Most people are drowning in a sea of opinions. Stand securely on absolute truth and facts.
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Acts 24 (ESV)
1 And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and a spokesman, one Tertullus. They laid before the governor their case against Paul.
2 And when he had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying:
through you we enjoy much peace,
and since by your foresight, most excellent Felix, reforms are being made for this nation,
3 in every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude.
4 But, to detain you no further, I beg you in your kindness to hear us briefly.
5 For we have found this man
stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world
and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.
6 He even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him.
8 By examining him yourself you will be able to find out from him about everything of which we accuse him.”
9 The Jews also joined in the charge, affirming that all these things were so.
10 And when the governor had nodded to him to speak, Paul replied:
“Knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation, I cheerfully make my defense.
11 You can verify that it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem,
12 and they did not find me
disputing with anyone
or stirring up a crowd,
either in the temple
or in the synagogues
or in the city.
13 Neither can they prove to you what they now bring up against me.
14 But this I confess to you,
that according to the Way,
which they call a sect,
I worship the God of our fathers, believing
everything laid down by the Law
and written in the Prophets,
15 having a hope in God,
which these men themselves accept,
that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.
16 So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.
17 Now after several years I came
to bring alms to my nation
and to present offerings.
18 While I was doing this,
they found me purified in the temple,
without any crowd or tumult.
But some Jews from Asia—
19 they ought to be here before you and to make an accusation, should they have anything against me.
20 Or else let these men themselves say what wrongdoing they found when I stood before the council,
21 other than this one thing that I cried out while standing among them:
‘It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.’ ”
22 But Felix,
having a rather accurate knowledge of the Way,
put them off, saying,
“When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case.”
23 Then he gave orders to the centurion that he should be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that none of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs.
24 After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla,
who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.
25 And as he reasoned about
and the coming judgment,
Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present.
When I get an opportunity I will summon you.”
26 At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul.
So he sent for him often and conversed with him.
27 When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus.
And desiring to do the Jews a favor,
Felix left Paul in prison.
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Acts 24 Summary
Paul has been transferred up to the next higher rung in the Roman court system. The Jewish establishment hires a polished lawyer name Tertullus to make their case, but everything he accuses Paul of is just generalized and unsubstantiated fluff.
Paul points this out in his defense, that no particular allegations have been made against him. The Jews' accusations can be neither independently falsified nor verified.
Begin to notice how common Tertullus' methodology is in the 'news' you consume. You'll find that quite often it's not just actual facts being reported, but opinions and perceptions disguised to look like objective reporting (this happens in both right-wing and left-wing media).
The chapter ends with Paul being given some opportunity to 'reason' with Governor Felix and his wife before Paul is used as a political pawn by being forgotten about in prison.
We're told in v22 that Felix was 'well acquainted with the Way,' and that he listened to Paul talk about 'righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come.' Yet as soon as Paul started to hit a little to close to home, Felix sent him away until he 'found it convenient.'
How many millions who, presumably like Felix, will spend an eternity regretting that they never found a 'convenient' time to accept the gospel? How many Christians will regret years wasted on earth because it was so much more convenient to chase after the treasures of the world rather than take up their cross and follow Christ?
Remember that Christianity is not just an alternative worldview that will help us restore the good ol' days if we just simply live according to godly morals. Christianity is a command from God to repent and believe the Good News. Make sure you don't put it off until you find a convenient time.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Thank the God of our Fathers that through His Spirit He has made you a follower of the Way (v14).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you don't put off considering the truly important lessons of the Bible until a 'convenient' time comes for you (v25).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: