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Acts 24

Thursday Evening Bible Study

April 3, 2014


Try the YouVersion “Live” / Online notes

Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Target 4400 words

On the day of Pentecost, the church was born. It began with the Holy Spirit filling the believers. As the apostles preached about Jesus, the church began to grow.

By chapter seven, the church was beginning to experience persecution. Stephen was the first one to die for his faith. One of the main men behind the persecution was a man named Saul. But when Saul headed for the city of Damascus to pursue the Christians there, he was knocked off his horse by a bright light and he met Jesus. Saul is more well known by his Roman name, Paul.

By chapter 10, the gospel began to reach even the Gentiles, starting with a Roman Centurion named Cornelius.

In chapter 13, we began a new section of Acts as we began to focus on the ministry of Paul.

Play Missionary Journeys map clip

Paul’s first missionary journey took him from Antioch of Syria, through the area of Galatia.

Paul’s second missionary journey took him past Galatia, into Greece, then back through Jerusalem and on to Antioch.

We are now on Paul’s third missionary journey, very similar to the second, except he’s now in Jerusalem.

While Paul was in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, a riot breaks out in the Temple, and the Jews try to seize Paul and put him to death.

The issue that is causing the riot has to do with the Gentiles.

Some of the Jewish Christians had heard rumors that Paul had been teaching the Jews who lived around the world that they no longer needed to keep the Law of Moses, that they could live like Gentiles.

He had not.
Paul taught what the Jewish believing church in Jerusalem taught – that salvation comes through believing in God’s grace. This is true for Jew and Gentile.
Jews don’t have to stop being Jews, but their salvation was never based on how well they kept the Law of Moses.

Some of the unbelieving Jews thought that Paul had even brought a Gentile into the Temple because they had seen him walking around town with a Gentile.

He had not.

The truth was that Paul was in the Temple completing a very Jewish ceremony, the Nazirite vow. Apparently Paul had taken the vow himself, and he was also paying the fees involved for four other Jewish believers.

The Romans stepped in to take Paul away from the crowd, but Paul was allowed first to speak to the crowd.

Paul gave his first defense to the crowd, but they only went wild when he mentioned that Jesus had sent him to preach to the Gentiles.
Paul’s next defense was before the Sanhedrin.
When the Romans find out that there is a Jewish conspiracy to have Paul killed, they send him to Caesarea at night to be held for trial before the Roman governor.

24:1-9 Charged with Sedition

:1 Now after five days Ananias the high priest came down with the elders and a certain orator named Tertullus. These gave evidence to the governor against Paul.

:1 after five days

It was five days earlier that Paul had arrived in Caesarea under a protective Roman guard.

:1 oratorrhetor – a speaker, an orator; of a forensic orator or advocate

:1 evidenceemphanizo – to manifest, exhibit to view

:1 Tertullus

The man has a Roman name (“triple hardened”). The Jews have hired a big named Roman lawyer to represent them in court.

:2 And when he was called upon, Tertullus began his accusation, saying: “Seeing that through you we enjoy great peace, and prosperity is being brought to this nation by your foresight,

:2 accusationkategoreo – to accuse; before a judge: to make an accusation

:3 we accept it always and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.

:3 most noble Felix

Felix was a brother of Pallas, who was a chief advisor of the emperor Claudius.

Felix was made governor of Judea by Emperor Claudius in AD 52.

Felix had indeed stopped the riots that had been led by a renegade Egyptian.

The Roman historian Tacitus says of him that “with all cruelty and lust he exercised the power of a king with the spirit of a slave.”

Felix was known for accepting of bribes, which actually led to an increase of crime in Judaea.
He was known for secretly encouraged bandits in Judea, and then sharing the plunder with them.
He was immoral. His current wife is his third wife. She had been married to someone else, but he convinced her to marry him instead.
He was violent. Felix had murderers hired to have a high priest named Jonathan killed. Then, as an act of justice, he had the murderers brought back and put to death.


Beware of flattery

Felix may like what he’s hearing, but he ought to know better. It’s only for the purpose of persuading him to rule against Paul.
(Proverbs 29:5 NKJV) A man who flatters his neighbor Spreads a net for his feet.


