Paul Before Felix

Acts 24:24-25 - 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.    Drusilla; she was daughter of the first Herod Agrippa, who was eaten of worms (Acts 12:23); was married to Azizus king of Emesa, but afterwards left him, and became the wife of Felix.  The reason she was present is because she was a Jewish and had some knowledge of what the Jews expected from a Messiah.  Felix may have sent for Paul at the request of his wife, because she was interested in hearing about Christ as He related to what she expected in a Messiah of Israel.  It should be noted that Drusilla was unmoved by Paul’s message, while Felix trembled at hearing these things.  As far as scripture is concerned, Drusilla was also unmoved at the death of her father.  This can be partly attributed to the difference between being a Jew and a Gentile.  The power and grace of God to give hearers of the gospel a real hearing ear cannot be disallowed, or forsaken.


II.    Reasoned - to think different things with one's self, mingle thought with thought, to ponder, revolve in mind 2) to converse, discourse with one, argue, discuss

A.     Isaiah 1:18 - Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

1.       It is necessary to know you believe, not just have a vague feeling or knowledge.

2.       Acts 17:2,3 - Paul went into a synagogue of the Jews, and preached Christ out of the Scriptures.

a.      Paul did not try to get the people to believe.

b.      He reasoned with them out of the scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.

3.       I Samuel 12:7 - When Samuel had anointed a king over Israel, he declared that he wanted to reason with them about their great sin and the consequences they would have to pay.  He appealed to their understanding, which is what reasoning is.

B.     There must be a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ before a person will ever stand true to God.

1.       John 4:42 - And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. 

2.       John 6:66-69 – When many disciples went back from following Christ, Peter spoke for the entire remaining group when he stated they had no place to go, Jesus Christ had the words of eternal life.

3.       II  Timothy 1:12 - For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 


III.    Righteousness -

A.     Definition.

1.       in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God

2.       the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God

3.       integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting

B.     Paul would first show the total depravity of all sinners, Felix included.

1.       All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

2.       Eph. 2:1-3 - I was a sinner going to hell, but Christ made the difference for me.  This would make it very personal, Felix could tell Christ had made a difference for Paul.

3.       Titus 3:3 - We also were sometimes foolish…

C.     Paul would then show what God expected of all sinners, Felix included.

1.       Matt. 5:20 - For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

2.       1 John 3:7 - Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

3.       1 John 3:10 - In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

D.     Paul would then show how only Jesus Christ is righteous for us.


IV.    Temperance - self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp. his sensual appetites)

A.     For Paul to speak about self-control to Felix, who is married to Drusilla, is remarkable indeed.

1.       Felix hasn’t shown much self-restraint, because the woman sitting at his side he lured away from her first husband.

2.       Drusilla hasn’t shown much self-restraint, because she left he first husband to be with Felix.

B.     The lack of self-control of Belshazzar.

1.       Daniel 5:1-4 - They drank much wine and got drunk.

2.       Daniel 5:30 - That night the kingdom of Belshazzar fell, when he died.

C.     The lack of self-control of Herodias.

1.       Mark 6:18-24 - She had to work things out so she could have John the Baptist killed.

2.       This passage shows that anytime we try to work things out like we want them to work out that shows our lack of self-control.

3.       We ought to be satisfied with how God works things out.

D.     I Peter 4:4 - Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

1.       When a person is saved, and they show self-control in not acting like lost people, lost people think it is strange.

2.       True self-control is acting like God wants us to act, not like the world expects us to act.


V.    Judgment to come -

A.     A decree, judgment, condemnation of wrong, the decision (whether severe or mild) which one passes on the faults of others, a matter to be judicially decided, a lawsuit, a case in court.

B.     Judgment is coming.  (There are two separate judgments - one for the lost and one for the saved: the judgment of the quick and the judgment of the dead.)

1.       Acts 10:42 - And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

2.       II Tim 4:1 - I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.

3.       I Peter 4:5 - Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

4.       Rom. 2:16 - In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

5.       Rom. 14:12 - So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

6.       Heb 9:27 - And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

C.     The Great White Throne Judgment.

1.       Rev. 20:11-15 - The lost are the only ones at this judgment, and they shall be judged according to their works, which will determine their eternal punishment.

2.       Eccl 8:11 - The lost may believe their will not be judged, but that is definitely not the case. Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.


VI.    Trembling may not be a sure sign of God given conviction.  John Smith said he held on the back of the pew until his knuckles turned white.  He said he was later saved but his life does not reflect that.  Some have been saved when the people around them didn’t even know they were under conviction because they hid it so well.  Later, after they were saved, they said the preacher might as well have called their name, everybody knew who he was talking about.

A.     It was not Felix, who had the power to free or bind Paul that felt free.  Even though Paul was bound with chains, and had a soldier guarding him lest he escape, he was the one that was free.  Felix, who sat on a throne, in his royal robes, was bound with the chains of his sins.  The one who trembled was Felix.

B.     Paul didn’t ask to be set free.  He had the gospel message which would set Felix free.  Felix refused to be set free.


VII.    A More Convenient Season -

A.     Definition.

1.       Due measure, a measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of time, hence, a fixed and definite time, the time when things are brought to crisis, the decisive period waited for fortune or seasonable time the right time, a limited period of time, to what time brings, the state of the times, the things and events of time

2.       Felix is saying that the present time is not a good time to be saved.  There are some things he still wants to do that he knows he can’t do if he is saved.

B.     I personally wonder if his love for Drusilla had something to do with his refusal to yield his will to God’s pleasure.

1.       He knew that if he were to become a believer, he would have to leave Drusilla, and he won her from another husband.

2.       Now Drusilla and Felix are both dead.

3.       As far as we know, both are in hell, and in hell they are eternally separated from God and each other.

4.       Fulfilling the pleasures and desires of this life are not worth eternity in hell.

C.     Felix does intend to be saved, but the present time is not a good time

1.       Adam also followed his wife and caused sin to come upon himself, his family, and the entire human race.

2.       The misery that is caused by sin is immeasurable.

3.       If God hadn’t intervened for Adam and Eve, they would both be in hell right now.

4.       Felix didn’t allow Jesus Christ to intervene for him, therefore, he is in hell.

5.       If God doesn’t intervene for you, you will spend eternity in hell.

6.       There is no record that Felix was ever saved.

7.       It is very likely he is now burning in hell.

8.       Drusilla shows nothing.  She was Jewish and had probably heard it all before.  Like so many today.