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When the Last Offer Comes - Part 21

David Wright

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David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church

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  • May 23, 2020
    11:00 AM
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Well I'm going to begin by talking about this young man here on the screen in his twenty's this young and you might say handsome Alexander Graham Bell found a way to speak into a gadget and be heard miles away in another receiving gadget if you will this new gadget was coined the telephone and many people were working on it but it was Alexander Graham Bell who 1st patented the idea on March 10th 876 he put it all together he had something that worked he patted the thing and so he now had the rights now that's great but you still have to sell it used to market this gadget that you think everybody needs but everybody thinks is baby a little bit silly later that year in October the 1st 2 way that is reciprocal conversation over a line occurred between Cambridge and Boston just 2 and a half miles apart and those at that point that he approached Western Union why Western Union or Western Union was an American worldwide financial service and communications company and at that time Western Union was the leading American company in the business transmitting telegrams and so he approached them and he started with the president William Orton and he tried to convince Mr Orton that the company would really benefit from this invention and how he envisioned every city not every person every city would be connected with the telephone and it could all be there said young Alexander for just $100000.00 I'll give you the patent rights Western Union and the president Mr Orton didn't take long to respond and fact the president blocked at the idea calling his device a mere toy. And said it was idiotic well very fine he went on his way but in just 2 short years this same president Mr Orton of Western Union was later quoted as saying if we could get at Patton for 20 $5000000.00 not 800025 1000000 and this would be an $1878.00 he would consider it a bargain and then the bell company or at that point though 2 years later the bell company would no longer interested the opportunity had passed they wanted to keep the pattern and so the offer that was made and was refused never came around again and yes we can say that opportunity was squandered this morning I want to talk a little bit about opportunities and perhaps missed opportunities or squandered opportunities and so we're continuing our series on Paul and today's piece when the last offer comes and we're going to continue on the journey with Paul we're going to talk about some of things too we're going to talk about criticism like Alexander himself also faced and how he dealt with criticism how the Lord opened doors are several pieces as we trace our finger along this story some of you may have gotten to the point where you say I just can't take it any longer I have to to read on and you've already read through to the end of the book of Acts yet again but we're going to pick up where we left off last time in our series You may recall last time after a horrendous few days in Jerusalem Paul was in the barracks he was in distress he was discouraged and he wept and he prayed and we talked about why Paul wept and he prayed it wasn't because he wasn't prepared to die he was very much prepared to die but he wept for much the same reason that Jesus himself wept for the hardened hearts of his own people the Jews what would reach them. And when we ended in chapter 23 verse 11 the Lord himself comes and stands before Paul let's read it again were in Acts Chapter 23 verse 11 it says but the following night the Lord stood by him and said Be of good cheer Paul for as you have testified for me in Jerusalem so you must also bear witness at Rome Can you imagine being discouraged it's a way I can imagine that quite easy No I mean can you imagine being discouraged Can you imagine weeping and then the Lord himself shows up beside you and sets a list of be of good courage. It's all going to be Ok you have testified faithfully here in Jerusalem you will testify faithfully again in Rome and so not only was this encouraging to Paul but it gave him a real promise if you caught it the idea that he's not going to just wither away here in this cell in Jerusalem no God says I'm not done with you yet Paul you still have a message to bear to Rome Paul thought he was going to Rome he wondered if he had messed it up he wondered if he had not presented the gospel properly and had honored God the way he should and if if things all been messed up but no God says you've done faithfully and you're going to go to Rome I'm not done with you yet I imagine here in this barrack I imagine Paul practicing what he would later write to the Philippians church perhaps this is very experienced that may have inspired Paul to write these things later as words that you know well Philippians chapter 4 verses 5 to 7 it says The Lord is Adhan be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and was the result and the peace of God who is surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus friends Paul's trials are far from over but we don't see an anxious Paul what we see in the coming verses or a Paul that is very much at peace with a situation who has learned to be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication and Thanksgiving he just placed it before God and in return God pours out his peace. What kind of a piece of peace that passes all understanding that doesn't make sense how can you go through this experience Paul how can you go through that experience in your life with this loved one with this trial with this health issue how on earth can you have peace it doesn't make any sense is beyond comprehension is beyond understanding and Paul writes about it here it's a piece from God and it will guard your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus poles of peace how are you going to get to Rome Paul I don't know but God said I would so it's up to him not me how are you going to get out as Beric Paul I don't know how about all these people that want you dead Paul said he's not done with me so I guess