A woman and a man are involved in a car accident, it’s a bad one. Both of their cars are totally demolished but amazingly neither of them are hurt. After they crawl out of their cars, the woman says, “So you’re a man; that’s interesting. I’m a woman. Wow, just look at our cars! There’s nothing left, but fortunately we are unhurt. This must be a sign from God that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace for the rest of our days.” Flattered, the man replied, “Oh yes, I agree with you completely! This must be a sign from God!” The woman continued, “And look at this, here’s another miracle. My car is completely demolished but this bottle of wine didn’t break. Surely God wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune. Then she hands the bottle to the man. The man nods his head in agreement, opens it and drinks half the bottle and then hands it back to the woman. The woman takes the bottle, immediately puts the cap back on, and hands it back to the man. The man asks, “Aren’t you having any?” The woman replies, “No. I think I’ll just wait for the police...”
Moral of the story: Women are clever. Don't mess with them.

:4 Nevertheless, not to be tedious to you any further, I beg you to hear, by your courtesy, a few words from us.

:4 a few words

He doesn’t want to take too much of the governor’s time.  Isn’t that nice?

:5 For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.

:5 a plagueloimos – pestilence; a pestilent fellow, pest, plague

:5 a creator of dissension

creatorkineo – to cause to go, i.e. to move, set in motion; to move excite

dissensionstasis – a standing, station, state; an insurrection; strife, insurrection

Literally, “a mover of insurrection”

NIV – “troublemaker”

This would be a serious accusation in a Roman court – hinting that Paul was stirring up Jews to rebel against Rome (which he wasn’t).

:5 among … Jews throughout the world

This part of the charge seems accurate. Trouble was indeed stirred up just about everywhere Paul went.

In Antioch of Psidia:
(Acts 13:45 NKJV) But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.
At Iconium:
(Acts 14:2 NKJV) But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.
At Lystra:
(Acts 14:19 NKJV) Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.
At Philippi it was because he had cast a demon out of a slave girl:
(Acts 16:19 NKJV) But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.
At Thessalonica:
(Acts 17:5 NKJV) But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
At Corinth, the trouble was in the synagogue:
(Acts 18:6 NKJV) But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
In Ephesus, the riot broke out because the idol makers were losing money over people becoming Christians, and the pagans blamed all the Jews:
(Acts 19:27 NKJV) So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.”

Paul had indeed been involved with trouble from the Jews, but it was the Jews who had caused trouble to Paul.

:5 ringleaderprotostates – one who stands in the front rank; a leader, chief, champion

This seems to be made up of “first” + “dissension”. 

:5 the sect of the Nazarenes

secthairesis (“heresy”) – dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims

NazarenesNazoraios –an inhabitant of Nazareth

This is one of the ways that the Jews referred to Christians, as followers of Jesus who was from Nazareth.

:6 He even tried to profane the temple, and we seized him, and wanted to judge him according to our law.

:6 tried to profane the temple

They had claimed that he had taken a Gentile into the part of the Temple where Gentiles were not allowed.

He had not

They had assumed this simply on the fact that Paul had been seen around town with Trophimus, an Ephesian Gentile.

:7 But the commander Lysias came by and with great violence took him out of our hands,

:7 with great violence

Tertullus make it sound as if the only “violence” was that by the Roman troops.

It was the Jews in the Temple who had almost killed Paul, and the Roman troops had saved Paul.

:8 commanding his accusers to come to you. By examining him yourself you may ascertain all these things of which we accuse him.”

:9 And the Jews also assented, maintaining that these things were so.

:9 the Jews also assented

After Tertullus gives his speech, the Jewish leaders agree that this was their position.

24:10-21 Paul’s defense

:10 Then Paul, after the governor had nodded to him to speak, answered: “Inasmuch as I know that you have been for many years a judge of this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself,

:10 for many years a judge of this nation

Felix has governed for seven years by this time. This is about as much of a compliment as Paul can muster with Felix. About all Paul can say is to acknowledge that Felix has been around for a while. He doesn’t say he’s been a good judge, he’s just glad that he’s someone who is familiar with the issues.

:10 I do the more cheerfully answer for myself

Paul is happy to speak up since he knows that Felix is familiar with what goes on in the land of Palestine.

:11 because you may ascertain that it is no more than twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship.

:11 no more than twelve days

Paul had now been in Caesarea for 5 days, that meant he had only been in Jerusalem for a week, not much time to stir up sedition.

:11 to worshipproskuneo – to kiss the hand to (towards) one; to worship; in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance

:12 And they neither found me in the temple disputing with anyone nor inciting the crowd, either in the synagogues or in the city.

:12 neither found me in the temple disputing …

The prosecutor makes it sound as if Paul was stirring up the crowds in the Temple.

Paul was simply there to worship.

It was the Jews from Asia that had stirred up the crowds.

:13 Nor can they prove the things of which they now accuse me.

:14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.

