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Later ... Lord!

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
July 26, 2021 12:00 am

Later ... Lord!

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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July 26, 2021 12:00 am

The proverb of today's culture is, "Never put off ' til tomorrow what you can do the day after!' But postponing discipleship is not a good idea. Seek God today when He can be found. Tomorrow might be too late.

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Standing before those who have the right and power to say all with his bed. Is the bridge on this flight going to New Orleans during Mardi Gras preaching from Proverbs drunkenness and immorality can destroy your life and it is amazing that this man at this moment Dryden said there front yard in the front door through the living room into the parlor. Beyond that, into the bedroom and he looks them in the eye is for you. According to the righteous standard of God, you are morally ever put off doing something to the point that it was actually too late and the opportunity was messed Proverbs in our culture that goes like this, never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

One area of life where that proverb is critical is discipleship but postponing discipleship is never a good idea. We need to seek God today when he can be found. Tomorrow might be too late. Here Stephen Devi with the message he's calling later. More for the apostle Paul. I think that life turned out differently. At this juncture.

Sure, the Holy Spirit, as we have studied told him that he would be the subject of ridicule and face impending danger. I'm sure he never imagined, as he finally arrived in Jerusalem for the church to refuse to defend them his own nation beloved in a given his life to riots and attempt once again to take his life. He would now stand before a crooked judge and based two years of imprisonment. I think these were all priced whether he was prepared or not. It was about to happen. So, I invite you this morning to pick our study up or we left it in chapter 24 in the book of acts. You may remember that Paul was recently rescued from an assassination attempt masterminded no doubt by the Sanhedrin men who were to uphold the law were breaking the law and Iglesias, the Roman commander you remember rescued Paul and saved his life and surrounded him with several hundred soldiers and they marched out of Jerusalem call protected by these men and they marched to the governor's palace in Caesarea, but rejoined there with verse one and after five days, the high priest Ananias came down with some elders in a certain attorney name for Tullius and they brought charges to the governor against Paul and after Paul had been summoned. Her toys began to accuse him saying that the governor since we have through you attain much peace and since by your Providence reforms are being carried out for this nation. We acknowledge this in every way and everywhere most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness, but that I may not wear you any further. I beg you grant us by your kindness. A brief hearing talk about piling it on here.

I imagine he's covered with shoe polish. At this point, it's interesting. The word translated attorney in verse one is the Greek word Ray tour which gives us the word rhetoric for Tullius was a golden tongue orator in the Jewish leaders knew that if anybody could put Paul behind bars without a shred of evidence needed or demanded. It would be this words for Tullius and he basically began by flattering the governor with lies. Verse two we have attain much peace through you to lie in fact there was more turmoil and less these in Judeo under this governor than under any governor to date the universe to buy your wisdom or foresight.

Many reforms are being carried out, that are lie under Felix the people were so frustrated that one uprising followed. Another was daily news. Then in verse three turned Tullius towards Felix with the title most excellent or most noble one. The truth was far different. Antonius Felix was actually the first slave in the history of the Roman empire to reach the high form of office that he held not because he deserved it because his older brother was a close friend of the Emperor we know as Nero. The Emperor had been persuaded by Felix's older brother to give him a position as governor of Caesarea. So after deposing the one who held that position. Felix took the role and became historians tell us to scroll as Nero.

He had a penchant for crucifying his enemies on wooden crosses. Tacitus, the Roman historian described him as a master of cruelty and lust, who exercise the powers of a king with the spirit of a common slave. I say all of that to help you feel a little bit of what Paul probably felt like standing in this courtroom with a with a crooked judge, listening to the flattering murder of religious leaders who were lying about this man's role and now saying that he was a most noble one. In fact, this is a wonderful illustration of how the world perverts the truth. Felix is called noble. The apostle Paul standing there in the courtroom, whom he called all kind of names and he is the noble one. This is how the world can call darkness lights evil good sin acceptable and they will call you as righteous men and women out of touch old-fashioned right-wing tangent strange fanatics know you're trying to do is fulfill the Scriptures for life. But Paul told Timothy remind you all who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Second Timothy 312 Luke chapter 6 verse 22 Jesus Christ prophesied that because you follow me and live a godly life. Men will hate you and they will avoid you from their company.

