Acts 24: Disciples making disciples
On this continuation of the Acts Series, pastor Adrian preaches on Acts 24. Drawing from Paul's trial before Felix in Caesarea, this sermon deals with procrastination and the urgency of repentance. It challenges us to reflect on our own response to repentance and encourages us to seize the present opportunity for salvation.
Good morning everybody. It is cold. Everyone is laughing but no one dares to put their hands up. Fantastic this morning felt like in 15 degrees clearly I'm Queensland yeah yeah there's a reason why we were nuclear in North Melbourne haven't done anything um the Cowboys didn't play last night and so they didn't lose hungry Bronco sir didn't they yes shocking 146. I'm going to move on before I get them up you've got a passionate about your leg down here right all right we're going to be talking a little bit more about Paul this morning there's a sign of our upstairs but before we do that we need to welcome back Pastor David and Anne wires [Applause] than I am I think but well it's lovely to have them back Acts chapter 24 through 25 12. you might think well that's another great big chunk of the scripture in who he writes um but there's a lot going on in here so we're not going to be able to again let's say often get into everything that's in the passage but we will be focusing on one thing that I think that is very very relevant it was relevant then and it's definitely relevant for us now so essentially as you would have heard in the Bible reading earlier this morning and in other places if you've been following along you've been reading acts as well hopefully you have been hope in the book of Acts is a very familiar place to you in the in the section of your Bible where it is if you've got a one of those manual Bibles great can you hold up a manual Bible yeah old school right yeah big flat great thing about those is when you read the scriptures you know where it is on the page hey if you have one of those newfangled digital ones the page keeps changing doesn't it window yeah you keep scrolling and where it isn't the page changes so you know take a look for what it is my life of the manual one because my brain works better with knowing when I've read something so you can spot it on a page essentially pause being dragged uh in front of another Council uh in another Governor another leader and Jews have brought charges against him as they usually do and what we're going to Define is that this time they've brought a lawyer uh with a fantastic name called turtle or turtles or Heavenly would have called Mr Timmy all right I shall be stubbing him Mr T this morning okay and he is the lawyer that's representing the Jews and uh as was customary at the time he began his beginning arguments with a flattering of the judge okay that was what that was was part of the the the law proceedings in the day and so he of course tells Felix how amazing and wonderful Felix is and that um he is the greatest thing since sliced bread and then he goes on to bring some false charges against [ __ ] and there's I guess three categories of China's that he's brought a personal charge um which is very personal basically says he's a pestilent though you know imagine going and getting dragged before the courts here in caboolture and someone saying before the court I'm basically charging this person because he's a pestilent fellow or he's offensive and it's a political charge of sedition and leading an illegal religion and a doctrinal in charge of refining the temple and of course the Jews are saying in the background heartily agreeing with what their their lawyer was saying to the judge and obviously false accusations and and lizards read out part of Paul's response to that but you might be wondering why is this even in the Scriptures it seems like a metaphorical importance and it seems like it was something that we personally don't really need to know about us but hopefully as we go through this morning you'll get a sense of why we need to know about it but first and foremost foremost that personal in charge of Paul being a petal and fellow the Jews wanted to maintain their Asian Traditions okay they wanted to continue doing what they had always done but Paul was advocating for a something new and at the heart and the cross of the matter that was partly the thing that really rubbed the Jews up the wrong way they had they tradition they had their culture they had their way of doing things and here was this young upstart who'd come along who knew all of the scriptures according to the Jews in one of the Traditions was raised as a Pharisee and yet here he was teaching them something new he said that was still all valid but here's something new here's something that's fresh and interesting in the first the Romans were afraid of anything new because that's that their delicate peace okay the the Romans pride of them themselves having a peaceful Empire and so that was one of the reasons why they allowed many of the conquered peoples that they had in their empire to worship their own Gods okay so you can worship your own God you can practice your own religion that they're just in order across the Empire and of course the Romans loved that that hacks for a momentum at the peace across the Empire and anything that threatened that peace would get their attention and of course there was a political charge of sedition and leading and an illegal religion and from Roman perspective that was far more significant Paul had preached to the Jews said Jesus Christ was their King and Lord and to the Romans and unbelieving Jews that sounded like treason against Caesar okay if Jesus Christ is King and Lord of the Jews well that sounds like treason that gets Caesar with a Roman Empire it was illegal in Rome at the time to establish any new religion without approval so you can worship whatever God you wanted a father who was an existing religion amongst the empire and at that time Christianity though was still ahead of thought as a Jewish religion and they were permitted to practice by the Romans and then there was a doctoral child that was brought forward by the Jews where tortulus changed that original charge of balloon in the temple because it couldn't be substantiated no it's interesting was the people who had had brought the charge initially the Asian Jews the inverted commas it tells us in scripture they were nowhere to be found they couldn't in this tribunal and they disappear inside the Tulips changed the charge from polluting the temple to refining the temple mainly because there was no evidence they could bring for that interesting you go oh this is very exciting sermon this morning Adrian this is fantastic um the two people in the room who are lawyers are loving this right now and everybody else is like well I've got up with a freezing cold for this bear with me okay bear with me because Paul Faithfully answers these charges okay these three categories of charges and then Paul obviously is given Opportunity by Felix to answer what's been charged against him it's interesting that Paul does not fly he's a lawyer okay he's a Jewish lawyer he knew how things are supposed to work and like Mr T before who decided to go by the book and flutter the judge Paul doesn't do that what he does do is acknowledge that Felix has experience and that he has knowledge and that was right and then he moves on with his life okay so he wasn't there about flattering and he answers the child just with some facts yeah that um you're saying that I've started a new religion he says but if you go back to Galatians 2 verses 7 through 10 you'll see that the apostles in Jerusalem along with Paul had come to an arrangement where Paul would go to the Gentiles and those who remain in Jerusalem would be the ones who priest of the Jews so Paul never really preached in Jerusalem and was never really a leader there he was always called out to um to Asia Minor and he's only been in town for 12 days it was physically impossible to incite a riot in the temple when five of those twelve days he was under God so it's interesting that he's responding in uh this way because he didn't have to go very far and find the facts and support his case and the charges of sedition and heresy will Paul worshiped the same God as the Jew so it wasn't a new religion was a fulfilled religion see the Christians of the Roman Empire are those early days didn't think that they were worshiping in a different religion that they were forming Jews but they were actually fulfilled Jews was the same God and so it wasn't a new religion it was a fulfillment of Judaism and to this day folks who are actual Jews practicing Jews have not reconcile with the concept of this religion has been fulfilled completed of course he's been accused of being in Jewish and anti-roman all at the same time evidence for either and again it's sitting there God it's still call Adrian you still don't know where you're going with this it's still a law scenario what is the go with this so they kept it in custody in any other court where no evidence was found against you can be released show me and yes Felix because he wanted to do a favor for the Jews kept falling lastly albeit with some some freedoms within and jail some books to tell us that he was chained to a Roman god and it allowed to wander the grounds freely I feel for that Roman God because every time it seems when Paul opened his mouth all he could talk about was Jesus so you can imagine how many individual Roman gods don't say that we don't know about I think it's fantastic it was the best thing that they could it was the worst thing they could do if you're a Roman the best thing you could do you could walk you're going to keep me in custody but you're going to give me a captive audience who was the captive Felix is foolish Felix was foolished with a lot of ways instead of listening to Paul you know in in Acts 24 verses 23-27 talks about Felix and his wife were still like coming and visiting with for a number of occasions and uh feelings of knowledgeable there he knew about um the Jewish law he knew about the Jewish religion and he knew about this Jesus character and about the way and he was trying to figure out what Paul was on about but more importantly he was waiting for a bribe okay he was waiting for um Paul and some of the the followers of the way um that perhaps spinning him some cash because that was how things were done and then maybe he might think about letting him go and that was one of the reasons why he gave his Paul some freedoms okay and he said allow his friends to come and minister to him in other words allow them to come in and see that I'm treating him well and maybe they'll help give me some dollars okay don't think that this was a mercy from Felix Felix was as strong as they come and Drusilla uh was was his wife Drusilla what came from a line of Paris and you know remember the herods yeah um there were some herods who ruled it was basically her great article and Greg uh grandfather who were in power at the time when Jesus was born the same Herod who was killing off all the UN all the baby boys remember that yeah that was her great Granddad um and then we've got a little bit further forward to the Herod who beheaded the John the Baptist remember that yeah these were her family members okay and so this is this is her Heritage and where she's coming from and then you've got Felix as well and obviously Paul as Paul does um couldn't help or preach the gospel to these people even to his captains it didn't matter whether they wore a crowd or wore a title or not they needed Jesus as far as he was concerned and so he would tell them about who Jesus was and how he had fulfilled the scriptures and what they needed to do and basically and we're going to get into this a little bit more a little bit later on because I think this is kind of the focus for us this morning but essentially feelings