:14 according to the Way


Honest Testimony

Paul denied the things that he had been falsely accused of, but there are some things that he can’t deny. 
They had accused him of being a leader of the “Nazarenes”.  This was true. 
The year was AD 155, and the persecution against Christians swept across the Roman Empire and came to the city of Smyrna. The proconsul of Symrna, swept up in this persecution, put out an order that the Bishop of Symrna, Polycarp, was to be found, arrested, and brought to the public arena for execution. They found Polycarp and brought him before thousands of spectators screaming for blood. But the proconsul had compassion on this man who was almost a hundred years old. He signaled the crowd to silence. To Polycarp he said, “Curse the Christ and live.” The crowd waited for the old man to answer. In an amazingly strong voice, he said, “Eighty and six years have I served him, and he has done me no wrong. How dare I blaspheme the name of my king and Lord!” With that Polycarp became a martyr.—Leith Anderson, “Can Jesus Trust Us?” Preaching Today, Tape No. 126.
Jesus said,
(Matthew 10:32–33 NKJV) —32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

:14 secthairesis (“heresy”) – choosing, choice; dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims

:14 worshiplatreuo – in the NT, to render religious service or homage, to worship; of priests, to officiate, to discharge the sacred office

The word Paul uses here is different than the word used in verse 11.

This word speaks of the Jewish religious worship, how he was fulfilling his Nazirite vow and performing sacrifices.

:14 believing all things which are written

Typically a “sect” only believes some of what the Bible teaches.

Paul is stating that he believes everything in the Bible (Old Testament).

:15 I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.

:15 I have hope … a resurrection

A number of the Jewish leaders were themselves Pharisees, and they, like Paul, believed that there would one day be a resurrection of the dead.

:16 This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.

:16 strive … a conscience without offense

striveaskeo – to form by art, to adorn; to exercise (one’s) self, take pains, labor, strive

consciencesuneidesis – the consciousness of anything; the conscience

without offenseaproskopos (“not” + “near” + “to strike”) – having nothing to strike against, not causing to stumble; of a smooth road; without offense, not troubled by a consciousness of sin

This is the way he had started his address to the Sanhedrin. It was with these words that Ananias had ordered Paul struck in the mouth.  Yet here Ananias has to sit and listen to Paul say it again, and he can’t order Paul to be struck in the mouth this time.


Clean Conscience

Sometimes, to be honest, we have a dirty conscience.  We are guilty.
The good news is that there is cleansing available.

(1 John 1:9 NKJV) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

(Hebrews 10:22 NKJV) let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

We also need to strive to live lives that reflect the character of Christ, to “keep” our conscience clean.
(1 Peter 3:15–17 NKJV) —15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
You will find that a “clean conscience” might even improve your pastor’s preaching…
Sunday the sermon was sluggish,
'Twas hard attention to keep.
The theme was faultily chosen,
It almost put me to sleep.
Monday was blue with sheer boredom;
Tuesday was carnal by choice.
Wednesday my conscience was wakened
By pleas from a still, small voice.
Prayer meeting left me uplifted,
Loyalty lingering long.
Thursday my heart was responding;
Friday His nudging was strong.
I came to thorough repentance
The following Saturday;
I yielded in full surrender
As all on the altar I lay.
Sunday the sermon was perfect,
Superb and quite at its peak;
Amazing how greatly that pastor
Improved in the space of one week!

:17 “Now after many years I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation,

:17 came to bring alms and offerings

Paul had written to the Romans a few months earlier while he was in Corinth …

(Romans 15:25–27 NKJV) —25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.

:18 in the midst of which some Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with a mob nor with tumult.

:18 Jews from Asia

These were the men at the heart of the conflict.

These were the Jews from Ephesus who had known Paul from his time in Ephesus.  They were the real troublemakers.
They remembered Paul as someone who caused them grief not only by his teaching about Jesus, but in the riot that came when the idol makers got mad at their loss of business due to the large numbers of people converting to Christianity.
They had blamed all the Jews for their troubles.

:18 found me purified in the temple

purifiedhagnizo – to cleanse from Levitical pollution by means of prayers, abstinence, washings, sacrifices

Paul had been encouraged by James to complete his own Nazirite vow in the Temple and take some of the other believing Jewish brothers who were also completing their vows.

(Acts 21:26 NKJV) Then Paul took the men, and the next day, having been purified with them, entered the temple to announce the expiration of the days of purification, at which time an offering should be made for each one of them.

This was how the Jews had found him in the Temple, as a “clean” Jew. He was ceremonially clean.

:18 neither with a mob nor with tumult

Paul wasn’t gathering a crowd and stirring them up.

