Whenever we speak of Christianity and the teachings of Jesus Christ we call it the “Good News.” And it is very good news for the teachings of the new covenant are the teachings of life. It is through the words of Jesus and his followers who wrote the New Testament that we have this good news of salvation passed down through the generations to us today.
Good news like so many things is a matter of perspective. Where you stand is determined by what you stand for. If you stand for Christ and follow his ways then you will stand where He stands in the kingdom of God. But if you stand for the things of this world and seek what the world offers in wealth, riches, power and the things that gratify the passions of the flesh, then you will not enter the kingdom of God.
And that is VERY alarming news…!
Paul's Message To Felix
Paul had been imprisoned and the new Roman governor, Felix, was now in place.
Now Felix was an observer of the things going on around him for it is testified in verse 22 that he had a rather accurate knowledge of the Way, that is the way of Christianity. Clearly Felix was no fool for he was after all the appointed governor of the region, but it is evident that he also though about what he saw.
In addition to this, Felix's wife Drusilla was a Jew and would certainly have some knowledge of the the Jewish ways, the law and the words of the prophets.
Thus when Paul stood before Felix and Drusilla to speak of faith in Jesus and the things of Christianity he spoke freely about all matters knowing that they would have some knowledge both of the Jewish ways and the recent matters of the life and death of Christ and the teachings of Christianity.
Felix listened and questioned Paul over all the matters of faith, but what we see is that he because alarmed. The good news of Jesus Christ alarmed Felix greatly, so much that he sent him away.
Why would he be alarmed? We see an answer to that in later scriptures. Felix brought Paul before him on a number of occasions to speak and discuss the matters pertaining to the new life in Jesus Christ. But we also see that Felix had hoped that Paul would give him money.
Felix appeared to be expecting Paul would offer a bribe to achieve his freedom. But a bribe was abhorrent to The Lord as evidenced in many scriptures in the law, proverbs and prophets and is not something that Paul would ever contemplate or consider.
Which brings me back to the point mentioned above. Where you stand is determined by what you stand for. Paul stood for Jesus Christ and the ways of truth and would not pollute the message or compromise himself by falling prey to the passions of the flesh. By contrast, Felix stood for the things of this world. He hoped to profit from Paul by receiving money for a favourable judgement that would release Paul, and this is not a position condoned by The Lord.
Anyone who stands opposed to The Lord will be alarmed by the trut because the truth will show up where they are lacking. The truth will reveal the shortcomings and failures of those who choose to stand in the camp opposite The Lord.
But too many who do stand opposed are not alarmed when they should be. They choose to block their ears when they hear alarming news and reject what they hear. Look at what happened in the crowd who stoned Stephen when he preached the good news to them in Acts 7:57.
But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him.
Stephen spoke the truth, which the people rejected. They drowned him out by crying out with a loud voice, they blocked their ears and then rushed at him to stone him to death. They did not want to hear the good news because it alarmed them so they violently rejected Stephen and Jesus Christ.
It is a good example of where you stand will be determined by what you stand for. Stephen stood for Christ and is at home with Him now. Those opposers who rejected and stoned Stephen would not have entered the kingdom of God unless they repented and came to Christ, and it is important to remember that Paul stood amongst those who stoned Stephen approving of their actions.
Everyone can be redeemed but not all will repent. And those who do not repent will certainly find the good news of Jesus Christ to be alarming news indeed.
(Image sourced from stock.xchng provided by Michael & Christa Richert)
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