of scholarship a number of ways because you're obviously never repented he came to a realization of what um of what Paul was saying it actually tells us in the scripture that he feels that he physically trembled in other words he was convicted this is a man who was not um used to showing his emotion because he was a story okay so you internalize your emotions especially Roman leaders of the day and yet he was physically moved by what Paul had been preaching to him he was confronted by his sin he was convicted and so he said take him away I'm going to go think about this and I'll speak to him at another time and as far as we know according to the biblical record Felix never gave his life to Christ as far as We Know and he was foolish because of that reason because he had a taken or leave an attitude towards God's word do you know people like that it's good for you okay I'll do it another time I'm going to live my life and when I've I've lived my life then I'm gonna think of having to go on a character uh it's good that she's going to show that's not for me but I'll bring their kids to kids church what are you because I understand that there is a value in that okay it's a table leave and attitude and he had to take he had his atmospheric towards his sins as well because he knew he was a sinner and yet he refused to repent and obey he knew that he was not in the right way with God he knew that he was he was he was actually devastated for something terrible and yet he refused to repent and he refused to obey them and we know that because he was physically visibly shaken he was visibly moved it was something that really affected him and he was foolish towards God's grace because the Lord had been incredibly impatience with Felix and his wife now he refused to surrender to God has anyone in here presumed upon the Lord's Grace how God will understand uh he's a forgiving God isn't he we can't crisp by Felix too hard because we do this we do this don't be we presume upon the Lord's Grace and sometimes we don't see the magnitude or the power of sin in our lives as we should and sometimes we haven't taken or leave an attitude towards God's word this is God's word this morning it's not the most exciting passage which is still God's word and is it going to be something that's going to affect you and leave a lasting impression and of course the next passage next part of the passage we have is Acts 25. where essentially two years he spends in prison in this in this captivity and then drag it back out before the new government of Festus and this time Minister T is not there anymore because he's doing something else and so the Jews come before this new guy and they say well here's all the stuff again there's rehabs the same charges against Paul and he's getting there in front of the first person said well what do you have to say for this and Paul's like well they want to take me back to Jerusalem because at this point Paul was incarcerated in the susareal which is the big loss of Jerusalem and he said no I'm not gonna imagine Jerusalem I appeal to Caesar I'm going to go to Rome because I'm Miranda Sings he was wired to do that because the Jews weren't really interested in Seeking Justice they wanted Paul to be transferred back to Jerusalem because they were hoping to [Music] um kill him on the road to Jerusalem they were going to try and take medicine to their own things and that's what it says in the passage but still they had nothing they had no evidence what they did have them was Hank they were offended and they held on to this for many years even while Paul was out of their sight of two years probably more they were offended has anybody either been offended how long have you how long does that have been I want to talk to you this morning predominantly about this thing called positive Supply moved over procrastination do your students love that though students everywhere are familiar with procrastination on me everybody here is a student and uh we want to go back to that conversation several conversations that Paul had with Felix and Priscilla and Paul spoke to them specifically about the sins that they have committed sins of the past the things that I think of their rightness with God you know we we are coming to a world into a time now where nobody thinks they're sinful mistakes that they do the wrong thing but No One Believes In our sin it's almost like we've taken that word completely out of one verbiage no one says that they're a sinner but everyone freely admits that I make mistakes I'll do the wrong thing they're willing to to admit to those things but as soon as you say other that makes you a sinner don't judge me it was true then it was true now see the word sin to Fearless was offensive I think he would have freely admitted that he'd made mistakes and then he did the wrong thing at times but kind of getting pulled in the center Church we can't be like that I don't care what the culture around there is doing and saying he didn't just make a mistake you said you didn't just do the wrong thing you sinned we we sing that's why it was necessary for Jesus to die on the cross for us not because of a mistake but because of sin okay let's not forget the gravity of the situation Fearless wanted to move away from the enormity of the situation he didn't want to believe that it was someone who sinned but that that's what it is and sin is death it's not just a mistake in fact it's a little white lie it's not just an option or a lifestyle Choice it's death you're choosing death exceed and that may be offensive to you but that's truth okay so if you're living in a world that refuses to say the word seed or to acknowledge the power of sin or from this against God then you're living in a false world you're living in your own dream world that's not reality and this is what Paul did every time he spoke with someone especially in this context whereas Felix and Drusilla he was like you guys you've sinned