he's got a plan what is the plan Well I don't know gone through this aren't you anxious about it not really aren't you stressed out no how are you able to sleep like a baby I've given it over the lord and he's given me a piece so we continue on with this drama if you will we're still in Acts Chapter $23.00 picking it up now in verse 12 and when it was day some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul sounds pretty serious no snacking no meals so if you're wondering even now if you could make that oath your stomach is starting to growl How long is this preacher going to preach I'm hungry now good news is you're on live stream go get you some say not a strict and come back but they're not going to eat they're not going to drink until they have killed Paul 1st 13 now there were more than 40 who had formed this conspiracy and that's exactly what it is. Verse 14 they came to the chief priests and elders and said we have bound ourselves under a great oath that we will eat nothing until we have killed Paul now you therefore together with the council suggest to the commander that he be brought down to you tomorrow as though you were going to make further inquiries concerning him but we are ready to kill him before he comes near That's our plan that's the conspiracy we have it all mapped out this is what you will do this is what we will do verse 16 continue not so in Paul's sister's son could just say as nephew but that wouldn't be as easy I suppose Paul Sr son heard of their ambush and wind and entered the barracks and told Paul then Paul called one this in 2 reasons to him and said Take this young man to the commander for he has something to tell him so he took him and brought him to the commander and said Paul the prisoner called me to him and asked me to bring this young man to you he has something to say to you now is a little aside but if they thought that Paul was some terrible horrific individual he would not have visitors the nephew could not come in but apparently this in Torreon know that this is an upstanding citizen this is not something to be concerned with so yes you're over here on house arrest but it's kind of like Andy and Barney's prison cell there's probably a couch in there there's probably a bad a nice little lamp or something I don't know and they're having conversation and the nephew come to hey can I talk to assure let a man and Barney lets a man and so he's in there having this kind of a he needs unlimited share so he goes back out and so the commander takes this young man by the hand version 1001 aside and asked privately what is it that you have to tell me verse 20 and he said The Jews have agreed to ask that you bring Paul down to the council tomorrow as though they were going to inquire more fully about him but do not yield to them. Why for more than 40 of them lie in wait for him men who have bound themselves by an oath that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him and now they're ready waiting for the promise from you isn't that nice that these 40 church people zealous for the Lord zealous in ways similar to as Paul was Ellis waiting for their chance their opportunity their ambush will might be some resistance and of course there will be that's why there's 40 of us we don't have a hit man we have hit men but we've decided we've taken an oath no food no drink to Paul's dead and so then verse $22.00 says so the commander let the young man depart and command him tell no one that you have revealed these things to me what will then. Conspire and take place continuing on verse $23.00 and he called for to sin Turin's sane prepare $200.00 soldiers 70 horsemen and $200.00 Spearman to go to sensory at the 3rd hour of the night now this is an overkill I don't know what is I'm on the internet I'm looking for pictures that will help us to try to imagine how many people are as scoring Paul now from Jerusalem to sensory this would be quite interesting I find this picture I said well when out of work I did the math I started counting across it's 10 across and 14 the other way that's only 140 people not going to work there were 200 soldiers so I'd start editing this is a very sophisticated for those of you that are in school for you know what do they call it when they doctor images and all that kind of thing. Photoshop thank you this is a lesson in Photoshop it's very technical you take the picture and then you copy and then you paste and then you copy and paste you copy paste you copy paste and you hide one of them behind the others and you draw it all out and so that arm going all way across it might throw you off but just roll with me here this is going to be $200.00 on top this is 200 along the bottom and they're going to as cord Paul are we done hardly there were 70 horsemen I found some Roman horsemen good for me count how many are there 123456 s. not going to work don't worry I have a minor in Photoshop Here we go. There is your 70 horsemen little bit of overkill so follow me closely I got all carried away here we have Paul can you see him there you go shake your hand Paul you can see that you there is Paul and now we're going to bring in the horsemen boom we're going to bring in the $200.00 soldiers boom in $200.00 spears men and then some more horsemen in the back that's Paul being escorted and you say how's guy going to get in there and God says don't worry I have a 1000 ways to answer your prayer which with which you know how much nothing and so I say you know Barney Fife and all his Barney Fife anymore it's his romance and sure he says hey you have an escort buddy I mention people on the side well it be night time I suppose but somebody is out there kicking up rocks maybe some shepherds out there in the field and all of a sudden here comes enormous entourage have you done the math yet 472 bodyguards 200 soldiers 200 Spearman 70 horsemen to send Torrance 472. There's bad news in all this somebody is not going to be eating or drinking for a very long time despite the odds stacked against him Paul was never removed from God's protective hand and neither are you perhaps someone here this morning is feeling alone St misunderstood abandoned remember this account and know that God is at work in your situation too he's working behind the scenes his plan will prevail like Paul seek not to be anxious about anything but by prayer but to to make your requests known to God and allow the piece of Christ to guard your hearts and minds don't focus on what might happen instead focus on what God has promised I think of some 46 the 1st 3 verses God is our refuge and strength of a very present help in trouble therefore we will not fear even though the earth be removed though the mountains be carried in the midst of the sea though as waters roar and be troubled though the mountains shake with its swelling as a friend of mine says maybe the friend of yours to look up and relax its all coming down notice this verse does not say God takes away all trouble no but that he is our refuge and strength of a very present help when in trouble mans may be carried in the sea waters or or in the earth is shaking but God is still my refuge God is my strength thus I will not fear beautiful promise of God And so we continue our story picking it up now says verse. 