Read Acts 23


Paul before the Sanhedrin; sent to Felix; before Festus; his appeal to Caesar.

But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the prophets (Acts 24:14).

The jury for Paul's trial was composed of three rulers. As Paul faithfully testified to them of how Jesus fulfilled all the scriptures as Messiah, Felix, the governor, trembled; Festus hesitated, then resisted; King Agrippa was almost persuaded. All were brought to a point of decision, but none accepted Christ as their Savior. Little did they realize that it was not Paul, but themselves, who were on trial before the court of heaven. They had no idea that as they were pronouncing judgment upon Paul that it was their case being pleaded. In a way, Paul was their defense attorney. He was trying to get them to plead guilty and accept the mercy of the court of God. Jesus was waiting with their pardon. However, they didn't receive it. Not because it was not offered, but because they rejected it. Could you imagine rejecting forgiveness and accepting a death sentence? It happens every minute of every day. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us (Heb. 2:3).

Each man had a different response. One was overwhelmed. Another held back. The last one decided to wait. However, they all made the same choice to reject Christ. And every decision has consequences. If you were on a plane that was crashing and they began handing out parachutes for jumping off, would deciding to wait be a decision with consequences? I believe the answer is yes. The time to choose is now. For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2).

It has often been said that it does not make any difference what one believes as long as he is sincere. But that statement is very misleading because our eternal destiny depends upon what we believe. God has provided the only way of salvation. Jesus Christ, God's Son, took the death sentence for our sins. Neither is there salvation in any other (Acts 4:12). By praying and asking God to forgive your sins because Jesus already died for you, you will be born again into God's eternal family. Believe in Jesus and His work on the cross that was done for you and for me!

And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure (1 John 3:3).

Thought for Today:

Each person must decide for himself either to accept Christ as Savior, or to reject Him; He cannot be ignored.

Cross Reference:

For Acts 23:5: See Ex. 22:28.

Word Studies:

23:3 whited wall, whitewashed wall, meaning hypocrite (see Matt. 23:27); 23:23 third hour of the night, 9 p.m.

Prayer Suggestion: Wait upon the LORD and He will renew your strength (Is. 40:31).

Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 2:12