An interesting phrase so if you're going to live a godly life in the midst of an ungodly culture. You will make waves and you will upset applecart and you will cause some sort of trouble, and you will be on the receiving end of flack.

In fact, if you're not on the receiving end of criticism at some point it may not be because you are living such the right kind of life. It may mean that you are not living a godly life for those who live godly will suffer persecution in some form or fashion.

Now having given Felix a heavy dose of empty adulation begins to accuse Paul verse five we have found this man a real past and the fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes and he even tried to desecrate the temple.

Then we arrested.

We wanted to judge him according to our own law. But lysis the commander came along and with much violence took him out of our hands, ordering his accusers to come before you by examining him yourself concerning all these matters you will be able to ascertain the things of which we accuse the Jews also joined in the attack, asserting that these things were so. Let's break this down into its three accusations that are primary against Baltimore. One is a troublemaker. The word used in verse five of the first part is is past it could be translated more seriously. He's a play it's a calculated move which is intended to stir up Felix, Felix, Paul is guilty of sedition. He's a threat to the peace of Rome and there's the implication may I remind you that you're supposed to uphold the peace of Rome. He's a threat is causing dissension throughout the whole world. Accusation number two is not only a troublemaker is a ringleader is the ringleader you notice of the sect of Nazarenes of the rise of learner, by the way, Nazareth was considered backward and illiterate town filled with lazy no good, but want to follow the prosecutor's masterful line of reasoning. Basically he's linking the Nazarenes set Christians with his first accusation guilty of sedition to Tullius is implying then that Christians as a whole, are a threat to the peace of Rome. So in other words, if this accusation proves true of Paul Christianity, a large is now in great risk of being in trouble with Roman. Peaceable accusation number three Paul is not only a troublemaker and ringleader is also a blasphemer. Verse six. He tried to desecrate the temple by the way what he's doing here is cleverly reminding Felix that the Sanhedrin should be allowed to try. Paul because Paul desecrated simple Roman law allowed the Jewish Sanhedrin to prosecute and execute those who desecrated the temple to been done in the past and so in a very nice way. He's saying Felix listen you will need to be troubled with this case. May I remind you that this is sort of our thing. This is our deal and if you just kind of walk away from it in turn your head in and put it back where it ought to be with us.

Everything will be just fine.

Five minutes with those men would've found pulled dead. Verse 10, when the governor had nodded for him to speak.

In other words he doesn't respond just looks up all nods. Paul responded, knowing that for many years you have been adjudged to this nation. I cheerfully make my defense others. No shoe polish here just the statement that since Felix had experience judging matters of Roman and Jewish law is confident that he will receive a fair trial, so he cheerfully makes his defense. Verse 11.

Since you can take note of the fact that no more than 12 days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship, and neither in the temple, nor in the synagogues, nor in the city itself did they find me carrying on a discussion with anyone or causing a ride nor can they prove to you the charges of which they now accuse me, but this I do admit to you that according to the way which they call us back. By the way, the word sect race. This gives us our word heresy what they are calling a heresy. I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the law and that is written in the prophets having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men.

Now, after several years I came to bring almost to my nation and to present offerings in which they found me occupied in the temple, having been purified without any crowd or a floor but there were certain Jews from Asia who want to have been present before you and make accusation if they should have anything against or let these men themselves tell what misdeed they found when I stood before the Council other than for this one statement which I shouted out while standing among them, for the resurrection of the dead I am on trial before you today. In other words, what Paul is saying is that those who accuse me, are here to testify are not guilty of causing organized plot against the, the Empire of Rome effectively been in Jerusalem for 12 days hardly time enough to mastermind some conspiracy. However, Paul does say I am guilty of this back in verse 14. I am a member of the way favored term of his and the early Christians as they followed the one who was the way the truth and the life. Now interestingly enough, a phrase used for that which is indeed heresy.

But he says as he goes on to clarify that.

That way simply fulfills the Old Testament law and the prophets in the Scriptures which declared there is a resurrection coming of the dead, those who are righteous and those who are wicked will stand before God. So he gives his defense now going to the nose verse 22, but Felix having a more exact knowledge of the way put them off saying when lysis the commander comes down I will decide your case, the words translated put them all fun of a letter could be translated. He adjourned the proceedings and he gave orders to the centurion for him to be kept in custody and yet have some freedom and not to prevent any of his friends from ministering to him.

