January 21st, 2007
Something causes people to become worried when they hear the Christian message. It happens when you really start asking yourself the basic questions such as: Why am I here? Has my life been worthwhile? What is my purpose in life? What do I want to achieve with the rest of my life? The problem when you listen to Paul is that you start to compare yourself with him. He knows who he is and where he is going in life. He is clearly convinced about the message which he is speaking, and it really does seem to make sense when you listen to him. There’s something admirable and attractive about him that makes you want to be like him.
The Acts of the Apostles — Chapter 24
24:1 Five days later, the high priest Ananias arrived with some elders and a barrister named Tertullus, who presented their case against Paul to the governor. 24:2 When he was called upon, Tertullus presented the complaint, saying, “Because of you we have enjoyed much peace, and we welcome with gratitude everywhere and in every way the reforms which have been made for this nation as a result of your foresight, 24:3 most excellent Felix. 24:4 But I won’t delay you. Please bear with us and hear us briefly. 24:5 We have found this man to be a contagious disease, an instigator of riots amongst Jewish people throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. 24:6 He even tried to desecrate the temple, so we arrested him. 24:8 You can find out the truth of our charges by examining him yourself.” 24:9 The Jews joined in the attack, confirming that this was true.
24:10 The governor motioned for Paul to speak, and he answered, “I am pleased to make my defence before you because I know that you have been a judge of this nation for many years. 24:11 You can verify that I went to worship in Jerusalem no more than twelve days ago. 24:12 They didn’t find me arguing with anyone or stirring up a crowd in the temple or in the synagogues, or in the city. 24:13 They can’t prove the things which they accuse me of doing. 24:14 But I do admit this much: I serve the God of our fathers according to the Way, which they regard as a sect. I believing everything laid down by the law and written by the prophets. 24:15 I hope in God, just as they do, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. 24:16 I am careful to keep a clear conscience towards God and people. 24:17 After an absence of some years, I came to bring charitable gifts to my country and offerings. 24:18 They found me ceremonially clean in the temple. The mob and disturbance were not caused by me, 24:19 but by some Jews from Asia who should be here before you to make their accusations, if they have anything against me. 24:20 Let these people themselves say what crime they found me guilty of when I stood before the council, 24:21 unless it was this one thing that I said while standing before them, ‘I am on trial today over the resurrection of the dead!'”
24:22 Felix, who knew quite a lot about the Way, adjourned the case, saying, “I will decide your case when Lysias the commander arrives.” 24:23 He ordered the centurion to keep Paul in custody, but with some privileges, so that his friends should not be prevented from helping him or visiting him. 24:24 Some days later, Felix came with Drusilla his wife, who was Jewish, and sent for Paul to hear about faith in Christ Jesus. 24:25 As Paul spoke about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix became worried and said, “That’s enough for now. I will call you again at a convenient time.” 24:26 At the same time, he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe. So he sent for him often to talk with him. 24:27 After two years, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, and in order to please the Jews, Felix left Paul in prison.
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