The Fatal Delay

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The Fatal Delay

Acts 26:1-32



Procrastination  --what is it that you procrastinate the most?


We can laugh about procrastination, but it can be very serious. (Cancer, asking forgiveness, etc.)

Background of Kings & governors

I.      Determination of the Charge

Paul taken to Caesarea to regional governor Felix.

Acts 24:22-26:

      Felix knew the way

      Allowed him some freedom

      Paul spoke about faith in Christ.

      He talked about righteousness, self-control & the judgment to come.

Felix put him off.  (Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.”)

Eventually Felix was recalled to Rome after objections by the Jewish leaders that he was cruel & corrupt.

Nothing is known of his fate. 

Festus came to leadership (60 A.D.)

Relationship between Festus and King Agrippa (32 years old):  perhaps similar to relationship between General Petraeus and the president of Iraq-Jalal Talabani.

Content of the charges (25:17-20)

What were Agrippa’s motives?  Curiosity?  Entertainment?

Festus wanted Agrippa’s help. (25:26)

Berneice-married her uncle at 13 (second marriage). After his death she moved in with her brother Festus & they had an incestuous relationship.  She married Polemon king of Cilicia, abandoned him and returned to her brother. It is at this point that the two of them heard Paul. 

Paul’s appeal to Caesar began as a way of protecting himself from this young inexperienced procurator(?),  but ended up being the means he believed would allow him to preach the gospel in Rome.

II.  Declaration & Defense (v. 6)

“It is because I declare the hope God promised to ancestors.”

Paul saw his testimony as the most powerful way of preaching Christ.

Luke records the story of Paul’s conversion in Acts 9 & then Paul recounts it himself in his own defense in ch. 22 and here in ch. 26.

Personal story—advertisements know the power of Personal Testimony

His vision allowed him to see himself as he really was. 

But Paul tied Agrippa with his own motivations.   “I, TOO, was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth.” (Or is this the motivation of his Jewish opposers?)

III.          Decision

He doesn’t belabor his point. 

Both understood the Gospel. 

Did Festus react because of Paul’s mention of the Gospel being for Gentiles (like him)?

Festus could have put it off simply as “a Jewish problem.”  (25:18-19)

Satan does not want you to decide for Christ:

IV.            Distraction

“You’re mad!” 

Soviet Union –Christians were insane

If you disagree with CW, you are insane!

Paul’s response was very non-emotional (“I am not insane, excellent Festus. What I am saying is true and reasonable.”)  He then turned to Agrippa.

He would not allow the rabbit trail to remain.  He brought it back quickly to the subject at hand.

He turns his attention to Agrippa

V.    Delay

Maybe someday…today’s too soon.

He chose to look at the circumstances rather than the merits of the case.

What do we use to delay making a decision.

The behavior of others. 

I want to have fun first

What will those around me/family think?

What parent would allow one child to escape their disobedience because another sibling had misbehaved?

Perhaps Maxwell quote: "Godly leaders know that the pursuit of a deeper knowledge of (and obedience to) Jesus takes precedence over everything else, including the acquisition or protection of power: Power not only corrupts--it also dissipates--unlike the sterling character we can acquire through submission to Christ. --Maxwell Leadership Bible

Contrast this with Paul’s obedience:

His obedience was

o       Immediate (19)

o       Implicit (19)

o       Impelling (20)

Acts 26:19-20: “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. (20)First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.


What about you?  What means more to you than the condition of YOUR soul?

Keith Mulligan-death after delaying twice

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