24 here and well we back up 200 soldiers 70 horsemen 200 Spearman to go to sensory a as a 3rd hour of the night verse 24 and provide mounts to set Paul on and bring him safely to Felix the governor he wrote a letter in the following manner says in verse 25 to Claudius listen this not to Claudius is from Claudius the sea is excuse me to the most excellent governor Felix greetings and notice what he writes verse 27 this man referring to Paul was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them coming with the troops I rescued him having learned that he was a Roman and when I wanted to know the reason they accused him I brought him before their council I found out that he was accused concerning questions of their law but had nothing to charge against him deserving of death or change underlined that part and when it was told to me the Jews lay in wait for the man I sent him immediately to you and also commanded his accusers to state before you the charges against him farewell 1st 31 in the soldiers as they were commanded took Paul and brought him by night to enter. And to Petricic scuse me the next day they left the horseman to go back on with him and return to the barracks and when they came to censorious and I delivered the letter to the governor They also presented Paul to him and when the governor had read it he asked what province he was from and when he understood that he was from solicitor he said I will hear you when your accusers also have come and he commanded him to be kept in Herod's prayer Torrie him. Serie a we were able to go there to this city this city house the residence of the governor or procurator and sensory a was the headquarters of the Roman garrison in Palestine and so pilot lived here is history he just happened to be in town during the trial of Jesus but this was his home and in fact there is inscriptions that you can read from that name him Pontius Pilot in stone there I should have taken a picture of it but we are in a bit of a hurry the day we were there. But now this Felix who is delivered to who is Felix Will Felix is none other than Pontus pilot's successor and where is he well he's at home that's just 3 a this is what they think it may have looked like I realize those pictures are kind of small but this one here would be the harbor that was all manufactured this here shows how they built their own Harbor and then there was a lighthouse here on the end and they would come in and they might come here and right here where it says See this is the temple of Augustus and this is another picture of that and so both could dock it was very impressive everything was very Lotty da if you will right here is the Hippodrome where they have huge I mean this is long we walked this also a few more pictures of it where they have these long chariot races and all kinds of gladiator type events then here you have what is this the ampitheater is up here which means it's perfectly enclosed This is the theater I have pictures of that too and you can see all of that print on here so this is where the palace would have been here's the Hippodrome Here's the theater and over here would have been where the. I don't know the Harbor would have been in the temple and so on and then back here along this long beach I think you could even see the Aqua ducks will mention that here in a minute here's a picture of the theater that's built over 2000 years ago this is actually pieced together of several pictures and then you walk down from there over to the palace and they have a few pillars there to help you invision what it may have been like a beautiful setting the sea breeze coming in and let's see there's actually Pastor Louis in this one here taking a photo on the bottom left you can't really tell and this is where they thought Paul was tried Don't be distracted by the cute couple we're thinking about Paul right here at this place. And this is reacting kind of slow here some more pieces of the palace even some flooring that's there I don't remember how far that dates this is some more depiction of what they feel like it may have looked like and there you see the theater back behind and you see the the. What did I call that for chariot races and I remember now Hippodrome thank you so impressive my imagination was going crazy with this because you could just imagine the horses wheeling around as we walk that vast area here showing the other way back towards the harbor I mean it's huge and then I'm unnaturally in the horses coming out from behind here and they have their own places back behind and who is really developed to put on a huge show I mean this is a very developed and it was Herod that really brought this and put it on the map here it was a huge builder among other things but he was a visionary and he saw what could be and so he built this and then this is the Aqua duct that would carry water some almost 10 miles from the northeast from a well and from springs that they enjoyed so this may be gives you the picture of how luxurious how and see how intimidating Syria was Chapter 24 now after 5 days and a nice we have seen him before the High Priest came down with the elders and a certain aura to her name to toward truly this or torturous I should say and they gave evidence to the governor against Paul who is this torturous well and I says a high priest he spent some money hired a good lawyer. And so torturous you're my attorney now and I want you