Felix here is avoiding making a decision.

He wasn't waiting for licenses report.

If you were with us in a previous discussion we read the report from lysis he sent it to this man, Felix, and said this man Paul is not guilty of sedition is not guilty of a crime deserving imprisonment or punishment.

So we've already seen the report. In fact, Felix probably had it in his lap but he didn't want to decide because if he decided against these leaders, he had basically in front of him, a very powerful Jewish lobby. He didn't want to offend them and he didn't want to turn Paul over to them either.

So as a result of that, he fails to do anything now here's where the story takes an unusual turn in a very interesting one at that. Verse 24, but some days later, Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife, who was a Jewish and sent for Paul and heard him speak about face in Christ Jesus. The Western text. By the way tells us that Drusilla requested the meeting of her husband. And in Luke sort of drops of a biographical bombshell on his readers as he says Drusilla, his wife, who was a Jew us. In other words, this is a woman who had sold her national birthright for a mess of Royal pottage years earlier, there is a woman who had long ago walked away from the God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. She had betrayed her own people by marrying this corrupt Roman leader. She was raving beauty historians passed down to us by age 14 she was the wife of the Syrian Prince, but she was Mr. Colin superstitious.

She had kept only the worst of her Israelite past, and Felix when he saw her and wanted her as his third wife use the magician by the name of at Hermosa to persuade her that the stars and the spirits said that it must be that she leave her husband and be married to Felix and so she obey. She followed the mystics advice she left her husband and at age 16, became the wife of this powerful wealthy man named Felix but she wanted to hear from the strange man so she persuades her husband to hold a private hearing and so here comes Paul there's a private hearing and he's in the Dakar chambers, just the three of them in and then there they sit in the world standard. They are successful and powerful and beautiful and corrupt and immoral, what in the world is Paul going to say were told in verse 25 and as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened stalker: neither story. Everybody neither story. They knew how this couple lived fast and loose and their escapades were front-page news. But instead of skirting the issue. He preaches to them on the subject of self-control egg cracks hey it is a word specifically related to the control or in their case, the lack of control of sexual desires can increase on a thousand passages of Scripture chose 100 different topics and I am amazed at his courage here standing before those who have the right and power to say all with his head he desires to preach on this slide going to Las Vegas and getting on the platform of Caesar's Palace and preaching on fiscal responsibility by going to New Orleans during Mardi Gras on reaching from Proverbs that drunkenness and immorality can destroy irretrievably your life to be like going to the Disney World during game week and preaching from Romans chapter 1 God is delivered over homosexuals to depravity of mind, to do those things which are not natural look at this text and it is amazing that this man at this moment is moved right into their front yard into the front door through the living room into the parlor. Beyond that, into the bedroom and he looks them in the eye and he says I have news for you. According to the righteous standard of God, you are morally corrupt. Now if it isn't heated enough in that room as Paul delivers the message to this royal couple. He moves on the rapid sermon up with his third point the judgment to come.

This is obviously a reference to the great white throne that is detailed for us in Revelation chapter 20.

He concluded his sermon the same way as a priest of the Athenians.

He looks at this powerful couple who had power over his life is a work from a human standpoint and he says to them hey I want you to understand something, there is a higher court room. There is a more powerful judge than there is a righteous standard and you too will one day stand before that righteous God and give an account for your immorality. There is a judgment day coming and you have no hope, no earlier in his sermon he preached about the faith of Jesus Christ. That is the gospel story and so we know that he included in this message that they were without hope and less they lead to the refuge of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ noticed the response again of Paul's audience. Felix became frightened and said go away the translation. Felix became frightened is not quite vivid enough info boss gives us our word phobia literally means Felix became terrified Felix you could render it began trembling literally shaking with fear we have lost this sense today of fearing a holy and righteous God. But here's a man now for the first time in his life who understood he was a guilty sinner before righteous God in the judgment day was coming and he began to shake with fear and then he said in the letter first part of verse 25 go away for the present and when I find time. I will summon you get out of here as he shook with fear when I find time. I will summon you when I find time as a is an idiom that could be rendered. When I have some spare time and I have nothing to do, then I'll call you back in hear from you again eventually stop shaking and he in effect said look Paul, II may want to hear more about this later, but I'm busy now is as if this man said in the presence of God, those words that could haunt him forever. Basically later later Lord, if I have some spare time in my life all get into this religions stuff pull all don't you call me I'll call you well. He eventually stop trembling hand pushed off your side and with several conversations with Paul put on the front burner. What really mattered the most to that was money like in verse 26. At that time he was hoping that money would be given him by Paul. He was hoping Paul would drive himself out of jail. The church had just received this large gifting known Paul and brought it. Perhaps he thought: connections and maybe had more money. Therefore, he also used to send for him quite often and converse with him. Imagine that the great apostle can conversing with him about the truth of his life never responding verse 27, but after two years of past Felix was succeeded by Portia's Festus and wishing to do the Jews a favor. Felix left Paul in prison.

