And Felix Trembled

Acts 24:21 Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day. 22 And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter. 23 And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him. 24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.

I can’t help but think of Belshazzar. He had a big party in the palace. As King of Babylon he used the vessels of the temple to drink from. The fingers of a man’s hand began to write on the wall. He trembled. With Felix there were no fingers but one man stood by him with a message from God.

The Apostle Paul stood before this ruler named Felix and spoke in much the same way Daniel did to Belshazzar. He reasoned with Felix on temperance and righteousness. The devil likes to confuse people. We have the same Word of Truth. He spoke to Felix of judgment to come. Every member of Adam’s race will stand before God and give account. It all will be determined by God’s plan of salvation, the person of salvation. It’s not through ourselves. We cannot save ourselves. You can’t get to heaven by kin people standing with you at the judgment asking God to let you in because of them. The person of salvation is Jesus Christ. Whatever people need, they need salvation and it’s through Jesus. We don’t appoint a person to give it to us. It’s not through whatever “religion” we believe. The figureheads of religion are dead, sinners to begin with who died in their sins. The only sinless one was conceived in the virgin’s womb and was born while she was still a virgin. God called his name Jesus. Immanuel. God with us. Jesus means Savior. He’s not A Savior; he’s THE Savior with a capital S. When you call on Jesus as Savior you are calling him by his name.

The high priest brought accusation against Paul. The only thing he could come up with was that he was a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes (v 5). Don’t avoid people when they try to help you. Never consider the work of God as a bother. Paul was causing people to move. Their lives were being changed because they got saved. We may not have made millions knowing Jesus. Maybe we missed some “thing” now and then BUT faith in Jesus Christ as made us free!  They called Jesus “the Nazarene” when he was on the earth. He was conceived in Nazareth, born in Bethlehem and died and rose again in Jerusalem. He suffered for us all so in effect he’s from Saltville too. That’s where I met him. He’s here today to save you. You can believe Jesus is the ringleader of some cult. The world will put down the gospel and the name of Jesus. The devil has convinced people to use the name of God and Jesus as curse words thereby taking his name in vain.

Felix heard all this. His wife Drucilla was a Jewess.  She knew about the teachings and miracles of Jesus. She would have known of his death and resurrection. Paul was the chief enemy of Christianity. They knew of his deeds but he had been saved and stood before them this day. He had been so anti-Christian before; now he proclaims Jesus as Savior. He’s not what he used to be. He tells them that everyone can be saved and how to get right with God–through Jesus. Jesus is our righteousness before God. Because of our simple faith in Jesus, when we stand before God in judgment we can have boldness. The power of God goes all the way to the innermost part of your soul. Saved inside out. There’s nowhere to go that God’s not already there. I want that kind of Savior.

Paul was before Felix and Drusilla. They got the impression that Jesus did it all for them. He belongs to the world but he can be all yours, and yours, and yours.  He gave his entire life all for me and all for you. It caused Felix to tremble. How can we not tremble at the immense Savior. It’s the power of Jesus Christ that makes your knees weak. It puts the fear in you that you melt at the knowledge of him.

Trembling can be because of something really good. Would you not get weak in the knees and tremble if Publisher’s Clearing House came to your door!   That’s what Jesus does. He’s good. Or it can be because of something really bad. If you’re flying and hear a strange noise or see an engine on fire you’ll get weak in the knees and tremble. It’s time to hear the bang!  Pray and ask Jesus where you need to tremble. Stop hiding. Call upon his name and come before him trembling.

Felix trembled. He knew he was lost, on his way to hell. What would he do? Where many others let their trembling lead them to God, Felix said “not now.”  He wanted to wait for a more convenient time. It’s not recorded that Felix ever got right with God. Other times he saw Paul he didn’t tremble. He got further away from God. 

We should want to be closer to God. What effect does he have on you?

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