Monday, February 13, 2012

The Lost Cause?

As I continue my trek through the book of Acts I continue to be amazed at the stories that almost jump off the pages. I cannot tell you how many times I have read this book and still seem to be captivated by the people, places and events that transpire. Just the other day I was reading Acts 24 and came across the story of Paul defending himself before governor Felix. Towards the end of the "trial" there is an interesting passage that tells us about a series of meetings between Paul, Felix and Felix's wife Drusilla:
Acts 24: 24-26 - 24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. 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.” 26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.
If you look at what was going on behind the scenes you will see where Paul is coming from. Felix was a corrupt politician and a very immoral person, not unlike many politicians we hear about today. Felix was corrupt in that he was constantly trying to fill his coffers with bribe money. This was not just something that was unique to Paul, there were many before Paul and many after who would buy their way out of a jam. Felix was immoral in the sense that if he wanted it he got it. Take his wife Drusilla. She was described as very beautiful and already married to King Azizus. No worries for Felix, he simple wooed her away from the king and made her his wife, his third wife.

This was not secret knowledge. Paul and others were aware of this. What I find interesting is that there is no indication that Paul was enamored with Felix's position or power. Paul knew that, based on his past experiences as well as what the scripture taught, God was in control. Paul seems to realize that everyone he encountered was a divine appointment from God. Whether it was a politician, a priest or a prison guard Paul seemed to treat everyone as a God ordained appointment. Paul was not looking for what Felix could do for him rather Paul was concerned about what he could do for Felix as it related to his salvation.

Even though the passage tells us that Paul met with them several times, there is no evidence that Felix nor Drusilla ever accepted what Paul was sharing with them. Unfortunately this is the case more times that not. Later in Acts 26 we see something very similar from King Agrippa. Paul has presented the Gospel to King Agrippa via his personal testimony and look at King Agrippa's response:
Acts 26: 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
Men love the things this world has to offer, money, power and fame just to name a few. And at times it seems like trying to share the Gospel with someone like this can be futile. It seems as though you are wasting your time going back and forth with them but we have to always remember that God, through the Holy Spirit has to draw men to himself. We are not the Holy Spirit and no amount of time or effort on our part will ever produce the results the Holy Spirit can produce. With that said we are still commanded to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth. How God works all of this together should be thought of as a mystery and not an excuse. Who will cross your path today and what will you make of your opportunity?

1 comment:

  1. "Who will cross your path today and what will you make of your opportunity?"

    i crossed your path, what did you make of the opportunity?

    Glenn Poston