Come back later (Acts 24)

25 And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.” Acts 24:25

A few weeks ago Sherry and I were pulling out of our driveway as a family was walking down the street.  After we left our neighbor said, “They knocked on your door.”  We later discovered they were witnesses for a different religion.  Our son was at home, but would not answer the door.  Thankfully, he did not answer and say, “come back later.”

In Acts 24 Paul is still under house arrest.  Nine days have passed and finally the Jewish delegation  arrives.  After hearing their side of the story and hearing Paul’s side of the story, Felix decides to put off his decision even though he knows Paul is innocent.

The Bible says, “for the next two years Paul would speak again and again to the governor concerning Christian faith.  Each time Paul would reason about the difference Christ makes in one’s life:

  • One begins to live in a righteous way.
  • One begins to live in the Spirit’s control exercising self-control.
  • One begins to prepare for the Lord’s return.

Each time Paul would reason with the governor, “He would send him away until a later date.”  In other words, he kept putting off coming to Jesus!

Brothers and sisters, you and I understand the danger of putting off salvation.  We hear the strong words of James in 4:13-17

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Two years would pass and Felix would leave the region, still without Christ and still saying, “come back later.”  But later never came.  May you and I heed the warning of Scripture with all we meet, II Corinthians 6:1-2

Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says,

“In a favorable time I listened to you,
    and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

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