Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 18 Number 1 January 2016
Page 11

Are You a Procrastinator?

Chad Loveless

Are you a procrastinator? Many are addicted to the “last minute.”

According to effectivetimemanagementstratiges.com, in 1978, 5% of Americans were chronic procrastinators. Today that number is 26%. Procrastination seems to be strangling Americans and maybe even a few Christians living in America.

The justification for procrastination varies: Avoidance – avoiding not only the topic or task but places and associated people; Distraction – surfing; Trivialization – not important enough; Laziness; Denial – pretending.

Forty percent of people who have experienced financial loss found that it was due to procrastination. Procrastination can be deadly. Many put off tests and checkups only to hear the phrase, “If we could have just caught it sooner.”

Many, we know, put off stopping bad behaviors with the idea of, “I’ll quit tomorrow.” Procrastination can have eternal consequences too.

In Acts 24, Paul, arrested in Jerusalem, was sent to the governor of the region, Felix, in Caesarea. Because of his influence with the emperor Nero, Felix had obtained the appointment as Governor of Judea. He was a corrupt ruler, and a few years after Paul was sent to him, Felix was replaced with Festus.

Felix wanted to hear what Paul had to say, and the governor was not totally ignorant about the teachings of Jesus. The great New Testament preacher Phillip lived in Caesarea. So, in verses 10-21, Felix allowed Paul to speak, and Paul gave a wonderful defense for himself and God.

Notice two famous parts of Paul’s speech: “I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15 NKJV). Secondly, notice Acts 24:21-22. “Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged by you this day.” But when Felix heard these things, having more accurate knowledge of the Way, he adjourned the proceedings and said, ‘When Lysias the commander comes down, I will make a decision on your case.’”

After some days (we don’t know how long) the Scripture says that Felix came back with his wife Drusilla; she was a Jewess. She was married before to the king of a small province, but she was influenced by Felix to leave him. Drusilla was one of three daughters of Herod Agrippa I. Her father murdered James the apostle. Her great uncle, Herod Antipas, beheaded John the baptizer. Her great grandfather, Herod the Great, in his quest to kill the Christ child had the babies of Bethlehem killed. It was said Drusilla was beautiful, and it’s said she died at the eruption of the volcano Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79.

In Acts 24:24 she was with her husband Felix. “And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. [Notice please] Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, ‘Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you’” (Acts 24:24-25).

Paul reasoned with this sinful and lost couple about three of the most important things in the world: Righteousness, Self-control and Coming Judgment. Felix had an emotional response; Felix was afraid, he “trembled.”

Notice, Drusilla was not shown to respond, but Felix does and Gospel preaching scared him. When Felix heard Paul talk about righteousness, self-control and the coming Judgment, he sent Paul away till a more “convenient” time. Felix heard the truth, but he neglected it. Felix was lost in procrastination.

Jesus warned, Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Sadly, many are not moved to do God’s will. It is my prayer that procrastination’s apathetic fingers will cease its slow tightening.

Christians Are Tempted
but Strive not to Yield

Clarence Lavender

Temptation is a common problem to us all. To be tempted is not sin, but to yield to or to be overcome by such is to miss the mark – sin. Williams James wrote, “No man has matriculated in the university of life until he has been well tempted.”

When temptation comes, we must make a decision concerning it. Only from the Word of God can we find the answer and strength to respond to it in the negative. Paul says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand up against the wiles of the devil.” In the context of Ephesians 5:21-6:9, there apparently was the temptation for wives not to submit themselves to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22), children not to obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1) and servants to rebel against their masters (Ephesians 6:5). The temptation may have been great for some husbands not to love their wives as they should (Ephesians 5:25), for parents who mistreated and provoked their children to wrath (Ephesians 6:4) and for masters to threaten their servants (Ephesians 6:9). Paul recognized the problems in the above relationships and showed them how they could overcome such. Put on the whole armor of God!

Let me suggest, Friend, that it is not any different for us today. In all of our relationships, both in and out of the church, there are many temptations, and we, too, must put on the whole armor of God. We must arm ourselves against temptation and sin (Ephesians 6:11), flee from it (2 Timothy 2:22; Genesis 39:7-9), rejoice in it (James 1:2-3) and rise above it (James 4:7). Always be asking God’s help to overcome temptation and sin (Matthew 6:13). May God grant that we realize our weaknesses and our dependence upon Him in the hours of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).

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