Judgment To Come

"And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance and judment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time. When I have a convenient season, I will call for thee."—Acts 24:25.

Felix was a Roman pagan—a believer in a future judgment whose punishments were post mortem, and his wickedness, and the iniquity of the pagans around Paul illustrate the evil influence of a belief in a far-off and uncertain, and a disbelief in a near, immediate and certain retribution. Paul preached to Felix, not a remote, but an impending judgment. The Greek kai tou krimatos, tou mellontes esethai, rendered "judgment to come," ought to be translated by "the judgment about to be." The passage reads literally, "And as he was discoursing concerning justice, self-government, and that judgment about to come, Felix, being terrified, answered," etc.

Parkhurst says, "mello signifies, with an infinitive following, to be about to do a thing, futurussum. (Matt. 2:13; 16:27). Both the verb and participle are in the New Testament joined with the infinitive future, as esethai. So likewise in the purest Greek writers."

Dr. Campbell says: "Mellon often means not future, but near. There is just such a difference bertween estai, and mellei esesthai, in Greek, as there is betweenit will be, and it is about to be in English. This holds particularly in threats and warnings."

Now Felix was a corrupt man; he was living in open adultery with Drusilla, and was a sample of the wickedness of his times, and as Paul announced the sure results of his wickedness, and of that of his contemporaries, the fearful picture aroused the conscience of the wicked ruler, and he was alarmed. Within ten years, Nero, the Emperor, was killed, and Felix, his favorite, went under in the general downfall, and the awful times that followed vindicated the prophecy of the apostle, and justified the fears of the guilty and conscience-smitten king. The apostle proclaimed to the procurator of Judea the legitimate judgment about to come, and that did come within a decade on him and those who like him were sinners against God and man and their own souls.

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