Did you catch the reference to time there in verse 2:27 years two years.

Paul was waiting on a decision by this corrupt man for two years I've ever had to wait on somebody's decision for two hours of you had to wait for doctor's report for two weeks.

Have you applied for a job and you waited by the fund for two months.

Can you imagine your life hanging in the balance, not knowing for two years but every once in a while you get this invitation a Felix would like to talk to you again and your hopes would be stirred and you don't meet with Felix and talk to him and discover only what was your Monday and as we know it, he never received Christ the Savior.

Nero finally deposed him because he didn't quell a riot that he should've later died a tragic death to thoughts very quickly here as we run out of time. Number one. It is a tragic thing to have never trembled over said at least Felix did that. Have you and I fear there are many people they consider themselves part of the body of Christ simply added Jesus Christ to their bag of escape tricks thought to be a nice thing to do to get religion and nice people go to church and yet I believe in God and and I certainly don't want to go to hell. I want to go to heaven and the people who've never acknowledged nor repented of the weight of their sin in our day of easy believe is him and sign a card and come down front and you're in has distorted not only the righteousness of God, that the weight of the guilt of sin that a sinner should feels he comes to faith in Christ so US yourself.

Have you ever felt the weight of your sin upon your life. The guilt of it all before God. Number two well it's true. Well, it's a tragic thing to never trembled over sin is even more tragic to have trembled without ever trusting Jesus as your personal savior emotionally moved, but not converted intellectually enlightened.

He knew the way. More perfectly the text that Christianity had a wife was joy she heard and she knew and he knew all about her former past life heritage, the God of the fathers. He knew all of that, but he never acted upon it during one summer break from college I worked at a construction site with another young man and as we worked share the gospel with him throughout the summer and he always end up by saying yeah you know I need to do that I need to do that. I know I'm guilty. I'd as we work would spend time talking to him and I was passionate about him. Understanding where he stood in any any needs taken on fact, a couple of times I tell you I'm in a moment when I go home to Mama to pray and ask nice, do that tonight and come back the next day.

I'd say well it's all denied this, for some friends called. I did, I did do that. He was always saying amenities say soon.

One of these days as a British proverb that says one of these days is none of these days have you been saying that you one of these days I meant to give my life to Jesus, turn a corner and and things will change in the and although I don't I know I ought to not now. One of these days my friend learned from this man and learned from the writings of Scripture. If you're here with a load of sin before your eyes and your trembling, as it were inside knowing you do not have confidence before righteous God, the guilt of sin is upon your life you're wondering even if you've been self deceived because you've trusted Christ, supposedly, but your life is not changed then as Paul wrote to the Corinthian church.

He said now is the accepted time. Now is the day of salvation. Know the most wonderful time to accept Jesus Christ. Never accept now change the words from later Lord yes I'm glad you were with us today for this time in God's word. This is wisdom for the hearts this current series through the last chapters of acts is from our vintage wisdom archives Stephen Devi first delivered this series back in 1998 were airing it again. Now, as we examine the important events of the early church and its leaders. Today's message is called later Lord, I encourage you to take a few minutes and install our app to your phone.

The wisdom international app will work with your smart phone your tablet or a smart TV. It's free to install and it's free to use. It's a great companion for your personal Bible study. You'll find the wisdom international app in the iTunes and the Google play store's. If you have a comment a question or would like more information about our ministry.

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Thanks again for joining us today. Please make plans and take the time to join us again next time. Stephen will continue through this series right here on this

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