GET TOGETHER- WITNESSING TO UNSAVED LEADERS
Ac 26:19-28 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
“but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. “For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. “Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come– “that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.”For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner.
“King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe. “Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
The Apostle Paul who was an innocent man who has just been put on trial. He is on trial before King Herod Agrippa II and Festus the Roman Procurator of Judea. As he stands before these two men, he gives his testimony of how that he had met Jesus on the Road to Damascus and how that he had heard the call of God on his life and had surrendered to that call. There are several things that stood out to me as I read this passage. To be honest as the Holy Spirit has been bringing this passage before me several times in the last few weeks. Here the Apostle Paul is standing before two pagan leaders who definitely have a different world view than he has.
Here are some things that stood out to me. If you read his whole testimony, he confessed what a sinner he was by persecuting the church. He also respectfully addressed Agrippa and Festus. Here are some examples. Ac 26:3 “especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which have to do with the Jews. Therefore, I beg you to hear me patiently. Here are two examples of Paul addressing Agrippa by his title: Ac 26:19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. Ac 26:27 “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”. He also addressed Festus in a respectful manner. Ac 26:25 “But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.”
Paul never watered down the message about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He truly spoke the truth. On the other hand, he spoke the truth in love. Paul knew that we don’t battle against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Paul knew that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to the casting down of imagination and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
Some say that we are living in Post Christian American. I want to believe that we are living in a time preceding another Great Awakening in America. We can learn some good lessons from Paul when he was brought on trial. First of all speak the truth. Share what Jesus Christ has done in your life. Don’t let the enemy draw you into a fleshly battle. Notice that Paul did not call Agrippa, or Festus scumbags, low life’s, or any other names. He did as Jesus has commanded us to do. He let his light shine. Jesus told his followers this Mt 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Paul wrote these words in Eph 4:15,31 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ-31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. In this hostile culture that we live in speak the truth. But speak the truth in love. Again, speak the truth. We have the truth and we like Paul are called to speak the truth. But we are also called to speak the truth in love. 1Pe 2:1 ¶ “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking.”
One more thing. Agrippa said that Paul almost persuaded him to be a Christian. I have often wondered how many times since that day that Agrippa has perhaps regretted that almost part. Today may all of us ask the Lord to help us to not only speak the truth, but to speak the truth in love. If we heed these words that our Lord Jesus gave us he will help us to do it: Mt 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (NKJV) I would imagine that Paul spent a good amount of time praying for Agrippa, and Festus before he went before them that day. May we obey the Lord and follow the example that He gave us to follow. that is what Paul did. When we do that, we will be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Let us Pray
Lord today we live in a culture where there is much hostility to those of us who serve You and have a Biblical worldview. Today we ask you by the Holy Spirit to help us to represent You in a Christ like manner when we encounter those who are opposed to the Gospel. May You use us to win those who without your grace will spend eternity in torment separated from You.
In Jesus Name
We love you all!