to seal the deal for me with you I want you to use the right words I want you to construct the argument in such a way that he will give us what we want and what we want very plainly we want Paul dead period but notice the flowery language that he use or uses and even some of the blatant lies verse 2 of chapter 24 and when he was called upon Torah tulis began his accusation saying speaking to Felix now seeing that through you great Felix we enjoy great peace and prosperity is being brought to this nation by your foresight we accepted all ways and in all places most noble Felix with all thankfulness can you hear nevertheless not to be tedious to you any further I beg you to hear by your courtesy a few words from us Oh incredible amazing ruler that you are we don't want to trouble you for long but there is this little thing that I'm sure you can decide for us very fairly and judiciously by just saying the word 1st 5 for we 4 we have found this man a play a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world our ringleader of the sect of them as reasons he even tried to perfect a in the temple and we seized him and wanted to judge him according to our law but the commander Lysis came by and with great violence took him out of our hands that's how it went down commanding his accusers to come to you straighten his tie a little bit put his coat back together by examining him yourself you may ascertain all these things which we accuse him. And the Jews also assented That means a not a humble maintain these things were also so this guy's a trouble maker we don't want to trouble you with him just let us deal with it how would you have felt if you were Paul at that moment all the violence now is being placed on the Romans when really it was the outcry of the mob and the crowd of the church leaders trying to rip him limb from limb beating and pum pum allowing Paul this isn't the truth this isn't justice but he's outnumbered Paul doesn't have a lawyer Paul doesn't have elders he hasn't had any wagging heads and people not in saying you know. How would you have felt I imagine if he did have a lawyer he would have said I have checked your honor why because you're getting the 1st word they're shaping the story they're getting it all wrong they're blatantly lying about what happened but notice how cool and calm Paul is why because he's anxious for nothing he has a piece of God which passes all understanding but don't make that they don't assume falsely that makes him weak because he's not weak versed in then Paul after the governor had nodded to him to speak answered and as much as I know that you have been for many years a judge of this nation I do the more cheerfully answer for myself cheerfully Yep Paul is answering cheerfully here but Paul does something that we can learn from I'm actually going to list off 7 things we can learn from 7 principles when responding to criticism anybody like criticism. I mean there can be some good criticism they call constructive criticism ever I think that's what they're doing 99 percent the time that's not what they're doing they're tearing you down but 7 principles when responding to criticism the 1st one refused to get caught up in the emotion of the charges I mean we might expect Paul be blazing mad to be filled with indignation we might say right just indignation but Paul practices solid emotional intelligence he stays calm under fire he refuses to let his emotions take the lead you see when we lower ourselves to the ever changing emotions ours those of our accusers often times our anger is unleashed straight thinking goes by the wayside we have irrational responses impulsive words it doesn't go well for us I imagine Paul practice some deep thinking just because somebody says it doesn't mean that you're in it it doesn't mean that it's true and so Paul probably stand there and says Are these true and accurate thoughts are these true and accurate words I don't believe they are let me answer cheerfully he doesn't get caught up in the emotions of the charge continuing verse. 10 he says cheerfully answer myself verse 11 because you may ascertain that it is no more than 12 days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship and they neither found me in the temple disputing with anyone nor inciting the crowd either in the synagogues or in the city nor can they prove the things of which they now accuse me here's a 2nd lesson we can learn from Paul Number 2 stay with the facts. Paul calmly States what happened he challenges them hey check it out check my record it was only 12 days ago I'm sure there were hundreds of witnesses and I imagine Paul looked in the eyes of his accusers while he addressed them very calmly to a fact check and I'm as he didn't blink as he said it either he merely unwraps the flak he's not filling it with flattery but it's a cool response and in so doing I see Paul building up credibility do you he continues versus 14 to 16 we read but this I confess to you that according to the way which they call a sect so I worship the God of my fathers believe in all things which are written in the law and in the Prophets I have hope in God which they themselves also accept that there will be a resurrection of the dead both of the just and the unjust this being so I myself always tried to have a conscience without offense toward God and man but this part is true Paul says he shows the reasonableness of his beliefs Paul speaking with integrity with the truth he gives himself credibility by saying Now this part is true I'm not here to refute this part he Number 3 when responding to criticism tell the truth with a clear conscience they might say something that's absolutely true and you say this is true I did do this but perhaps there's a context that you don't understand so allow them you know say what Paul says this much is true I confess this to you this part is accurate and then continuing on verse 17 now after many years I came to bring alms and offering to my nation in the midst of which Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple neither with the mob nor with to molt. Verse 19 they ought to have been here before you to object if they had anything against me who Good point Paul here Paul put his finger on the crucial nerve of the whole thing who can argue with this point he's basically saying where are my 1st