Article - The Reasoning Power of the Gospel
“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’" (Acts 24:25). His mind was made up. Paul was going to Rome to appeal to Caesar. Yet, along the way Paul had a once in a lifetime opportunity to speak to such wicked men as Agrippa and Felix. If you could speak to some of the world’s most powerful leaders today about the gospel, what would you say? Let us consider Paul’s three major points to Felix.
Righteousness. Felix was not well known for his righteous nature. In fact, he was probably well known for quiet the opposite. Yet, because each of us has a moral compass of right and wrong, Paul was able to bring the great Felix to his knees in fear by preaching righteousness. Oh, how we need more teaching on righteousness today. Jesus said, “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). We need more preaching on righteousness in marriage. God set marriage up to be one man and one wife for a lifetime, the only exception is for fornication (Genesis 2:18-24; Matthew 19:9). We need more teaching on righteous living today. Paul encourage some in Corinth to awake to righteousness and stop sinning (1 Corinthians 15:34). John reminds us that everyone who is born of God works righteousness in his life (1 John 2:29). In a world that mocks at sin and revels in the unrighteous lifestyle, we as Christian must be a light by living righteously.
Self-Control. Paul now turns to the second problem in Felix’s life. Felix, and much of the Roman world, lacked any self control. The motto of the day could have been “If it feels good do it.” Felix is especially known for his lack of self-control in the fleshly and sexual realm. Today, we still have a lot of Felix’s kinfolks around who have absolutely no restrain when it comes to sexual desires. Christians, must not give in to many of the fleshly pleasures of the world, but rather abstain from them. Peter encouraged us to, “abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11). To help control our lusts, we must access a power greater than ourselves. The Bible says, we can do all things through Jesus Christ who is our strength (Philippians 4:13). When we are tempted to give in to our lust, we need to turn to God in prayer and ask Him for help (1 Peter 5:7).
Judgment to Come. Everything Paul had previously said, would have had no effect on Felix were it not for the Judgment Day of God. Why should people live righteous lives today? What motive is there for controlling our lusts and passions? The greatest motive of all is that one day we will stand before God and be judged for all that we have done in this life (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Concerning the Judgment, Paul reminds us that God will bring every work in to judgment including every secret thing we have said or done (2 Corinthians 5:10). The Judgment of God will be according to His Word (John 12:48). As we read the words of Revelation 20:12-15, we have to see Felix and ourselves at the Judgment. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Dear friend, the Bible has the ability to reason to our greatest spiritual needs. Today, are you like Felix? Do you fear the Judgment Day because you know you are not living right? If so, please don’t be like Felix. Felix sadly said, “Go away for now, when I have a more convenient season I will call upon you.” We are never told that Felix obeyed the gospel. Don’t wait too late. If you are not a Christian, we would love to help you become one.
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