Act Twenty Four

Paul as Preacher (v.16)


The enemies of Paul hired a great “orator” to speak against him. A silver tongue was sent to seal his doom. Tertullus employed all the tricks of his trade. He used flattery and appealed to the governor’s pride. He stroked the official’s ego. Paul appeared to be a little pawn on a political chessboard. He called Paul a “pestilent fellow” and called him “seditious.” The word sedition would get any governor’s attention. It was the crime of Barrabbas.

Finally, it was Paul’s turn. He would not rely on “oratory,” as much as plain truth. He plainly pointed out that he believed there was to be a resurrection of the dead, both just and unjust (15). When Paul had a second audience, we are told what Felix and Drusilla heard. He heard him concerning the faith in Christ. Paul spoke of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come. Paul was a faithful preacher. His congregation of two “trembled.”

When people hear us, what do they hear? Do they hear us speak of ourselves, our church, our traditions? We must preach and teach the whole counsel of God, but Jesus must be the centerpiece of every sermon. Everything else must be connected to and related to Him. The Bible is the Christian’s Him Book. It’s all about Him.

Felix, like many, decided to not decide. He said “when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” Salvation is supernatural. Saying “no” to God may prove fatal. There may be no second chance or “convenient season.” There may be some soul listening to us who is about to enter into an eternal winter from which there will be no spring. Their heart may grow cold to God and never thaw until they feel the fires of Hell. Then it will be too late.

A second motive fixed his fate. He hoped to make money by keeping Paul. The love of money is indeed the root of all evil. Felix means “happy.” Everyone wants to be “happy.” God wants us to be “holy.” Only those who are made “holy” by faith in Jesus Christ will know what real happiness is. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

The job of preachers is not to make people happy. Neither is it to “show [them] pleasure.” The New Testament Church is not a pleasure cruise. The ship of Zion is supposed to be more a fishing trawler. We are crew not tourists. There is work to be done. There are souls to rescue, there are souls to save.