“It’s not really a convenient time, Dr.” I said to my Primary Care Physician after finding out I would need surgery to remove a large abdominal tumor. His response was, “It never is.”
Twelve days later I said the same thing to my Oncologist when he suggested we schedule the surgery to remove the tumor a short 2 days later on May 31, 2019. I remember feeling distraught as I explained to him that my daughter was getting married on June 8 and why I simply could not have surgery before her wedding.
I felt in my heart that I would be fine if I waited. I was looking for a more convenient time. A time that was better for me and that fit into my schedule. Looking back, I realize I wasn’t thinking of my family at all. I was being selfish. I am reminded of Felix in Acts Chapter 24.
Acts 24:24-25, “And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.”
See the similarities?
Felix sent after Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ. I sought out an Oncologist to direct me with my health.
Felix heard what it would take to save his soul. I heard what it would take to save my earthly life.
Felix was told what he needed to do to save his eternal soul by an apostle of Jesus Christ and Felix looked him right in the face and told him it wasn’t a convenient time. I was told by an Oncologist what I needed to do to save my life and I looked him right in his face and told him it was not a convenient time.
Wow! Convenience. For Felix it was not a convenient time to save his soul. For me it was not a convenient time to save my life (or so I thought).
What is so sad, Felix’s decision was a whole lot more urgent than mine was. His eternal soul hung in the balance. It was only my earthly body that was in danger (not that life isn’t precious, because it is).
The need was urgent.
Thankfully, my family played a role in my decision to go ahead with the surgery. I knew they wanted the best for me, which meant I needed to have surgery as quickly as possible.
His need was even more urgent.
But sadly, Felix made the wrong decision. We know he had to have believed since he trembled after hearing about righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come. So what would keep him from obeying?
He was happy with his pomp, power and position in life and didn’t have a love for Christ that made him WANT to change. He loved self. Likewise, this is a huge problem for so many even today. They are happy with how their life is going and they don’t want to truly be obedient to Christ. Their love for Him is not where it should be.
Let’s make this personal.
What about your eternal soul? Where do you stand before God this very moment? What about your love? Do you love Christ? Have you obeyed the gospel of Christ? Are you a Christian? How do you know? Do you know because you’ve studied the Bible and understand for yourself? Your eternal soul hangs in the balance.
Let us look at what it takes to become a Christian. Straight from the Bible.
Jesus said, “For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Matthew 13:15)
The heart has to be open and honest. It has to be willing to accept that Christ is Lord and we owe Him our everything. Our lives, our love, our obedience, our all. It should not be a chore to love and obey Christ. It is a privilege. He should get the best of us and we should give it willingly. We owe a debt we can never repay. He paid the debt for us with His death on the cross.
Luke 17:10 “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”
Paul penned these words:
Romans 10:8 “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Let’s zero in on verse 13. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
How do we know how it is we call on the name of the Lord? Let’s turn to the best place to get answers. The Bible.
Acts 22:16 “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
There we have it. We call on the name of the Lord in BAPTISM. I’m gonna leave that right there. It’s self explanatory.
Romans 10:17 explains we must hear the word of God. Then what?
We must believe that word. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him:for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
After believing, we must repent. Luke 13:3 “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
We then must confess our faith in Christ - He is the Son of God. Romans 10:10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
We must be baptized for the remission of our sins.
Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
We must remain faithful unto death. Revelation 2:10 “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
Please take time to study these verses. Cross reference them with other verses. Make notes. Put together a list of questions and turn to the Bible for your answers.
As always, I am happy to study with anyone, day or night.
In Christian Love,