“But after certain days, Felix came with Drusilla, his wife, who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ Jesus. And as he reasoned of righteousness, and self-control, and the judgement to come, Felix was terrified and answered, Go your way for this time; and when I have a convenient season, I will call you unto me.” (Acts 24:24-25)
Paul was a preacher of the gospel of our Lord. He was also an apostle, and was inspired by the Holy Spirit. We may be sure that his teaching was done with the approval of Jesus Christ. When he was given an opportunity he reasoned with people concerning the faith in Christ. On some occasions the effect of Paul’s preaching was to terrify people. There is no suggestion in the Bible that Felix was converted, and according to secular history the man died in sin. One may be terrified by gospel preaching, and yet fail to obey the Lord. We do not know why Felix rejected the gospel of Christ, but we do know the excuse he gave: It was, “When I have a convenient season.”
Many a person is now living in sin because of failure to find a convenient season. There is no such thing as a convenient season. That is one of the peculiarities of the doctrine of Christ. It is not a convenient teaching. No man ever became a follower of our Lord by accident. No man ever became a Christian without sacrifice. If you are waiting for a time when you can become a Christian without inconvenience, then you are holding to a vain hope. That time will never come.
When Paul was heard concerning the faith in Christ he reasoned of righteousness. To be righteous is to be such as one ought to be. The standard of that should always be God’s commandments. “For all your commandments are righteousness.” (Psalms 119:172) “Let no man lead you astray: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (1 Jn 3:7). You can not attain to righteousness before God without the forgiveness of past sins. Even if you live a perfect life from now on you can not reach that goal without being forgiven of the sins of the past. That is what the Bible calls, “Righteousness without works.” (Rom 4:6) It is to have past iniquities forgiven and past sins covered. The faith of Christ requires repentance and baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38.) Many are willing to believe if that is all they must do to be saved (Jn 8:24). Many would confess if that is all one must do to be saved (Rom 10:10). Many would be willing to repent if that is all they must do to be saved (Acts 17:30). Many would be willing to baptized if that is all they had to do to be saved (Acts 22:16). Not only must one do all of these in order to be saved, but they also must take up their cross and follow after Christ, and that is the hard cold facts of what it takes to be a real Christian (Mt 16:24).
When Paul was heard concerning the faith in Christ he reasoned of the judgment to come. God has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17: 32.) It should terrify any one to think of going to that judgment unprepared. If you can face eternity without the Lord, and not be afraid, then you must have been listening to the silly talk of modern preachers who say that there is no eternal damnation for the lost (2 Thess 1:7-9). The Bible says, “For we must all be made manifest before the judgement seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men.” (2 Cor 5:10-11).
When a Christian sins he does not need to be baptized again. He does need to REPENT. He does need to PRAY. He does need to CONFESS (Acts 8:22 f; 1 Jn 1:9.) Some will say, this is hard teaching. We grant that it is, but it is still the teaching of the Lord and his apostles. Jesus offers much, but he also requires much, and many are not willing to submit to the will of God in order to obtain it. The question is, are you? Or are you waiting for a convenient season?