it.
Notice what verse 26 tells us. Felix kept calling Paul back hoping to get an offering. Hoping to get some money.
People come to Church and call the pastor for all kinds of things.
Many times people keep coming to church not so they can worship and serve. They come hoping that the church will serve them. Hoping the church will worship them and bow down to there desires and wishes.
As I talked with someone this week about churches in general. The person said in many of our churches they have become country clubs.
Do you come to worship and serve God, or do you come to church hoping to get a business deal, hoping to make some more money, hoping to raise your status in the community or church. Do you come so that the church can bow down to you and your wishes or desires or do you come to worship Jesus.
Two years goes by and Felix is replaced with Festus. Festus wanted to please the Jews
And Paul is still in prison.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Twenty-Two: Paul the Witness (Acts 24)

Dr. Clarence Macartney told a story about a meeting in hell. Satan called his four leading demons together and commanded them to think up a new lie that would trap more souls.

“I have it!” one demon said. “I’ll go to earth and tell people there is no God.”

“It will never work,” said Satan. “People can look around them and see that there is a God.”

“I’ll go and tell them there is no heaven!” suggested a second demon, but Satan rejected that idea. “Everybody knows there is life after death and they want to go to heaven.”

“Let’s tell them there is no hell!” said a third demon.

“No, conscience tells them their sins will be judged,” said the devil. “We need a better lie than that.”

Quietly, the fourth demon spoke. “I think I’ve solved your problem,” he said. “I’ll go to earth and tell everybody there is no hurry.”

Please don’t procrastinate. Come to Jesus now if the Savior is calling.
With every head bowed.
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