As mentioned in my earlier post, Grudem’s Systematic Theology[i] identifies four passages that support the position that Christians should try to influence government. In this post, I look at what takeaways a Christian can gain from Acts 24:24-25.
Acts 24:24–25 (NASB95) discloses part of Paul’s dialog with Felix, a Roman governmental official (boldfacing added):
24 But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you.”
Paul preached the gospel to Felix and Drusilla. In this regard, one commentator[ii] writes:
Whatever the driving force behind the desire of the couple to visit Paul, the apostle used the opportunity to share the gospel with them and “spoke about faith in Christ” (v. 24). For this particular couple, he focused on the prospect of the coming judgment (v. 25). His emphasis on “righteousness” (dikaiosynē) was surely intended in its more strictly ethical connotation of measuring up to God’s standards, which will ultimately be the basis for the coming judgment.
Another commentator[iii] writes:
In a surprising turn of events, Felix showed up at the Praetorium with his young wife, the Jewish Drusilla. For reasons Luke does not tell us, Felix wanted to hear Paul again but likely was not prepared for a direct sermon on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come. Apparently, the Holy Spirit drove home the point to people in whose lives this particular message had unique relevance. Luke tells us Felix was afraid and decided to get rid of this preacher so he didn’t have to listen to anymore convicting talk.
It is clear that Acts 24:24-25 teaches that a Christian ought to proclaim the saving gospel of Jesus Christ to unbelieving government officials.
The practical takeaway is that Acts 24:24-25 gives a biblical warrant to a 21st Century believer to boldly present the saving gospel of Jesus Christ to unbelieving governmental officials.
If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, unless God intervenes, your eternal destination is hell. But, your destiny can change.
Today can be the day of your salvation. Please see my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/04/20/for-god-so-loves-you-2/) for a description of how you can be saved and a more concise description at my (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/10/20/there-is-hope-even-when-there-seems-to-be-no-hope-2/ ).
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[i] Footnote 11 at page 893 (Grudem, W. A. (2004). Systematic theology: an introduction to biblical doctrine (p. 893). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House) reads [in part]:
The fact that Christians should try to influence government to make laws consistent with biblical standards is indicated by passages such as Matt. 6:10; 14:4; Acts 24:25; and 1 Tim. 2:1–4.
[ii] Polhill, J. B. (1992). Acts (Vol. 26, p. 486). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
[iii] Gangel, K. O. (1998). Acts (Vol. 5, p. 405). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.