Everyone had to decide
Acts 24:25 “As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, ‘That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.”
Paul needed Felix to give him a fair trial. But this didn’t sway him from giving Felix the straight gospel.
This was not a “God thinks you’re really nice” message. Paul could have spoken some prophetic encouragement that God would use Felix in some mighty way. That God was pleased with their marriage etc. Not Paul!
This was 3 points (all the 3 pointer preachers shout Amen!) and it was strong.
- The standards of God, the righteousness of Christ and the living of our lives with justice.
- The immorality of life, the desire for selfish living, to wander away from God.
- The end result of the above 2 points. The result and the last day rewards.
It was strong and it was challenging. Felix was afraid. It uprooted Felix’s position in life. There was someone bigger than him, more powerful, who does and will deal with man. This was better than the famous British preacher, Jonathan Edwards, who delivered a sermon title in the 1740’s called, ‘Sinners in the hands of an angry God’. The power of preaching can make people afraid for their lives? Is that possible? What were the results of Jonathan Edwards sermon? Well, nearly 3 centuries later it is still being studied in theological courses around the world!
Felix was afraid. He made the excuse of convenience. It never was convenient again. This was his moment, a missed opportunity to get right with God, he never took it and there is no record of him doing so. But of course, his foolishness meant that his young wife, Drusilla, followed his lead.
So hard preaching or soft preaching there are no guarantees of results. People decide and often their decision disappoints.