Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way … He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus … Felix was afraid … he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe … Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison. Acts 24:22-27
According to Josephus (a Jewish historian), Felix was removed from office. He had problems with all three of the major issues that confront leadership: sex, money and power. Things could have turned out differently for Felix. He was “well acquainted” with Christianity and heard the gospel from one of its best preachers, Paul. Yet in the final analysis, he was more interested in gaining temporal fame and wealth than in his eternal salvation.
Felix was initially challenged by Paul’s preaching, “Felix was afraid and said, ‘That’s enough for now!’” (verse 25). He procrastinated and the longer he put off making a decision for Christ, the less able he was to make it. Though “he sent for him frequently and talked with him” (verse 26), Felix actually became less receptive to the gospel as he became accustomed to stealing his heart against Paul’s message. His desire for a bribe overtook his desire to be saved.
Paul was left in prison. Although it provided him with a measure of protection from those who were trying to kill him, it was a miscarriage of justice. Felix had the opportunity to release Paul but his self-serving motives had hardened him against even doing this.
Felix’s life is a warning. It teaches us that we can be well acquainted with the gospel message and regularly hear good preaching but miss out on salvation. Over time procrastination will harden our hearts.