The Judgment to Come
A daily devotion for July 25th
24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.
27 When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.
Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said,That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him. Acts 24:24-26
Paul told Felix about the judgment to come. There is coming a time when every life is going to be evaluated, when each human being will suddenly find himself standing naked before God, with all his life laid out for everyone to see. Then to all will be evident the value, or the lack of it, of that life. Jesus spoke of this. He said that there will come a time when that which is spoken in secret shall be shouted from the housetops, and that which is hidden shall be revealed. All the hidden secrets of the heart, and everything done in secret shall be openly displayed.
Undoubtedly Paul pointed out to Felix that God is aware of the hearts of men; he does not merely read the outside. We are so content if we can fool people by the exterior of our lives. But Paul laid before the governor the fact that he was dealing with a God who reads the heart. Wouldn't it be interesting if we had a television camera which could record thoughts. Suppose that today that camera was on you, and all the thoughts you have had running through your mind this last hour were recorded on videotape. What would you think if it was announced that next Sunday morning at church this would be played back on a screen?
That is exactly what God is talking about — a time when everyone will see the life of everyone else, exactly as it was, with nothing hidden, nothing covered over, all of it there. Then the great question will be:
What did you do with Jesus Christ? When Paul reasoned this way before the governor, he was afraid. It all came home to him. The logic of it hit him right between the eyes. But this was his response:
That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you. He procrastinated. He had a hunger for God, but he also wanted money from Paul.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all other things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33 KJV). But you can't put them on the same level of priority. You can't want God and money. That is what destroys men. That is what blinded this man so that he could not see the importance of this moment. He had one of the most unusual opportunities ever afforded a human being: To spend hours with the Apostle Paul, but he passed it by.
Go away, he said,
until I have a more convenient time. Do you know anything sadder, more pathetic, than those words? And though he called Paul to him and talked with him often, he was never afraid again. That is the danger that men face when they are confronted with the reality of Jesus Christ and do nothing about it. Their hearts are hardened.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you have made provision for me to have your righteousness covering me at the day of judgment.
Life Application: Do we welcome full disclosure of our sinful thoughts and actions so that we may experience God's amazing, gracious forgiveness? Does unbroken communion with him trump prideful cover-ups?
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