hand accusers where the ones that were part of the thing that brought this about in the 1st place none of them are here you all are trying to represent them but is 2nd 3rd 4th hand information where Mike users they should be here. They weren't expecting all of this and they are perhaps becoming and barest but all knowing good and well as the Jews from Asia that need to show up not this toward tulis on the High Priest No they're both being undermined at this moment as the facts are presented key number for a den of 5 the original source of the accusations Interestingly when it comes to criticism the deepest wounds are typically inflicted by the 2nd and 3rd hand sources do your job go to the source don't get caught up in the emotion of the charges stay with the facts tell the truth and go to the original source have you talked to this person they're the ones who had the original gripe I spoke to them we got it worked out that's not how they feel or whatever it might be but don't get caught up in the peripherals and trying to respond to every arrow that's fired go to the source continue in our story begin it up in verse 20 or else let those who are here themselves say if they found any wrongdoing in me while I stood before the council unless it is for this one statement which I cried out standing among them concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged by you this day Paul on the name is wrong stated plainly for all to hear but you notice that the account. We have here and scripture says that they don't respond from Torah to lists the attorney no response from and I asked the high priests I imagine at this moment if you have proof something objective bring it forward and there's just silence it's quiet it's not a phrase I like let silence do the heavy lifting you presented the facts you haven't been emotional you've gone to the source of the issue and now it's just quiet they know that they have gone out on this limb and now they have nothing to stand on and so what is Felix do verse 22 but when Felix heard these things having more accurate knowledge of the way he had adjourned the proceedings and said when Lysias the commander comes down I will make a decision on your case so we can manage this in Turin to keep Paul and to let him have liberty and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him he just dismisses it all we've heard enough word on the air everybody go home take paul away everything they thought they had built on Paul goes away actually apostles for 22 says this Felix knew no higher motive than self-interest and he was controlled by love of praise and desire for promotion fear of offending the Jews held him back from doing full justice to a man whom he knew to be what innocent he knew Paul was innocent it was obvious he was innocent from the note the guy who sent Ed the commander back in Jerusalem he knew Paul was innocent Felix knows it Jenison I think even these church people know that he's innocent but is more about self-interest love appraises are for promotion so he just puts Paul back put them on hold and what does Paul do well Number 5 we saw they didn't surrender or quit that's another good thing to do under criticism. He was a man of grit he was calm use cheerful but didn't give in to what he knew was right if you can put those 2 together if you can have the grit to stand your ground and do it in a cheerful and pleasant way it can be hard to refute a weaker man with a given in to the criticism he would quit the church altogether you were said forget all you people I've never been treated before like this in my entire life I'm outta here and I've seen that happen I'm going to take my toys and go home no you don't surrender and you don't quit and in every major cycle of criticism there is a time when you think quitting would be the easy option I don't care what they think anymore don't do it you hang in there for the ride in calmness without anxiety laying it all before the Lord with a clear conscience telling the truth and like Paul you don't give up you don't walk away you don't quit and you put 2 more up here don't become impatient and bitter will find that he'll sit here for another 2 years before any kind of change happens but as Paul become impatient or bitter know Paul what's your plan now where the Lord wants me to do right now I'm in Corinth an assessor Reus kind of a nice climate the breeze is blowing they put me in a pretty comfortable place I have visitors that can come and go as they like the time I get some things done some scholars even think that maybe he wrote some of his later works and to churches and communicated and back and forth right here during this time he could have been bitter he could have become impatient could have said is this a no but he learned all that he'd been in quarantine before this is not a big deal if this is where God wants me to be this is where I'll be I'll do what he wants me to do at this time with the resources that I have around me and lastly here he stood firm on the promises of God God said I'm going to go to Rome I don't know how it's going to happen. But man that entourage did you see that test sure was something else I never would have expected that I wish that when I had my cell phone to take a selfie to send back to mom because she never went to bully I don't know how I'm going to get there oh my God is going to work it out I don't know when he's going to work it out I'm at peace and there's lessons for us there today as well because he knew a heavenly Father keep his word and He rested in God's faithfulness because God is all powerful for God has promised us deliverance has any I mean we to his promise eternal life he's promised we know from his word that he gets the last word and so we can trust and stand firm on the promises of God The real question is will you stand and will you accept the promises of God or will you push them away and that's the last piece I want to look at this morning I know we're already past time but I'm sorry you have the remote you can click it off if you want to he says good enough I'm full that's fine we're in Exodus Chapter 24 verse 24 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 I imagine there was some pillow talk with you today oh I tried this was his name Paul Paul like the Paul I guess what do you know about Paul there's