He was simply completing his Nazirite vow ceremony.

:19 They ought to have been here before you to object if they had anything against me.

:19 They ought to have been here

The ones who really had a problem with Paul were the Jews from Ephesus. Yet they weren’t the ones standing before Felix.

:20 Or else let those who are here themselves say if they found any wrongdoing in me while I stood before the council,

:21 unless it is for this one statement which I cried out, standing among them, ‘Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged by you this day.’ ”

:21 Concerning the resurrection of the dead

Maybe the accusers were more upset with Paul by what he had said when he stood before the Sanhedrin than the trouble in the Temple.

The Jewish leaders had only heard gossip and rumors about Paul. The only thing they themselves could testify to was that Paul had made the statement about the resurrection that had caused such division in the Sanhedrin.

This was why the Sanhedrin had erupted in confusion.

The Pharisees all defended Paul’s right to believe in the resurrection.
The Sadducees did not believe in any resurrection.

We have seen over and over through the book of Acts how important the resurrection was.

It’s the central message of the apostles.
It’s the resurrection that sets Christianity apart from everything else.
It’s what proved that Jesus was who He said He was – the Messiah.

It’s the reason why Paul was a follower of Jesus.

It’s why Paul did the things he did.

:22-27 Felix Procrastinates

: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.”

:22 having more accurate knowledge of the Way

Felix was no dummy about these things.

He had heard all about those Christians.

It’s possible he had heard Philip the Evangelist who lived in Caesarea.

It could be that he heard some from his wife who was a descendant of the infamous Herod kings.

:22 When Lysias the commander comes down

Lysias, the commander in charge of Jerusalem wasn’t at the trial, so Felix says he wants to hear from him.

So far it’s basically Paul’s word against the Jews.

: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.

:23 let him have liberty

Paul had some sort of limited freedom while he awaited another trial.

He could have visitors who could also bring food and such.

: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.

:24 Drusilla

She was one of three daughters of Herod Agrippa I (Drusilla, Mariamne, Bernice – who we will meet next week).

Her father murdered the apostle James.
Her great-uncle Herod Antipas slew John the Baptist
Her great-grandfather (Herod the Great) killed the babes of Bethlehem.

Drusilla was known for her great beauty.

When Felix first met her, he was smitten by her beauty and he talked her into leaving her former husband Gaius Julius Azizus, the Priest King of Emesa
At the time that Paul is standing before Felix and Drusilla, she is only 22 years old.
Josephus writes,
While Felix was procurator of Judea, he saw this Drusilla, and fell in love with her; for she did indeed exceed all other women in beauty; and he sent to her a person whose name was Simon, a Jewish friend of his, by birth a Cypriot, who pretended to be a magician. Simon endeavored to persuade her to forsake her present husband, and marry Felix; and promised, that if she would not refuse Felix, he would make her a happy woman. Accordingly she acted unwisely and, because she longed to avoid her sister Berenice's envy (for Drusilla was very ill-treated by Berenice because of Drusilla's beauty) was prevailed upon to transgress the laws of her forefathers, and to marry Felix.
Josephus states that they had a son named Marcus Antonius Agrippa and a daughter Antonia Clementiana.
Drusilla and her son perished at Pompeii in AD 79 when Mount Vesuvius erupted.
Their son perished together with his mother Drusilla, along with noted Roman historian Pliny the Elder plus most of the populations of Pompeii and Herculaneum in the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Video: Pompeii movie clip

: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.”

:25 reasoneddialegomai (“dialogue”) – to converse, discourse with one, argue, discuss

:25 righteousness, self-control, and the judgment

Difficult words for a man known for his immorality.


Addressing real issues

Paul is standing before a man who has the ability to release him, and yet he doesn’t stop speaking the truth to him, even when the truth is inconvenient.
He talks to Felix about three things:
righteousnessdikaiosune – righteousness, the condition acceptable to God; integrity, virtue, purity

Felix did not life a “righteous” life. He was not a man who was right before God.

self-controlegkrateia (“in” + “power”) – self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions)

Felix didn’t have self-control. He saw what he wanted and took it.

It’s lack of self-control that gets us into so much trouble in the first place.

“I have more trouble with D. L. Moody than with any other man I ever met.” – Dwight Lyman Moody (1837–1899)

Charles H. Spurgeon said, “Learn to say no; it will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin.”

Self-control takes great strength, strength to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands--and then eat just one of the pieces.