you've sinned it's not just the sins of your father's Priscilla you can't blame the Heritage for this you're comfortable in this as well Fearless should have done many many wrong things you can't blame other people like you have to do it it was your job or you're just doing your duty you sinned you can't say it was your family who made you do it or like your friends were influencing you on video games you can't blame anybody it was sin and he named them and that's incredibly uncomfortable isn't it and the next thing he talked about was Temptations because whilst sin or righteousness talks about what how I was temptation is right now it's my self-control right now in a situation I have the opportunity to sin that's what temptation is okay I'm being tempted by things that are attractive to me we love our sin if we didn't we would stop but we love it because it's attractive it's juicy it's nice because we think it is going to give us something that it's not but it's called self-control church and I wonder if we were as diligent the scripture as we're supposed to be whether Temptation doesn't have such a hold on us yeah whether there will be sitting out there that was so tempting to us you know what's interesting is that we're in this modern world we can control us about everything except for ourselves we obtained wild beasts retaining digital Technologies we're taking the scene by maintaining space we've come to know so much about so many things and yet we can't control ourselves and then he spoke to them about hopefully you go to next time you the judgment to come future sin and how we're going to stand before Jesus does it boils down to is Jesus going to be in savior or your judge is either going to be your savior but he's going to be the judge it's not my words it's just how God describes his son in Acts 17. God has given us his son and it says if you acknowledge your sin you can't repent if you don't acknowledge your sin the church we've got to acknowledge the real Sin in US not just back then but we're faced with temptation right now so the sanctification process right this is why we've got to have self control and so we're we're dealing with sin on a daily basis but you're not dealing with sin it's not repenting from it don't convince yourself saying that I'm working through my sin no you're not you're just messing with it you're playing with it you don't work through your city we all know that we have the power to deal with that sin Jesus and the work that he did on the cross would not have been necessary we don't have the power to deal with our stick we're messing with our Temptations we're going on working through this aspect of my life now you're not the only person who can work through that sin is Jesus they may be counselors there may be other people who can have an active role in working through the circumstances and the the consequences of that sin but it's in itself that's Jesus and if you don't deal with that if you don't repent of that it will come back anyone who really listens the same old sin over and over again every single person can put their hand on there's a reason why old sins come back their feelings and Drusilla were culpable for that Paul knew that as part of anybody who's trying to walk with the Lord and feelings is response to this you're offending me I'm gonna come back and I'm going to go away and think about this for a while and and I'll give you a response another time he procrastinating himself into heaven because it's like I said as far as we know he [Music] is the Lord he did not repent of his sins oh my question to you then this morning in church it's not so much what were the charges that Paul face will have he responded we know the charters were false another basis and there was no evidence but we are all facing charges using in our life and the question is not how did Paul respond to the false ones that he was facing the question is how are you going to respond to the accurate ones that you are facing and Jesus is Judge but right now in this time of Grace he is our savior how will you respond to those charges there's not a question of I'm going to work on it later because you don't know what's going to happen later there are so many thousands of people across the world today who thought they were going to deal with this thing tomorrow and they died or they came to a situation where they couldn't no longer deal with that there are thousands of people across Australia who commit suicide every day they're not going to happen tomorrow to the question is not what are you going to do about it tomorrow what are you going to do about it today I even click to repaint their bags are we going to procrastinating foolish and chicken in a favorable time I listen to you and it had a day or celebration I have helped you behold now as a vocal time because now is day of salvation not tomorrow not five minutes from now right now so church will be about your face finally got me acknowledge you and your perfect plan if you have convicted anybody who's sitting this morning but I pray that we would not wait to deal with it at another time or another place but this is the time and this is the place oh God that we wouldn't be foolish like Felix and Drusilla but rather a little bit quick to repent and obeying like King David while he made many many foolish decisions and sinned against you significantly he chose to repair quickly and turn to our opinions the father you called him a million after your own heart but God didn't want to be a people after your own hearts and so we want to choose now as a favorable time and today is a day of salvation not just to become a Christian Lord God but also once again return into rightness with you the heavenly father we acknowledge your goodness and your kindness your perfect plan in a timely manner in which this word has come to us because today is the day for us to repent and to obey into no longer procrastinate Jesus name we pray. Amen.