God, in His grace, gives the ungodly opportunities to repent – time and time again. But all too often, people do not take advantage of this offer. One of the saddest examples in history is the Roman provincial governor, Felix of Caesarea.
Acts 24:22-27: “At that point Felix, who was quite familiar with the Way, adjourned the hearing and said, “Wait until Lysias, the garrison commander, arrives. Then I will decide the case.” He ordered an officer to keep Paul in custody but to give him some freedom and allow his friends to visit him and take care of his needs. A few days later Felix came back with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish. Sending for Paul, they listened as he told them about faith in Christ Jesus. As he reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the coming Day of Judgment, Felix became frightened. “Go away for now,” he replied. “When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.” He also hoped that Paul would bribe him, so he sent for him quite often and talked with him. After two years went by in this way, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And because Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jewish people, he left Paul in prison.”
Felix’s record in secular history is most unfavorable. He was a home wrecker – he stole his wife, Drusilla (daughter of Herod Agrippa I), from her first husband, Azizus, king of Emesa. He was corrupt and greedy, frequently persuaded by bribes. He gave Roman troops permission to kill and ransack houses of wealthy Jews during a mob outbreak. And he would have been executed by the emperor if his brother, Pallas, had not interceded.
As depraved as Felix was, God afforded him time to study one on one with a well-qualified gospel preacher. Felix should have been a good prospect for conversion since he was already well informed about Christianity. He kept calling for Paul for two years to discuss Christianity with him, and yet, he did not want to repent. “When I find time, I will summon you.” He had two years of opportunity to be saved, but never was. He never found time because time is never found, time is made! God affords us ample time to obey the gospel – we must take advantage of the time given to us. The time to repent is now! The time to teach our friends and family the gospel is now! Tomorrow, next week, next year – may not come for some or all of us. Take hold of time now to set the things right that need to be!