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Anyone called to preach has a special burden and a special responsibility. Paul was set on such a path. Jesus, the caller, filled this man’s heart with the desire to bring the gospel to everyone who would hear him. That’s the responsibility part. The burden part is knowing that there are those who are lost, the ones who have locked up their hearts and refuse the gift of everlasting life that is freely offered them.
The story is in Acts 24:22-25. Paul is preaching to Felix. Felix had been a favored slave in the royal household of Claudius. He was also married to a daughter of Herod Agrippa I and likely received his appointment to Judea because of these two facts. In the passage Felix and his wife are listening to Paul preach. It’s apparent that Paul has stirred Felix’s heart.
The old saying “A miss is as good a mile” could apply here. When it comes to salvation, a miss is a miss. It’s either accepted or not. The hope on the preacher’s part is that there might be a change of heart. Paul was in Felix’s custody for two years. There was no change of heart. It’s a jarring story. It must have been hard on Paul just as it’s hard on today’s preachers.
The sermon today pointed out that Felix is like some churchgoers today. They hear the message delivered on Sundays and the reaction is the same as the one in verse 25. The head knowledge is there. Felix knew but he dismissed it for a later time. He had things to do. He got stuck in this world with all of its demands. The end result is that he missed it, eternal life.
Copies of the sermon are always available and we would love to send you a CD of it. They are free. Call (4l7) 543-6219 to get a copy. However, if you would rather just pick one up, they are available at Strong’s Watch Shop in Barnes Shopping Center, Ava.