Is there anything more foolish than rejecting the word of God, and to decline to hear more about the Creator who can save your soul? This happens frequently when christians go out in the world to tell others about Jesus Christ, when those who are approached feel they can afford to say “no thanks”, or at best “I will think about it. Maybe in the future” . That is also what Felix the governor did when he had the chance to listen to the apostle Paul when he (Paul) explained how to enter the kingdom of God and get eternal life. Felix likely felt that he was a much luckier guy than Paul, because Paul was only a poor and despised prisoner while Felix was a powerful governor with few things to worry about in this world – as long as he sided with the right kind of people.
Felix actually had some knowledge about the Way, and learned even more about God through Paul’s initial talk. Yet, he cut it short by adjourning the meeting, and it’s possible that he was too afraid to make a decision himself about Paul’s future (in combination with that he also hoped to get bribed by Paul or his friends). (From NKJV because I had a hard time understanding this section in KJV):
Acts. 24:22 But when Felix heard these things, having more accurate knowledge of the Way, he adjourned the proceedings and said, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will make a decision on your case.”
Maybe it was his conscience that told him that it was a good idea to give Paul some liberty while he was in custody, because Paul was a kind man who did not harm anyone:
23 So he commanded the centurion to keep Paul and to let him have liberty, and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him.
Felix wife Drusilla (daughter of Herodes Agrippa I) seemed to be curious about Paul and his teaching and likely wanted to hear more about it, and also see this man who everyone was talking about. Felix called for Paul when Drusilla was with him, and Paul lost no chance to spread the word of God to all who wanted to hear:
24 And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
But when Paul told Felix about the conditions for salvation, and that one must be self-controlled in order to be righteous in the eyes of God, and that there is a judgment day ahead of us where the almighty God will judge each one of us for what we have done and not done, and such things, Felix became AFRAID and didn’t want to hear any more. That is often the case when people start to realize the seriousness of sin, and that there actually is a Creator out there who has opinions about the way we live our lives. Some people therefore reason that it’s better to put the lid on in order to not disturb their bad consciences even more, because it’s a scary thing to know that you’re actually heading for eternal damnation. Felix then tells Paul to leave, and explains to him that he will call for him when he has a convenient time! That is such a bitter comment because here is a man of God – the apostle Paul – who has met Jesus in person on the way to Damascus and who knows exactly what is required to get eternal life in heaven, and yet Felix doesn’t take the chance to learn more about how to save his SOUL from HELL. A more convenient time? YOU CAN DIE TOMORROW! If you hear the word of God today, then don’t wait for tomorrow because tomorrow might never come:
25 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.”
Not only did Felix miss a great opportunity to hear more about how to get this great PEARL in the form of Jesus Christ when Paul was telling him about him and how to reach salvation, but he also hoped to get bribed by Paul, which conveys his worldly outlook on things. For this reason he checked on Paul once in a while and talked to him with the hope that some extra money would be coming his way, because that would certainly be a bonus. On top of this he chose not to release Paul prior to being succeeded by Festus, and thus he left the destiny of Paul’s future in another person’s hands despite that he had the power to release Paul himself. Felix reason for doing so was so that he could make the jews a favor. I don’t believe Felix himself was concerned about whether Paul spread the gospel in the synagogues and in markets or not, but he made whatever decision that was the most advantageous for himself, and not to be fair to others. It’s possible that he felt a bit bad about keeping a nice person like Paul in custody, but he eased his conscience by giving him some liberty…
Jude 1:16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. (NKJV)
As long as Paul was in his custody, there was always a chance that he could be bribed, and at the same time he scored points among the jews who liked the fact that Paul was locked up and no longer could spread his words about Jesus among them. Releasing Paul, on the other hand, would give Felix no benefit at all, so he found no reason to do it now when he didn’t have to. Felix believed he was a smart guy, and yet he was guilty of sin and he let a great opportunity to get saved slip through his hands:
26 Meanwhile he also hoped that money would be given him by Paul, that he might release him. Therefore he sent for him more often and conversed with him.27 But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound. (NKJV)
Friend, if you have not given your life to Jesus today, do it now before it’s too late! All other things can wait while you make this most important decision in your whole life. You are never certain of that you will get a “tomorrow”, so priority No 1 must be to make sure your soul is saved before you do anything else. It’s not a difficult decision unless you make it that way. You must first start to realize that you are separated from God due to your sins, but if you confess your sins and repent God will forgive you if you truly mean your repentance! God loves you and he hopes that you will come to him to get LIFE, and it will be a decision you will never regret. Spend your time in prayer and by reading his Word in the Bible, and you will get to know him more and more. You will be given the Holy Spirit as a Helper in your life. Don’t uphold your decision for another day!
Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Luke 12:16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.