“And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, ‘Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.’” (Acts 24:24 – 25) [NKJV]
In Acts 24:24 – 25, we read of Paul’s bold message to Felix, governor of the Roman province of Judea, and his wife Drusilla. Paul, having been accused by the Jews in Jerusalem of causing problems and encouraging strife among the people, was arrested by the Roman authorities and eventually imprisoned by them in the provincial capital of Caesarea. While awaiting trial for these false charges, Paul used every opportunity to teach and preach the gospel to whoever would hear. On this particular occasion, Felix decided to hear Paul speak. As was his character, Paul used this opportunity to preach a strong, scriptural sermon to the governor and his wife.
His message was evidently effective, for it caused Felix to be fearful and apprehensive. It says in v. 25 that Felix became “afraid.” (KJV: It says he “trembled.”)
Paul’s strong, pointed gospel message struck a chord in the heart of the governor. This ruler apparently stood convicted of his past sinful actions and was now contemplating what he must do about them. Would he accept the challenge and change his life by following the teachings of the gospel or would he just ignore the obvious truth and choose to do nothing?
In v. 25 of the text, we can see that, sadly, he chose to take the latter course – the “path of least resistance.” He responds to Paul’s message by telling him to: “‘Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.’” Felix decided that it was too hard to change, too difficult to commit his life to Christ. He made the decision that many of us do – he wanted what was “convenient” for him. This same word as used in v. 25 is translated from the Greek word Kairos which means: “an occasion, i.e. set or proper time: …opportunity, (convenient, due) season.”(1) The dictionary defines “convenient” as: “easy to do, use, or get to; handy.”(2) When we want what is “convenient”, we want what is easy.
Convenience usually involves something that offers little chance of challenge, struggle, or sacrifice.
Yet, Christianity is not convenient! It is not easy! It was never meant to be something that is, as some people say: “Easy come, easy go.” It requires that we commit everything – our whole self – to serving God. Jesus explains this well in Luke 14:33; “…whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
Let us not do what is convenient, rather let us do what is right in the sight of God! When we do what we think is right, easy, and convenient in our own sight that only leads to other problems and ultimately to eternal condemnation, “…the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). True, being a Christian, at times, can be very difficult and challenging. It can be a daily struggle! However, we are promised strength for the journey (Isaiah 40:31) and at the end of our life, a great reward. If we stay faithful to the end, we will, as our Savior says in Matthew 19:29, “…inherit eternal life.”
(1) James Strong, A Concise Dictionary Of The Words In The Greek Testament, in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1990), 39. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
(2) Michael Agnes, ed., Webster’s New Dictionary (Cleveland, Ohio: Wiley Publishing Inc., 2003), 146.