been a lot going on about Paul have you not read the Enquirer and all these other papers every time I stand in line to see prices down on a grocery store but it's all of the buzz everywhere about Paul he's here you know he's here I talked to him today how was he was he's this flaming lunatic No he was very calm well natured thing to tell the truth from the letter I got it all matched out what can we have a private hearing with him. Sure if you want me to arrange it well yeah you want to hear yes to say you think yes I mean to say Well I think he might there's a lease here Maddy's here we have nothing else to do I'm getting tired of going to the beach anyway the Hippodrome is is locked down because of Koran I don't know what it is let's have Paul come in Ok so he sets it up he sends for Paul you heard him concerning what the faith in Christ is this an opportunity it's a big opportunity and so a Paul I'm sure is very prayerfully considering what should I say what should I share and it goes on and says now he reasoned about righteousness about self control and the judgment to come but he didn't hold that he didn't give us off message city the faith in Christ right isna self-control in the judgment to come and says Felix was afraid an answer go away for now when I have a convenient convenient time I will call for you and then says Meanwhile he also hoped that money would be given him by Paul they might release him. Therefore he sent for him more often and conversed with him but spear prophecy tells us he can converse about faith things after this he only conversed about money he was desperate for some more income I don't know why he needed more but that's where his mind was but in this encounter with God with faith in Christ with right just knew it was self-control the judgment to come it says Felix was afraid look at his quote acts the apostles for 22 and for 23 they were willing and even eager to listen to these new truths talking about Felix and his wife Paul regard this is a God given opportunity and faithfully he improved it he knew that he stood in the presence of one who had the power to put him to death or to set him free you didn't address Felix and you still are with praise or flattery he knew that his words would be to them a Savior of life or of death and forgetting all selfish considerations he sought to arouse them to a sense of their peril that's a true friend by the way maybe the only one Felix and his wife had he's given it to them politely and kindly but don't misunderstand he's being very direct he wants them to be around as. To sense their peril so violent and cruel had been the course of Felix that few had ever before dared even to intimate to him that his character and conduct were not fall us but Paul had no fear of man he plainly declared his faith in Christ and the reasons for that faith and it gives us an outline if you will of what he shared faith in Jesus Christ right to snice self-control and the judgment to come so what might have Paul said I imagine Paul said a lot of things he said all throughout the New Testament I'm as he said this from a fetus to a 94 by grace Felix you have been saved through faith and not of yourself is the gift of God Not of works less anyone should boast you don't earn it you can't earn it you don't deserve it nobody deserves it it's a gift Felix maybe he shared this one too Romans 3 verse 10 also from the pain of Paul there is none right just no not one we're all sinners we all share the same faith without Christ we are hopelessly and utterly lost maybe shared this one Roman 623 for the wages of sin is death. Felix is starting to squirm a little bit he knows what he's done he has sinned he knows that it was wrong we can't save ourselves but there's more John $316.00 maybe he shared these words for God so loved the world Jesus said that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish there's no reason for anybody to perish but there's everlasting life and so he's showing here that the wages of sin is death but we serve a merciful God maybe 2nd Peter $29.00 The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment there it is a Judgment Day is coming God has to be judged just he can't just make our sins just poof disappear somebody has to pay the price Felix Who's that going to be are you going to pay or you want somebody else John 11 in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us why would Jesus come this god man individual Hebrews 217 For this reason Paul rise he had to be made like them fully human in every way in order that he might become a merciful and faithful or we could say just high priests and service to God that he might make atonement for the sins of the people who's going to die Felix Jesus is going to die ideas already died for your sins they don't have to be credited to you you can be released from your past you can have eternal life. Maybe shared 1st John 19 or the ideas of which I should say if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness maybe at some point Paul interjects I hope we did his own testimony let me tell you how unrighteous I was let me tell you what was on my record and it's not because I'm faithful it's because he's faithful and he is just and he forgives is laid on him he was the atonement for my sin and it can be yours too. 521 God made him who had no sand to be sand for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God stay there Paul what is this talking about he became sin for you and he also wants to impart his character to you really can he do that abs only he can do that he wants to do that maybe he shared John one verse 12 something along these lines yet to all who did receive Him to those who believed in his name he gave the right to become children of God Do you want to be his son Felix you want to be his daughter Mrs Felix how do you do it by faith by believing in his name 1st John 512214 he has a Son has life he who does not have the Son does not have life Pretty straightforward isn't it these things I've written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life as you can have eternal life you can know it today and it will be a new life. You will be forgiven you'll be a new creation you'll be a son and a daughter of God he did it for me he can do it for you this also was something Paul wrote Therefore if anyone is in crises