Righteousness; Temperance; Judgement
A Sermon on Acts 24:24-27
After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. 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.” At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him. When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison. (ESV)
The Gospel makes fallen sinners uneasy because it condemns all sin and unrighteousness that defiles God’s Law. It is not a comforting message, as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims from Acts 24:24-27; it rightly condemns all who will not repent and believe in it. This is the case of Felix and Drusilla when the apostle Paul preaches the Gospel to them. They are both living in an adulterous relationship and unjustly holding Paul in prison. Paul does not try to convince them of the reasonability of Christianity and its claims, but tells them the need for righteousness and the great wrath when all men will be judged for the deeds done in the flesh. This is why the Gospel is such an urgent message, for all men are appointed to die and suffer judgement. And it is only by believing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ that any can escape the righteous wrath of God. However, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains, often times the Church is more concerned with politics and moralism than they are with the preaching of the only true hope for mankind. This is the great message that God has entrusted to the church. It is the truth that Jesus Christ died for sinners so that all who believe will be saved.