[forthright] Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2008 10:49:08 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine 
http://www.forthright.net 
Straight to the Cross


Forthright Magazine welcomes Paula Harrington as our
newest columnist. She offers "An Encouraging Word."
Check out her bio here: http://forthright.net/about_us/


COLUMN: AN ENCOURAGING WORD

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous 
 by Paula Harrington

They were living, in all likelihood, in a beautiful
beach house on the coast. They were rich, influential,
admired, and used to getting everything they wanted.
They had it all or, at least, they thought they did.

She was born in the 30's into a powerful and corrupt
family. The man she was supposed to marry early in life
backed out of the impending nuptials, so her brother
arranged for her to marry another. That marriage didn't
last long as she left him for another./1 She was a
princess who became a Queen. Her father was Herod
Agrippa I and she was Drusilla.

He was a freedman of Emperor Claudius I. He was sent
from Rome to Judea to serve as procurator from A.D. 52
to 60. History tells us that he reveled in cruelty and
lust, and wielded the power of a king with the mind of
a slave./2 He seduced her away from her husband and
from her learned the Jewish customs. He was Felix.

Enter the Apostle Paul (Acts 24).

Brought to Caesarea, a port city built by Drusilla's
grandfather, Herod the Great, Paul stood before Felix
on charges ranging from stirring up dissension to
desecrating the temple. Days later Paul again was able
to speak to Felix about his faith in Christ and this
time, the procreator was accompanied by his wife.

The exact words of Paul aren't recorded in the second
meeting with Felix, however, we do know that he
preached righteousness, self-control, and the judgment
to come and it was after this that Felix became
terribly afraid.

Righteousness

Righteousness is "our conduct which follows the will of
God and is pleasing to God." We cannot be righteous on
our own. We need God's love, mercy, and forgiveness,
but most importantly, we need his Son, in order to live
righteously before him. Drusilla and Felix needed to
hear about God’s righteousness as much as we need to
hear about it and preach it today.

Self-Control

In our worldly, me-centered culture, self-control is
not a popular custom. We are so accustomed to getting
what we want, that we seldom think of denying ourselves
much of anything and sadly, some believe that God wants
them to be happy even if it means sinning in order to
achieve that happiness.

Judgment

We will all face the judgment of God on that glorious
day,/3 but Christians will have the advantage of having
the great Advocate on their side./4 Sadly, Felix was no
different from many today who hear, believe, and
tremble, yet fail to completely obey the Word of God.

Paul Met Them Where They Were

One could wonder if anyone had ever spoken to Felix and
Drusilla the way Paul did in Acts 24. Paul got
personal. He didn't sugar-coat Felix's situation or
make excuses for him due to his fame and fortune.

Paul spoke of his faith in Christ. He spoke to Felix
and Drusilla about righteousness, self control and the
judgment that they would face. He met Felix and
Drusilla where they were.

Like the Apostle Paul, we should never be afraid to
preach Jesus at any time and to anyone.

_______

1/ Reilly, W. (1909). "Drusilla," in The Catholic
Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
Retrieved September 23, 2008 from New Advent:
http://tinyurl.com/3p53wh 
2/ Bryant, T. Alton The New
Compact Bible Dictionary, 2nd ed, 1967 
3/ Hebrews 9:27
4/ I John 2:1

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