a new creation old things have passed away be whole All things have become what new not fixed now refurbished their new in Christ they be he related how good it felt to be redeemed how good he slept. Being forgiven how life became more fulfilling with a purpose says it talked about self-control as well maybe Galatians 522 and 23 came to polls mind but the food the Spirit is love joy peace longsuffering kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness self-control against the such there is no law this is the fruit of the Spirit this is in the fruit of us not the fruit of me is the fruit of the Spirit as we invite him in he does the work in us if we are willing but sadly the verse says Felix was afraid that we get the hint and severe prophecy that Paul was interrupted he says in verse $25.00 Felix was afraid an answer go away for now when I have a convenient time I'll call for you Felix big Felix gov Felix afraid Afraid of what friends are being ridiculed afraid of what people say what would they think they'd be afraid of what he might have to give up conversations he might need to have with his wife what was Felix afraid of it doesn't tell us but many of you can relate exactly to what Felix was afraid of because you too have been confronted by the gospel even just this morning perhaps and someone watching this is afraid and you're afraid of all the same things what will people say what will I say when they ask How will I possibly make the switch I'm so steeped in this sinful lifestyle I look good on the outside but if you only knew Pastor how in the world am I ever going to give all these things up ultimately it comes down to something very simple you're afraid of giving up control afraid that you'll look weak I'm a self-made man I'm a self-made woman nobody tells me what to do but you know well what else you're also afraid of at the same moment deep down in your heart in your gut in your soul you're afraid that this is the biggest opportunity that you have ever been given and you're afraid to walk away from it and how does Felix respond he says Go away all call you but in time there's more can be is not convenient right now I have too much going on. I'm too much in the middle of this in the middle of that is not a good time to part Paul notice Felix is not saying no he's just saying not now not now it's not convenient it's not practical it's not a good time not now but friend if not now when when when will it be convenient when you going to stop being afraid when will it be a better time when will you stop waffling when will you stop being weak but rather be courageous for God to take a stand for him and that's what it means to be a true man when you going to stand up and say no to day to day is the day of salvation today is the day I give it up today is the day I surrender today is the day I say Ok Romans 818 for I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us friends this is the biggest opportunity of your and my lifetime and you're going to tell me it's not convenient and what guarantee Did you have that the opportunity will come around the 2nd time are you saying that God will not offer it tomorrow no but I am saying you may not be able to respond to morrow you nor I control tomorrow we simply control today right now this moment this is it now is the day of salvation it doesn't say tomorrow it doesn't say next week next month in a few years from now it says today now's the time to respond now is the hour to seal your commitment and friends whatever you're afraid of it's not worthy to be compared to the glory which will be revealed in Iris to the life eternal he wants to give to you to the assurance that you can have to be right with God the peace that will come by walking with him friends all these other things are not worthy to be afraid of back to as the apostles as the Spirit of God sent conviction to his Felix Saul and Felix. Felt that Paul's words were true that's called conviction and some of you here watching you say I know his words are true I know that's what the Bible says I've heard it before I'm not disputing it but what does he say go it's not a convenient time instead of permitting his convictions to lead him to repentance he sought to dismiss these unwelcome reflections the interview with Paul was cut short go by way for this time he said when I have a convenient season I will call for the friends how wide the contrast between the course of Felix and the jailer of Philip of whom remember the jailer Acts Chapter 16 Paul and Silas are bound in prison they're in the inner prison and rather than complaining they're singing hymns and to the Lord and then find the earthquakes the prisoners are released this guy is they had jailer and he's in panic and so he's going to commit suicide knowing that will be his fate anyway and Paul says What are you doing we're all still here and he preaches the gospel to him always bear convicts his heart and how does he respond go away Paul is not convenient not at all when the Holy Spirit sent conviction to the jailers heart was trembling he confessed his stance and he found heart and when the Holy Spirit sent conviction to the governor's heart Felix to trembled but he would not repent the jailer joyfully welcome the Spirit of God to his heart and to his home his whole family comes to the Lord Felix he bade the divine messenger depart the one chose to become a child of God and heir of heaven the other cast his lot with the workers of iniquity and so again verse 26 he has for their interactions it's all money based it's not about faith and Jesus not about scripture it's all about greed one more quote here for 27 x. the Apostles one of the saddest quotes to me that was his heaven sent opportunity. He to see and to for sake his sins but he said to the messenger of God Go thy way for this time when I have a convenient season I'll call you back I'll let you know you call me I'll call you he had slighted his last offer of mercy never was he to receive another call from God as if to say that God stop trying No I don't believe God ever stops trying he's always knocking on our hearts door this is to say this was his best opportunity to respond this is when his heart was most convicted and he rejected that conviction and he pushed it away he never said no he just said not now maybe later but all too often