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. 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.” 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. But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound. (Acts 24:24-27)
He Mythed Time
Marcus Antonius Felix was a Roman procurator of Judea when Paul met him. A riot in Jerusalem had set things in motion that brought the apostle before the governor in Caesarea. While waiting for the commander of the garrison in Jerusalem to come before him, Felix brought his Jewish wife, Drusilla to listen to the preaching of Paul. The apostle was most happy to tell the governor and his wife the faith in Jesus Christ explaining righteousness, self-control and the certain judgment that would come. Paul’s preaching was powerful and pointed. He did not cater to the political correctness of the occasion but spoke plainly to the governor about the truth of righteousness found in Jesus Christ. Preaching on self-control would have been a remarkable part of his sermon consider the kind of people Felix and Drusilla were. Pleading for repentance in light of the judgment of God would have stricken fear into the hearts of his listeners. The apostle succeeded.
Marcus Antonius Felix became frightened. He understood what Paul was preaching and knew how much he needed to change things in his life. The preaching of Paul had moved his spirit to fear and trembling. It was a golden hour for this Roman governor to boldly stand for Jesus Christ proclaiming the name of the Lord before all the witnesses gathered. His only defense was to send Paul away and think about it another day. The best means to dilute an indefensible situation is to run away from it and Felix ran. He ran hard to get the things out his mind Paul had taught him. He knew what he should do but Felix chose to do nothing. Convincing himself there would be a better day, he engaged with Paul on numerous occasions but after two years, he was succeeded by Porcius Festus. Like the seed that fell on the rocky soil, the heart of Felix would never accept the gospel.
The season of the gospel is always now. Quoted often, Felix is the minstrel who plays the soothing music of tomorrow by saying there will be a convenient time to obey God. That time never comes. He spent two years listening to Paul but never again to feel the fear of that first sermon. His death brought about the end of the convenient season and he was unprepared to meet God. The gospel is preached to hearts that believe a better time will come when they are ready to serve the Lord. They think it will better when they get out of school, after marriage, when the children leave or retirement – a convenient time never comes. Death is not convenient and it is final.
Those who myth the time of salvation will find greater sadness in the day of final judgement when they realize all the time they had. School was not as important, marriage, children and retirement have no meaning after death. Obedience to the will of God means everything. All the excuses in the world will have little meaning when the season of convenience is past. Salvation is a now proposition with eternal blessings. Are you ready? Are you waiting? Remember Felix.
God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination. (Augustine)