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. 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. Acts 24:25-27 NIV
Since we know human nature does not change, we can understand that any time someone starts talking about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come--the conversation instills fear in the unrighteous and they change the conversation so they won’t feel condemned.
When faced with situations that Paul faced, we who know God and His intent for mankind, must continue to say what God says–no matter what the intent of those who have authority over us–in the natural. For no mere mortal can ever have authority over God or those who obey Him.
But in this passage we see Felix as a pretender–someone who pretended to want to know more about Paul was teaching, but in essence was really hoping that his imprisonment would keep him quiet (as far as the Jews were concerned) and would eventually end up with Felix lining his pockets in order for Paul to know freedom.
There are people who are imprisoned–in both buildings and mindsets–waiting for release and will not be bribed to go against the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Though I am not a prisoner in a building, like Paul, I count it all joy to be bound with the Good News and I will not keep silent and will not accept a bribe to be silent. I cannot be bullied into compromising my faith in God and I will not allow any authority on earth to persuade me to rebel against God.
But we know–from all we see–that has occurred with some people. Though the bribe may not have been money–instead it was support and promises of greater things to come, but the greater things will never eradicate the judgment that is sure to come–when those who live a life in opposition to God’s Word and promote others in doing the same.
We shall all stand before God and give an account of what we’ve done with our time here on earth. I hope never to be ashamed of promoting the Gospel of Jesus and the power of forgiveness and love. I have been forgiven for those things which I did without understanding of Truth. I am loved beyond measure by my heavenly Father–who willingly died for me that I would have another chance to get living right for Him.
There is not enough money on the planet to convince me to move from my stance–total faith in the resurrection power of Jesus and the embodiment of power from Holy Spirit who dwells within me. Unfortunately, not all can say with confidence they feel the same. We see this in politicians who are willing to compromise themselves in order to gain status. We see this in people whose principles are determined by a dollar value. We see this in the church–when the leadership is more concerned about the numbers in the building that souls being saved when Truth is heard and they compromise the Gospel–to be politically correct.
Lord, help us all when we allow greed to reign over the needs of the people to know the Truth.