I. FELIX AND HIS WIFE DRUSILLA.
A. Felix was the Roman governor of the province.
1. He had at one time been a slave, and the only slave in the Roman Empire to rise to the position of governor.
2. His brother Pallas was a favorite of Nero, and through his brothers influence Nero appointed him governor of Judea.
3. The Roman historian Tacitus was very caustic concerning him, and declared that "He exercised the prerogatives of a king with the spirit of a slave."
4. At the time that Paul appeared before him he had been the governor for five years. He was to reign as governor for two more years until he was recalled. Had it not been for his brother Pallas, he would have been executed.
5. He had been married to three princesses one after another. The name of his first wife is not known. The second was the granddaughter of Antony and Cleopatra. Drusilla was the granddaughter of Herod Antipas and the daughter of Herod Agrippa the first. The Herod that ordered the death of James the brother of John. Her brother was Herod Agrippa the second.
6. Felix was the kind of man who ordered thugs to murder his close allies.
B. His wife Drusilla was first married to Azizus, the King of Emesa but Felix with the help of a magician named Atomos wooed her away from him. Theirs was a sorted relationship at the best.
C. They called for Paul and heard him concerning His faith in Christ.
II. PAUL REASONED WITH THEM.
A. The claims of the gospel are very reasonable.
1. Through the prophet Isaiah God said, "Come now let us reason together."
2. A person who is living in sin is not thinking rationally.
a. Sin is destructive, and is in the process of destroying you.
b. "Be not deceived, God is not mocked."
1. Yet how many people are mocking God.
2. They are deceived as they think that they are getting by with their evil.
3. Paul wrote to the Romans
Do you think that you shall escape the judgment of God?
Or do you despise the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; do you not realize that the goodness of God is just giving you time to repent?
The hardness of your impenitent heart is just storing up wrath against you that shall be revealed in the day of the righteous judgment of God;
Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
To them who patiently continue in well doing as they seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation, wrath, tribulation and anguish, shall come upon every soul of man that doeth evil.
III. THE THINGS THAT PAUL REASONED WITH THEM ABOUT.
1. They were very wicked people.
2. They lived in open defiance of the law of God.
3. Felix was noted for his corruption.
4. Paul spoke to them about righteousness.
5. Righteousness is to live the right life, or do the right thing. There is a right way to live and a wrong way to live, the right thing to do and the wrong thing to do.
a. In your relationship to God.
b. In your relationship to your fellowman.
6. Are you living in a right relationship with God? The first table of the law.
a. God requires that you put Him first.
b. If He is not first in your life, they you are living in unrighteousness.
7. Are you living in a right relationship with your fellow man? The second table of the law.
a. God requires that you love your fellowman.
b. God requires that you do not lie to him, or steal from him, or cheat him. That you do not seek to seduce his wife.
c. God requires that you forgive his wrongs against you.
d. God requires that you show mercy to him.
e. God requires that you be kind to him.
8. Felix and Drusilla were none of these things.
B. Of temperance. Moderate in indulgences of appetite or desires.
1. Self control.
2. Felix and Drusilla lived lives of debased excesses.
3. You have heard the phrase, "Living as though there were no tomorrow."
a. That is how some people live, they never think of the natural consequences of their abusing their bodies.
b. They smoke and never think of the damage to their lungs.
c. They drink and never think of the damage to their liver.
d. They have promiscuous sex and never think of the many sexually transmitted diseases.
e. This is not wise. Paul reasoned with them.
C. Judgment to come.
1. There is a pay day coming.
2. In Proverbs we read,
Because when I called, you refused to listen; When I stretched out My hand, you did not regard it;
But instead you set aside all my counsel, and would you would have nothing to do with My reproof:
I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when you become terrified,
Because of the desolation which has come upon you, and destruction which has come as a whirlwind; when you are filled with distress and anguish.
Then you shall call upon Me, but I will not answer; you shall seek me earnestly, but you shall not find me:
For because you hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
Because you would have nothing to do with My counsel: and you despised all my reproof.
Therefore you shall suffer the consequences of your own way, and be caught up in your own devices.
For the turning away from Me by the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
3. Tomorrow will come when you will have to pay for yesterday.
You rejoice, young men, in your youth; and you let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and you walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes: but know this, that for all these [things] God will bring you into judgment.
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.
IV. THE RESULT OF PAUL'S REASONING WITH THEM.
A. Felix trembled.
1. Because of the life he was living, he feared for the future.
2. He trembled but he did not change.
3. You can have conviction of sin without repentance.
4. It is possible that at one time the Spirit so convicted you of your sin that you trembled, but did you repent?
B. He deferred, "Go your way at this time, and at a more convenient time I will call for you again."
1. His more convenient time never came.
2. So many making the same mistake. I want to continue a little longer in my sin. One day I plan to change, one day I will forsake my unrighteousness.
3. So often however it is like the rich man in the parable of Jesus where he talked of what he planned to do for the future, and God said, "You fool, this night your soul will be required of you.
4. I wonder how many people are in hell today who planned to one day at a more convenient time consider the claims of Jesus Christ and give their lives to Him?