Scripture reading for June 8th: Acts 24
God knows how to open doors for His people to share the Gospel! As we read of the life of Paul, we see that the doors that are opened in the high places of government come to the minister as he is a prisoner, falsely accused by his own brothers! Sounds like Jesus, doesn’t it!
Following a plot to kill Paul by the Jews, the Roman commander has Paul transferred to Caesarea. This Roman province is governed by Felix. A letter of explanation accompanied the prisoner, explaining the Jew’s charges and the fact that Paul was a citizen of Rome. Felix agreed to hold Paul and conduct a trial where his accusers would present their case.
Tertullus, a lawyer for the Sanhedrin, came to detail the charges against Paul and spoke first. “We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riot among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect and even tried to desecrate the temple; so we seized him. By examining him yourself you will be able to learn the truth about all these charges. . .” (Acts 24:5-8)
Paul was allowed to speak and went through his actions and shared that he was a follower of ‘the Way’. The only charge Paul stated he was guilty of was that he was a believer in the resurrection from the dead. At this, Felix, who was fully aware of ‘the Way’ dismissed the meeting saying that he would decide later.
“Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus.” (Acts 24:24) Paul again had opportunity to share with a high government official. Felix and his wife listened, but no record is given of their faith. God’s mercy is extended to all freely!
Scripture reading for November 14th: Acts 24-26
Are you focused on your mission of taking Jesus Christ with you today wherever you go? Are you ready to share your testimony and share the Gospel? We are to bring close encounters with Jesus to others in a lost world!
The Apostle Paul visited Jerusalem even though he had been warned prophetically about ending up in jail. (Acts 21:10-14) Angry Jews falsely accused Paul and he was imprisoned in Caesarea under the Roman governor Felix. Jews from Jerusalem came there to present their case against Paul with a lawyer named Tertullus. The charges had no proof and Paul, with the help of the Holy Spirit, spoke convincingly to Felix. Later, Felix and his wife asked to have Paul brought before him for a private audience. Paul preached the Gospel and sought to convince Felix that Jesus was the “Way” for him as well. (Acts 24:24-26) Scripture records that Felix became afraid and cut Paul off. His real motive was a bribe! Money blinded Felix and his wife from finding the true treasure of eternal life in Jesus Christ!
Two years passed and a new governor, Porcius Festus, was appointed. The Jews came before him to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem for trial. They planned to kill him as he was being transferred. (Acts 25:3) Again, Paul spoke by the Holy Spirit and appealed to Caesar. (Acts 25:10-12)
Royal visitors, King Herod Agrippa and his wife Bernice, arrived to pay respects to Porcius Festus. They stayed a few days and Festus told Agrippa about Paul’s case that he had inherited from Felix. Agrippa asked to hear from Paul. The leading men of the city, high-ranking officers, and King Agrippa and his wife had Paul brought in chained as a prisoner. Paul was invited to speak to the King in front of all these! He passionately appealed to the King, preaching Jesus as the Christ! The King listened carefully, but in the end stopped the discussion with: “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” (Acts 26:28)
The heart is deceptive and often has satanic blinders to receiving the Gospel. Many are like King Agrippa and his wife. God granted them the privilege of hearing the Gospel but the close encounter did not bring conversion or life eternal! We must go all the way and embrace Jesus Christ as Lord!