“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).
Do you ever struggle with procrastination? There are some things which don’t hurt to procrastinate over such as starting a home building project or reading a particular book, but there are other things that are not good to procrastinate over such as finding a job or matters which concern our souls.
Following Paul’s return from his third missionary journey, Paul goes to Jerusalem and enters the temple (Acts 21:15-26). While he is in there some Jews from Asia stir up the crowd, lay hands on him, and beat him as they sought to kill him (Acts 21:27-32). He is rescued by some soldiers, questioned, and then eventually sent to the governor Felix (Acts 21:33-23:35).
As Paul is brought before Felix, Ananias the high priest came with some of the Jewish elders and made accusations against Paul (Acts 24:1-9). Then Paul gives his own defense and as he shares with Felix his hope in the resurrection of the dead made possible through Jesus Christ (Acts 24:15-16, 21). Without rendering a verdict Felix adjourns the proceedings (Acts 24:22). Later, Felix and his wife Drusilla send for Paul to hear from him more concerning the faith in Christ (Acts 24:24).
Paul shares with him his hope in Jesus Christ and the good news of the Gospel. As he does so, Paul “reasoned about, self-control, and the judgment to come” (Acts 24:25). When Felix contemplates what Paul has to say, he is afraid (Acts 24:25). Perhaps, in listening to Paul, Felix realized he was not ready for the judgment to come. What does Felix do? Does he obey the gospel so that his fears may be relieved and he may go on rejoicing in his salvation (cf. Acts 8:39)?
Sadly, Felix procrastinates. He tells Paul, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you” (Acts 24:25). In fact, for 2 more years Felix will continue to send for Paul and converse with him (Acts 24:26-27), but as far as we know he never obeys the gospel and goes to his grave unprepared for the judgment to come, afraid, and never realizing the joy of salvation in Christ.
As we consider this account of Paul before Felix, we should each ask ourselves, “Are their spiritual matters in my life about which I procrastinate?” For example, for some of you reading this, perhaps you have procrastinated about making the decision to obey the gospel of Christ? For others of you, have you put off restoring a relationship with a brother or sister in Christ who has hurt you by not confronting them and forgiving them (cf. Matthew 18:15-17; Ephesians 4:32)? Moreover, there still may be those reading this, who have put off discovering their unique ministry where they can serve others and help build up church, the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:16).
Why do we put off doing these things? While there are some matters such as putting off going shopping for a gift or starting an exercise program which may not hurt us too much, spiritual procrastination is deadly to our souls. It hurts our relationship with God because it puts off doing those things which draw us closer to God. Today, I resolve not to engage in spiritual procrastination!
“We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:1-2).