IT’S INCONVENIENT

Sending for Paul, they listened as he told them about faith in Christ Jesus. As he reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the coming day of judgment, Felix became frightened. “Go away for now,” he replied. “When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.” [Acts 24:24b-25 (NLT)]

In Acts 24, we meet Felix, the governor of Judea, who is conducting an inquiry into the Jews’ accusations against Paul. Paul launches a strong defense against the false charges and even explains a little about Christianity. Felix, perhaps uneasy with a message about righteousness, adjourns the case until a later date, when it is “more convenient.” A few days later, Felix and his wife listen to Paul speak again about righteousness, faith in Jesus Christ and judgment. The corrupt governor, clearly frightened by Paul’s message, sends him away once more. Over a two year period, however, he frequently calls for Paul to discuss this faith of his, yet Felix never makes a decision about Christianity or Paul’s guilt.

By sending for Paul so often, it’s clear Felix was drawn to the message, yet he couldn’t commit. Why? Felix was caught between two worlds. A cruel, corrupt and powerful man, he’d have to give up his positon, influence and ill-gotten wealth if he became a Christian. This free Roman official didn’t even realize he was, in fact, a slave in bondage to his sinful way of life. Becoming a slave to righteous living just wasn’t expedient. Maybe tomorrow or the next day it would be, after he’d amassed even more money from bribes. Felix never did resume Paul’s trial or make a decision about his guilt; more important, Felix never chose to follow Jesus Christ. It was never convenient!

Life’s opportunities often come at inopportune times. We may say, “I wish you’d asked yesterday,” or, “Not today, check with me tomorrow.” We’ll eventually make a decision, but just not today; it’s inconvenient. Remember, it’s said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Good intentions mean nothing on Judgment Day. Is there any commitment you need to make today?

Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. [Romans 6:16-18 (NLT)]