later never comes and I believe somebody here is watching this whether it's on a live stream whether it's later on man whether it's years from now you're watching this God has led you to this particular sermon this particular series whatever it is and he's convicting your heart he's saying now is the day today is a day for salvation today is a day to make a decision which is going to be for you Suze Orman is American financial advisor she's an author she has her own pod cast that she hosts and different things for 13 years she had a show on c n b c That was all about finances and a few years ago she admitted her biggest financial mistake she said in 1997 there was a little company I'd never heard of before I bought stock because I like the name Amazon I bought $5000.00 worth of this stock I kept it for a few years but it didn't do much for me nothing was really happy with it I shouldn't say that entirely I did make some money off of it by didn't think anything big was going to happen with it so I sold it as of this year Amazon is ranked by Fortune 500 as the number 2 company in the world and you say what's number one well Walmart Well Wal-Mart if I were you I'd be a little nervous because Amazon's come in but he says it makes me think sick to think about if I had never sold my stock $5000.00 initial investment. If she would have kept it until this day when I say she bought it in $97.00 yeah that's not even that long ago 23 years ago if you would have bought that stock for 5000 dollars and kept it for the last 23 years he would be worth today estimated 7 and a half $1000000.00 had she known what she was giving up there's no way in the world she would have sold but friend this is trite This is money this is stuff here today gone tomorrow but the reality is if you don't have your health how much do you have you don't have anything but we serve somebody who promises us not money not stuff not things not a life of ease he promises eternal life Jesus is asking for our heart today and while we think we still have tomorrow and the next day and the day after that the reality is we may not I could tell you stories of when I preached and that following week something happens tragically to an individual in my church and they're gone and I find myself reflectively thinking that was the last sermon that they heard on Sabbath of their whole life that was the last altar call that I had opportunity to make for that individual they didn't know they were going to church their put on their clothes just like before all what did I wear this last week No Ok I can wear it again this week let's do my hair well I go to church that was it like that it all changed and the reality is the final day of reckoning will come will mean when many will see what they gave up and if they only knew what they were giving up they never would have sold out so when is my last opportunity choose you might ask I don't know and neither do you and that's why it's so important that the greatest opportunity of all time to live for eternity with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the only one who truly loves us the idea of passing that by not going to say no just not now friends truly today. Is today don't wait perhaps now is a perfect time pastor going to make I know if you are here in person you say that half is going to make a call oh no I'm starting to sweat Oh no what are you going to house to do what am I going to have to do what are people going to think if I go forward forget all that nonsense for today you're at home you're in your comfort zone but I'm going to pray after we sing our closing him and in that prayer if you want to make a decision pray in that prayer Lord it's me me I want to make a decision right now it's me and there's some else you have to do you have to call me you have to text me at the email me while I like you pass right that's fine call different pastor Tex a different pastor Pastor Ferguson still in town pastor about days down the road you know him to Pastor Brian is here call somebody call an elder and say I made a decision and now I need to follow through on that decision I need to be baptized and he be rebaptized whatever it is that the Lord is placing on your heart of the Holy Spirit telling you to do verbalize it to somebody and act on that decision we're going to sing now closing him is 294 there is power in the blood and friends let me submit to you before we sing it there is still power in the blood the question is would you be free from your burden and sin there is power in the blood. Power in the blood would you be free from your passion and pride good news there's still power in the blood of Jesus Christ would you do service for Jesus your king and you might say how through the power power wonder working power and where is it in the blood of the Lamb Loren Commonly this as we sing to 94. Was. Than. Love. Their servers. There is. Plenty of Bieber. Players in. Their thirty's. Marriages were lovers. There's. There's. Live where. There's learn. Heard there was nervous earth. Served. By heads of me as we pray to your heavenly Father I believe that through the power of the Holy Spirit you have spoken to hearts this morning you convicted individuals of what you would need them to do what standing in the way and Lord their fearful they're fearful of what this will mean what this will look like how they'll move forward but Lord you're not going to abandon them had any step in this process but that you will continue to guide them through Lord you long to give them peace and assurance as in humility they plead for forgiveness for their sins with tears as they thank you for your atoning sacrifice and in desperation they plead for an outpouring of Holy Spirit on their behalf that they might live for you with the fruits of the spirit they're not sure what the future looks like and how it is going to work but they know in whom they have believed and they have made a choice and today is the day of their salvation. Lord I praise you for their decision I pray that you will lead them to who to reach out to. And I pray that this will be the beginning. Of an incredible journey. With you. Is our prayers used in. This media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermon or leave visit w.w.w. dot audio Verse dot org.

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