Introduction: This entire quarter we have studied witnessing. What
should we expect as the outcome of our witnessing? What are the
rewards for witnessing? Let’s plunge into our lesson and find out!

  1. Uncertain Results

    1. Do you remember our recent lesson where Paul came to visit
      James and the people in the “home office” (Jerusalem)?
      They suggested ( Acts 21:21-24) that Paul go through the
      Jewish purification rituals so all the Jews would know he
      was “living in obedience to the law?” The result of
      caving in to peer pressure was that there was a riot, Paul
      was arrested (which was a good thing because it saved his
      life) and he ultimately came before Felix, the Governor of
      Caesarea. Let’s read Acts 24:10-13.

      1. What kind of argument is Paul making when he says
        (v.10)he gladly defends before Felix because he has
        been the governor of Israel for many years? (This is
        a slap in the face of his accusers. Paul says to
        Felix, “We both know what kind of people we are
        dealing with here.”)

      2. Who has the burden of proof in this hearing? (Paul
        says (v.13) his accusers have the burden of proof –
        which they cannot meet. This shows the Roman system
        was like the U.S. system in that regard.)

    2. Read Acts 24:14-16. Imagine this is a televised trial and
      you are a TV reporter. How would you describe to your
      audience the kind of argument Paul is making in these
      verses? (He is arguing two things. First, that this is a
      religious dispute. Second, that it turns on some fine
      theological issue because he agrees with his accusers on
      basic theological principles.)

      1. Is this a smart argument? (It is great! Probably the
        last thing Felix wants to get into is some
        theoretical theological argument.)

      2. Is it an honest argument? (Yes. While I don’t think
        these are abstract distinctions, notice that Paul
        starts out (v.14) by admitting he is a follower of
        “the Way” which is a different religion.)

    3. Paul next covers the facts of what happened. Since we
      recently studied those, let’s skip down to verses 22-23.
      Read. Is Felix hostile to Paul?

      1. This says that Felix was “well acquainted” with
        Paul’s religion. Do you think Felix had heard good or
        bad things about it?

      1. How do you think he heard of it? (We will see in the
        next verse (v.24) that his wife is Jewish, that may
        have caused him to be more interested in religion.)

      2. Now that we know the wife of the judge is Jewish,
        what do you think about Paul’s opening remark about
        how he is glad to be before Felix because he has been
        governing the Jews for so many years?

        1. Would devout Jews have looked favorably upon a
          Jew marrying a Gentile? (I think we can now see
          Paul’s angle now.)

      3. Felix says he will wait until Lysias comes. Why does
        he need to wait for Lysias? (Lysias, the Roman
        commander, was the “arresting officer” ( Acts 21:30-33; Acts 23:26-27). He was an important witness.)

        1. Consider Acts 23:24-30. What kind of witness do
          you think Lysias will be, favorable or
          unfavorable to Paul?

    1. Let’s read on: Acts 24:24-25. Is Lysias present? Is this
      Paul’s hearing? (No. It seems Felix and his wife just want
      to hear from Paul.)

      1. What is Paul doing? Is he arguing his case? (It seems
        Paul is simply witnessing!)

    2. Let me give you a little background here. Josephus tells
      us that Drusilla was beautiful, that she had been married
      to the King of Emesa, and that Felix saw her and fell in
      love with her. To win her over, he had a friend, who
      pretended to be a magician, somehow persuade Drusilla to
      leave the King and marry Felix. (See Barnes’ Notes on
      these verses.) Barnes comments, “She was therefore, living
      in adultery with [Felix].”)

      1. With this background, how do you think Felix and
        Drusilla received his words (v.25) on “righteousness,
        self-control and the judgment to come?” (It says
        Felix was afraid.)

      2. As you consider vv. 24-25, is this the proper order
        for witnessing: “faith in Jesus,” followed by
        “righteousness, self-control and the judgment to

      3. Is this the result we want from witnessing? That
        those who hear become afraid?

      4. Felix says (v.25) he has heard enough for now. He
        will hear more about the gospel “when …
        convenient.” Is Paul’s witnessing a success?

        1. What should be our reaction when those to whom
          we witness have this kind of response? (Our
          lesson (Monday) says that Paul succeeded in
          making the “gospel personal” because Felix made
          “an excuse and then an exit.” Jesus does not
          force anyone to choose Him. When we have clearly
          presented the gospel, when the arrow has hit its
          mark, we have done all that we can. The matter
          is then in the hands of the Holy Spirit and the

        2. How do we know when we have “done all we can?”
          Is it possible to “waste time” on someone who
          already knows enough? Do we have an obligation
          to move on to someone who has not heard the

  1. Certain Results

    1. Read Matthew 25:14-18. Verse 14 starts out, “Again, it
      will be like…” Look at the context. What is “it?” (The
      previous story is the parable of the Ten Virgins and it
      starts out ( Matthew 25:1) “At that time the kingdom of
      heaven will be like ….” “It” is the kingdom of heaven.)

    2. Let’s continue reading: Matthew 25:19-30. Is this a story
      about the stock market? Investment banking? Singing?
      Writing? Just what do these “talents” represent? (Verse 27
      tells us that this literally refers to money.)

      1. Do you think investing your money is the point of the
        parable? (I think the main point of the parable is
        advancing the kingdom of heaven.)

      2. The master obviously discriminated among his servants
        at the beginning by giving one five times what he
        gave another. Why is that? Is that proper?

        1. Why did the “two talent return man” and the
          “five talent return man” get the same reward? (I
          think this makes a point about witnessing. We
          may not all have the same “talent” for
          witnessing or reap the same harvest. We may,
          like Paul with Felix, have people who will
          reject our witness. But the reward of God is
          sure: “Come and share your Master’s happiness”
          (vv. 21 & 23).)

    3. Friend, our job is to use the talents God has given us to
      witness for Him. We may find that some put us off and some
      may reject our witness. That is their decision and their
      eternal responsibility. Our reward, however, is certain!
      Will you use your witnessing talents and share in the
      happiness of your Master forever?

  2. Next week we start our study of the book of Proverbs: “First
    Things First.”