The Prisoner's Platform

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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. And as Paul reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.” (Acts 24)

In our Lord’s regenerating work in the life of the apostle Paul, he prophesied that Paul would be his chosen instrument who would carry the Lord’s name and message before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem and the trials that followed proved these prophetic words to be true.

In his arrest, Paul was given the opportunity to proclaim the gospel to the children of Israel, and then in his formal trials, Paul was given the opportunity to speak before the Roman governors Felix and Festus, and then he was eventually sent to stand trial before the Jewish king Agrippa II. There is no doubt that Paul was eager to preach the gospel to such crowds of people and to such high-ranking men of the Empire, but the path to doing so was one of suffering and imprisonment.

Many of us would love the opportunity to share the gospel with large crowds and social elites, but would we still want this opportunity if it required suffering or imprisonment?

Many of us assume that the position of power is the best platform for preaching the gospel, but Paul was given the position of a prisoner as his platform.

How often might we miss opportunities to share of God’s grace and greatness because we are too caught up or concerned about our own comfort and circumstances? Sometimes its oppressive or unfortunate circumstances that actually produce the ideal conditions and opportunities for Christians to fly their flag of faith.

For Paul, prison provided a great platform for proclaiming his faith and sharing the gospel.

When provided with the opportunity, the apostle Paul reasoned with Felix, the Roman governor of Judea, about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgement. Felix and his illegitimate mistress found the gospel of Christ interesting but inconvenient. Felix was alarmed by the truth of God’s judgment that Paul had so boldly laid before him. He was almost persuaded to believe the gospel, but then he decided to push it off for another day.

Are there times in our own lives where we find ourselves alarmed by the consequences of our sin, and yet we still find a way to quiet the conviction and continue with that same sin?

Governor Felix puts off the matter of faith in Christ for a more convenient time, but it seems that this more convenient time never came. There is great danger in delaying or allowing others to delay when it comes to things that have eternal consequences. “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

So whether we are a famous professional athlete or a falsely accused prisoner, we are all called to use the platforms that we have been given to boldly proclaim the good news about Jesus. And may we also listen to what Jesus has said concerning righteousness, self-control and the coming judgement and respond with repentance and immediate obedience no matter how inconvenient it may seem.