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.” (Acts 24:25)
Many will miss heaven and be consigned to hell for one reason—procrastination! They will have heard the Gospel, know they need Jesus, intend to be saved, but wait too late. I beg you, don’t be one of them!
Some of my best friends are dead—drug overdoses, fiery car crashes, suicides. I can flip through the pages of my high school yearbook and on page after page see the faces of the dead staring at me. Worst of all, many of them are in hell. They did not have to go there. Some teetered on the edge of receiving God’s gift of eternal life. They heard the Gospel, were moved by its message, wrestled with the decision, and decided to wait—to wait for tomorrow—a tomorrow that would never come.
In Acts 24, we read of a man named Felix—a Roman governor—who heard the great missionary, Paul, share his faith. His heart was stirred. Conviction of sin fell like a hammer upon him. He felt the fear of an eternity without hope. He concluded, “Not now. Not today. I will. Later, Paul, I will send for you. We will talk more of this when it is more convenient.” So far as the Biblical record is concerned that day never came. It is likely that Felix is in torment in the flames. He will suffer for his sin forever. There was no tomorrow of salvation. Scripture warns, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor.6:2b) There are many excuses people make to justify their delay, but none are acceptable.
Some will want to see lightning flash or hear angels sing—to feel an overpowering encounter with God that drives them to their knees. Paul had an experience like that. It was not the emotional experience that saved him, however, it was submission to Christ. We are saved by faith and not feelings. We may or may not have such an emotional encounter, but no matter how you feel, you must receive Christ! Felix had a dramatic feeling, but it did him no good.
Others think they need to straighten up first. They have some sins they won’t surrender. They are afraid they won’t keep their commitment, and so do not make it. Yet, you cannot change your life any more than a leopard can change its spots! Repentance is necessary; surrender to Christ is a must, but it begins with a change of mind—literally that’s what the word means—and then the Spirit of God will change your behavior. You would fail, but Christ cannot!
You may say, “I’m thinking about it. I want to investigate this some more.” How much do you need to know? Do you know you are a sinner? Do you know that Jesus died on a cross for you and that He rose from the dead to offer you eternal life? That’s enough to know! You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to be saved.
Some argue, “I will wait until I am older.” None of us are promised another day! Old people die, but so do the young! We may so harden our heart as to become callused to our sin, and never receive Christ.
Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts…. (Heb.3:15)
Today! Tomorrow may never come!