Monday, April 7, 2008

A Story of Conviction

In Friday’s blog, I touched on the fact that people do not want God in the picture of their life because that makes them accountable for their actions. It brings about conviction for the way that we live. As I read in Acts, I came upon a great illustration of this. In Acts 24, the Apostle Paul was taken to Caesarea to stand trial before Governor Felix on baseless charges brought by the Sanhedrin. Felix listened to Paul as he spoke about faith in Jesus Christ. This is when we see what the truth does in our lives.

Acts 24:25 “As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come,” (NIV). I’m sure Paul’s “discourse” included some bits about our unrighteousness, our lack of self-control and the fact that we will all stand before God in judgment for these things. Whatever he said, it must have been quite an impressive and detailed “discourse” as we see the result in the next bit, “Felix was afraid and said, "That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you."” (NIV) When confronted with the reality of judgment for our unrighteousness, Felix, the Governor of Samaria, a man who controlled an army, a man who had the power to imprison, punish and even put people to death, was afraid! The Greek word used comes from the word “phobos”, which is where we get the word “phobia”.

Oh, to preach like the Apostle Paul and be able to bring that kind of conviction upon a soul! But alas, Paul preached to Felix for 2 years and we never hear of him accepting the truth that would save him from the very judgment that he so feared.

Salvation is available to everyone; it was even available to Felix. God supplied the salvation, but we still each have to accept it!


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