In Scotland, during the early days of aviation, a stunt pilot was selling rides in his single engine airplane.  One day he got into an argument with an old farmer who insisted upon taking his wife along on the ride—at no extra charge.  “Look,” said the pilot finally, “I’ll take you both up for the price of one if you promise not to utter a sound throughout the entire trip.  If you make a sound, the price is doubled.” The deal was made and they all clambered aboard.  The pilot then proceeded to put the aircraft through maneuvers designed to make the bravest tremble. But not a sound came from the back, where his passengers sat. Exhausted, he set the plane down. As the farmer climbed out, the pilot said, “I made moves up there that frightened even me, and yet you never said a word.  You’re a fearless man.”

“I thank ye,” replied the Scotsman.  “But I must admit that there was one time when ya almost had me.” “And when was that?” asked the pilot. The farmer replied, “That was about the time my wife fell out!”

(he had “self-control” to not speak up…)

judgment to come

We will all stand before God one day.

(Hebrews 9:27 NKJV) And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Even though Felix was standing in judgment over Paul, Felix himself will stand in judgment before God.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that all of mankind is in a horrible predicament.  What can we ever do to avoid eternity in hell?

(2 Corinthians 5:19–21 NLT) —19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

It’s in Jesus that we have hope.  It is through Jesus that God takes our sins away from us and in turn gives us the righteousness of Christ.

It’s through trusting in Jesus that we receive this incredible gift of eternal life.

I find it interesting that these are the things that Luke says Paul was speaking to Felix about.
Sometime we think that sharing the gospel with someone requires that we say certain things in our presentation – such as “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life, man if sinful and separated from God, God sent Jesus to die for us, you must believe in Jesus…”
I remember once after a funeral being rebuked by a well-meaning lady for not using the word “repent” when I shared the gospel with the audience.
When Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman…
He started off asking the woman for a drink. Then he said,

(John 4:10 NKJV) Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

When the woman asked him for this special water, Jesus asked her to call her husband.

And then Jesus pointed out that He knew all about her immoral lifestyle, having had five husbands.

That’s when He got her attention.

When the discussion began to turn towards religion, Jesus said,

(John 4:24 NKJV) God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

And then Jesus told her that He was the Messiah.
When Jesus talked to the rich young ruler …
He started off encouraging the man to keep God’s commandments.
When the man said he did keep the commandments …

(Matthew 19:21 NKJV) Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

The man walked away very sad because he was quite wealthy and didn’t want to give up his “stuff”.  Jesus had nailed this man’s deeper issues.
Instead of using our pattern of what the gospel means, Paul is addressing the issues that are crucial to Felix.

:25 Felix was afraid

The old King James says he “trembled”.

It seems that Felix was truly touched by Paul’s message, so much that he became terrified.


It’s not enough to tremble

The Bible says that even the demons tremble when they hear about God.
(James 2:19 NKJV) You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
One day when you stand before God, it’s not going to be enough to say, “Well I heard about Jesus and it made me all shakey”. The question is, did you turn your life over to Him?  Did you choose to follow Him and then indeed followed Him?
Jesus told a story:
(Matthew 7:24–27 NKJV) —24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Somehow we get the idea that if we’re moved emotionally by a message, that this is all we need.  We go home feeling like it was a good day.  But nothing has changed.
No.  You must believe.  You must turn around.

:25 when I have a convenient time

Be careful about putting God off for too long. You don’t have forever to choose.

Today is the day.


There was a ship called the “Central America”.  She was in a bad state, had sprung a leak, and was going down. She therefore hoisted a signal of distress. A ship came close to her, and its captain asked, through the trumpet, “What is wrong?” “We are in bad repair and are going down. Wait till morning,” was the answer.  But the captain on board the rescue ship said, “Let me take your passengers on board now.”  “Wait until morning,” was the message that came back.  Once again the captain cried, “You had better let me take your passengers on board now.”  “Wait until morning,” was the reply that sounded through the trumpet.  About an hour and a half later, the lights were gone, and though no sound was heard, she and all on board had gone down to the fathomless abyss. Unconverted friends, for God’s sake, do not say, “Wait until morning.” Today, hear God’s voice.—Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)

: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.

:26 hoped that money would be given him

It seems that Felix was more interested in the possibility that Paul might give him a little money under the table than he was about getting right with God.

People have all sorts of reasons for seeming interested in the gospel.  Felix just wanted to get paid.

:27 But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound.

:27 Porcius Festus

Porcius = “swinish”

Festus = “festival”

You could call him “Mr. Pig Party”

Paul is being transferred from Felix the Cat to Porky Pig.

:27 wanting to do the Jews a favor

As the Roman governor of Judaea, Festus knows he needs to be on the good side of the Jews.

For now he keeps Paul in custody.