Acts 24:22~26 (25) Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self?control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, "Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you."
Paul was on trial accused of certain crimes, all false. This case eventually found its way to Felix the Roman governor assigned to Judea. Here we see evidence of the legal decision that Felix had to make regarding Paul, a personal decision regarding Jesus Christ, and a great opportunity for salvation. Felix was exposed to the great plan of Salvation from Paul but sadly he rejected it. Felix had previous experience about Christianity and knew enough about it to do what was right, but didn't. Drusilla, the daughter of Herod Agrippa I, found in Acts 12 also had knowledge and exposure to Christianity; adding to Felix's knowledge.
Paul had opportunity to preach the gospel to Felix and Drucilla; conversation which he adapted to their condition and principles of Christian religion; to draw them to their sinful condition and lead them to repentance. We can see that Paul seized every opportunity of making known the gospel; whether a prisoner or free. It is said in the previous verses that Paul reasoned with them and was not argumentative, allowing the Holy Spirit to be the one the convict them of righteousness and lead them to repentance. It is remarkable about the boldness of Paul, seeing that he was dependent on Felix for his release. Many a person in this position would not be proclaiming Christ or doing anything that could delay their hope of release. This never seemed to have occurred to Paul.
Paul seemed to have his focus on presenting salvation, to save, if possible, the souls of Drusilla and of Felix. Paul spoke with Felix about his sin of not living up to God's standard of absolute righteousness and that this would lead Felix to his ultimate judgment. For Felix this apprehension of justice and the reminders of his own guilty life, produced alarm in Felix, and made him tremble.
Paul had reasoned about righteousness with Felix. This is God's absolute ideal, as used in Scripture and is nearly equivalent to holiness. Holiness is God's divine ideal as found in Matt. 5:48 which says, "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."
Second self?control or temperance has the meaning of restraint of temptations and evil inclinations, and can include prudence, chastity, and moderation. With Felix it says that he trembled with fear considering the things of the Holy Spirit.
Next Paul shared with Felix about judgement to come, a day of retribution which the unjust, must give account of all the deeds done in the body. This judgment that will come on all transgressors, adding to the fear for both Felix and Drusilla. It was with great boldness and faithfulness in Paul to select them.
How did Felix respond? By telling Paul to go away until a more convenient time. His conscience was making him feel uneasy. We see here the power of the conscience when Felix is thrown into violent alarm. He was evidently not prepared to break off his sins and turn to God.
How have you reacted when the gospel is presented to you? Have the pleasures of life, make it not a convenient time to consider your salvation. Is it business dealings and profession that make it not a convenient time to come to religion.
Is it your youth that you want to wait for a more convenient time in middle age. Is it middle life one spends in business, and this is not a convenient time. Is it later years and still wanting to put it off just a little longer; are you still in love with the world. Seldom is it found to be a convenient time to prepare for heaven; it just keeps getting put off until death comes and then it is too late.
It is commonly believed that Felix never found that more convenient time to call for Paul. Will you have a convenient time to seek the Lord.
The gospel simply is this. Tell a man what God's standard is, show him that he cannot live up to it, and tell him that as as such there will be judgement unless he recognizes that Jesus Christ took his sin, paid his penalty of judgment, and offers him His righteousness by faith.