Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's Only Reasonable

“And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a more convenient season, I will call for thee.” (Acts 24:25)

        In this chapter of the book of Acts, we have the great Apostle, Paul, standing before Felix, the Roman governor, who had sent for him specifically to hear him speak of “the faith in Christ” (v.24). Paul, in his characteristic style (17:2), did not use intimidating rhetoric, filled with dark sayings and grandiose pronouncements; but, rather, he simply reasoned with the man. Yet because he spoke of “righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come,” in relation to the resurrected Christ (v.21), the Bible says, “Felix trembled.” I learn a great truth from this: Cool, Biblical reasoning, under the penetrating power of the Holy Spirit of God, will bring strong conviction, more so than eloquent platitudes or fiery barbs, no matter how much Scripture may be thrown in for affect.

        You may argue, “Yes, but Felix sent Paul away, and we never read of his coming to Christ for salvation. True, but that does not mean he didn’t later. We only know he didn’t on that day. And one thing is for sure; if he ever did, you and I would be less apt to doubt his sincerity, knowing he was not making a quick response to emotional pressure.

        The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and His offer of the forgiveness of sins, is the most reasonable argument anyone could be confronted with. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa.1:18).  And, just as truly, the challenge to give one’s life in service to God is the most reasonable expectation that could put to a recipient of that forgiveness. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom.12:1).

        Never be ashamed, and always be prepared, to present the claims of Christ to any man or woman. They represent the most reasonable argument you will ever make in life. And you never know when you’re going to run into a reasonable man or woman. 

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