Read Acts 26

Highlights:

Paul warns of danger but is ignored; shipwreck follows (Acts chap. 27). Paul is shipwrecked on Melita (Malta) (28:1-10); his witness in Rome (28:17-31).

Although they were famous, Paul's two listeners, Festus and King Agrippa, were merely lost souls standing before God, resisting His Word. Paul testified how, before his conversion, he had opposed Christ and all Christians. He distinctly claimed he was as sincerely conscientious before his conversion as he had been since. Before Paul's conversion, he thought (ignorantly, of course) that in opposing, hindering, persecuting, and destroying Christians, he was actually doing God a service (I Tim. 1:13). This clearly points out that one's conscience is unreliable and is a dangerous guide unless it is enlightened by the Holy Spirit and instructed by the Word of God.

When Saul of Tarsus (later called Paul) raved against God, blasphemed Christ, and breathed out threats of slaughter against Christians, his contemporaries considered him both wise and prudent. But when Paul, the aged apostle, talked in sublime tones of a crucified and risen Savior, Festus, the Judean governor, declared that Paul was a radical who had lost his mind.

Today people who reject Christ as their Savior would agree with Festus that earnest and enthusiastic Christians, who base their present happiness and future hope of heaven on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, are foolish visionaries.

Paul then appealed to the king: King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest (Acts 26:27). Paul felt that Agrippa believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah of Israel and Savior of our world and that Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures (I Cor. 15:1-4).

Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that . . . thou . . . were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds (Acts 26:28-29). Agrippa's heart was touched, his mind was enlightened, and his spirit trembled on the verge of a decision for Christ — nothing was lacking but the decision. Sadly, countless thousands reach this position as did Agrippa and put it off without becoming altogether a Christian. To be almost saved is to be completely lost.

Andrew. . . . findeth his own brother Simon (Peter), and saith . . . We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus (John 1:40-42).

Thought for Today:

And he (Saul) said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest . . . And he . . . said, Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do (Acts 9:5-6)?

Cross Reference:

For Acts 28:26-27: See Is. 6:9-10.

Word Studies:

26:5 most straitest, most exact, strictest; 26:7 instantly, earnestly; 27:7 under, close to, on the side sheltered from wind; 27:12 commodious, suitable; 27:30 under colour, under pretense; 28:2 barbarous people, foreigners who don't speak your language well; 28:13 fetched a compass, circled around; 28:16 suffered, permitted.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Ben Wallace • Government Official: Rep. Tom Reed (NY) • Country: France (59.1 million) in western Europe • Major language: French • Religious freedom • 80% Roman Catholic; 7% Islam; 1.22% Protestant; 1.18% Jewish; 1% Buddhist; .2% Orthodox; .2% Eastern Catholic; .2% Jehovah's Witness; 9% Other/None • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and depend upon the Lord when in need for He will not forsake you (Is. 41:17).

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 6:13