When it’s convenient?


“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.”—Acts 24:25.

(ESV-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.”)

In this passage, we see the Apostle Paul, once again on trial for his life.  Instead of being timid, Paul passionately preached the Gospel to Felix, until he trembled (KJV) or was alarmed (ESV.)

Then he responded with, “When it is CONVENIENT I’ll call you back.”  “When I get a chance, I’ll think about God.” Apparently, Felix trembles and believes he can put off thinking about God, righteousness and judgment for a better time, a more convenient season!

Charles H. Spurgeon’s introduction to the sermon, “Paul’s Sermon Before Felix” (1858)

The power of the Gospel appears in marvelous grandeur when we see its hold upon hearts devoted to it, when subjected to trouble, persecution, and sorrow. How mighty must that gospel be, which, when it gained an entrance into the heart of Paul, could never be driven out of it! For it he suffered the loss of all things, and as for them, he counted them but dung, that he might win Christ. To spread the truth, he encountered hardships, shipwrecks, perils on the land, and perils by sea; but none of these things moved him, neither did he count his life dear unto him, that he might win Christ and be found in him. Persecution followed persecution; of the Jews was he beaten with rods; he was dragged from one tribunal to another; scarce in any city did he find anything but bonds and imprisonment awaiting him. Attacked in his own country—he is accused at Jerusalem, and arraigned at Cesarea; he is taken from one tribunal to another to be tried for his life.

But mark how he always maintains the prominent passion of his soul. Put him where you may, he seems to be like John Bunyan, who says, “If you let me out of prison to-day, I will preach the gospel again to-morrow, by the grace of God.” Nay, more than that, he preached it in prison, before his judges he proclaimed it.

  • Standing up before the Sanhedrim, he cries, “As touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question.”
  • When brought to stand before Agrippa, he tells out his conversion, and so sweetly speaks of the grace of God, that the king himself cries, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian;”
  • and here in our text when he stands before the Roman Procurator, to be tried for life or death, instead of entering into a defence of himself, he reasons “of righteousness, continence, and judgment to come,” until his judge trembles, and he that sits upon the throne takes the prisoner’s place, while the prisoner judges him, in anticipation of that time when the saints shall judge the angels, as assessors with Christ Jesus.
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