Acts 24:24 – And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
Acts 24:25 – And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
Acts 26:27 – King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
Acts 26:28 – Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
Hello readers, thank you once again for reading my blog. It’s been a long week for me so I am a bit tired putting this together but I believe this can be quite a blessing to you and hope it is! Today I am going to talk about the topic of being convinced. The primary meaning of the word according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary is “To persuade or satisfy the mind by evidence”. I realized recently that importance of this subject. So often I talk to people who aren’t convinced by God’s word and they are not convinced of the truth of God’s word. And because of this, everything else falls down. You can’t go anywhere as a Christian, you can’t even be saved, without being convinced of the truth of God’s word.
I quoted above two separate accounts from Acts where Paul talked to big dudes in the Roman empire. They were sitting in judgment of him, Paul was a prisoner at this time, but it gave Paul a chance to share the gospel with them. You know, sometimes we are where we are at in life, in tough situations, for the betterment of someone else. Joseph spent time as a slave and a prisoner in a dungeon, all so that he could be a blessing to the rest of the known world during a time of grievous famine. So here is Paul talking, and witnessing, to Roman kings! Imagine that, the apostle Paul standing before you giving his life story and telling you the gospel of Jesus Christ. These guys had a chance to be saved.
But the problem is… they weren’t quite convinced. They sort of were, but not enough to be saved clearly! I want to compare and contrast two types of people not only in the Bible, but two types of people that are in this world today. I remember back to Genesis 25 when Rebekah enquired of God about the two twins she had conceived who were now madly struggling in her womb… and God told her that two manner of people were in her womb who would be separated out from it. And they were, Jacob and Esau went very different directions in life, they were two different types of people. There are two types of people in this world ultimately, saved and lost. There’s light and darkness, good and evil, God and Satan, truth and lie. And ultimately… it all boils down to whether or not God’s word convinced you or not.
You see, Paul wasn’t just talking off the cuff to these Roman rulers. Paul gave God’s word to them. What a chance they had, the apostle Paul talking to them, sharing the word of God with them… and King Agrippa said “almost”. Almost… what a word almost is. I wonder how many people are in hell today crying out “almost!”. But I don’t need to wonder about others so much, f or in my own life I’ve been in “almost” phases for days, months, years at a time. I’ve been an almost in my life, I almost obeyed God fully, I almost did this, I almost did that… but didn’t quite. Almost isn’t good enough.
You know what’s amazing, they hear God’s word from God’s man, and they weren’t convinced by it. And these guys are two half positive examples, as they actually listened and considered and wavered. They knew there was something to what Paul was saying. This world is just like that. Why do you think the Bible is so hated and persecuted and those who hold to it and follow it so ridiculed, ostracized and shamed? It’s because there’s something to it. But knowing there’s something to it still isn’t being convinced. Contrast these guys, and other examples we will see today with those found in this verse in Hebrews 11…
Hebrews 11:13 – These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
This verse is in the midst of an incredible and notable chapter. The “by faith” chapter. See, while many are not convinced by God’s word, or convinced of God’s word as truth… these guys in Hebrews WERE. These heroes of the faith were convinced. They lived a life convinced of the truth of God’s word. God’s word convinced them. Just go through Hebrews 11. God’s word convinced Abel to offer the more excellent sacrifice than Cain. It’s God’s word that convinced Noah to build the ark. It was God’s word that convinced Abraham to leave Mesopotamia for Canaan. It was God’s word that convinced Abraham to offer up his son Isaac to God at Mount Moriah. It was God’s word that convinced Moses’ parents not to chuck him in the river. It was God’s word that convinced Moses to forsake Egypt after having being raised as an Egyptian. it was God’s word that convinced Moses to put the blood on the doorpost, to pass through the Red Sea. And so on and so on. It’s God’s word, God’s word, God’s word. These guys in Hebrews were all convinced by God’s word.
Think about it. If they weren’t convinced by God’s word and of God’s word… they wouldn’t have done what they did. They did what they did, because they were convinced that God’s word was the truth. God’s word was their authority and rule in their life. That’s why their life was by faith, because that’s what faith is, believing God’s word. And if you truly believe it, you’ll obey it. It’s pretty logical right? You know what’s incredible though… compare these guys to Christians today… and Christians today aren’t convinced by God’s word anymore. They call themselves Christians and children of Abraham and partakers of this promise that the guys in Hebrews 11 had… yet there is no “by faith” in their life at all. They have a faith, but it’s not Biblical faith at all. Their faith is in themselves and their made up god. God’s word isn’t enough for Christians today. To them God’s word is a chore, an inconvenience, they’re not convinced by its truth, they’re not convinced enough for it to be in authority over and rule their lives. They umm, they ahh, they dispute, question, investigate, doubt God’s word. Abraham didn’t do that. Joseph, Moses, Daniel, Job… they didn’t do that. They believed. But for most people today, they aren’t convinced by God’s word. They hear God’s word, they read it, and they’re not convinced by what they’re reading as it’s the truth! Crazy!!
Sometimes I’ve had the theme of “children of Abraham” in recent blogs. It means people who walk the same steps as Abraham… he was like a model believer. God’s word convinced Abraham enough to leave his home country, but God’s word isn’t enough to make Christians leave any of their worldliness, flesh and sin. We’re not like Abraham today, we don’t walk the steps of the heroes, the fathers before us. We’re trying to be his children but we are not really. It’s like the Jews in Jesus’ day claiming Abraham as their father like that made them righteous and good and entitled… and Christians today are literally no different, they profess to be Christians, but they bear no resemblance to Jesus Christ whom they profess. As Jesus said to them… you’re seeking to kill me because I told you the truth… this did not Abraham. The audacity of these people was to garnish the sepulchers of the prophets that God sent them that they killed. That’s how treacherous, pretentious and hypocritical we can be, if you actually met Paul you’d probably hate his guts when he rebuked your sin. Even the Corinthian church took his rebuke better than we would. We speak good of him and those who have gone before now, but if they were around today we’d hate them… just like the Jews with their prophets back then.
So we can go through the Bible, and good and bad, we see people who rose and fell based on what they did with God’s word. What attitude they had to it. We are in the mess we are in with sin in this world for many thousands of years all because Eve was not convinced by God’s word. She let Satan cast doubt on God’s word… and here we are after thousands of years of death, pain and suffering. There’s plenty of bad examples. Think about the old world in Noah’s day. You see, while Noah was convinced by God’s word, convinced enough to obey and build an ark and prepare himself… the rest of the world was not convinced by God’s word. So while judgment was coming, they were busy getting on in life and pursuing their selfish lusts and pride. There are people all through the Bible who were not convinced. There was a terrible famine in Samaria in the days of Elisha the prophet, and Elisha said in the word of the Lord that by this time tomorrow they’d all be feasting, but one guy was not convinced by God’s word, and he died before he ever saw that time come. Read through the Old Testament and you see all the prophets God sent to them… and guess what, they said you’re lying, you’re a trouble maker, they made the prophets the problem and killed them.
There was so many examples where people weren’t convinced by God’s word, but by something else. In Joshua 9, Joshua and the people were convinced by the Gibeonites lies, convinced enough to make an alliance with them that they weren’t supposed to. They were convinced by moldy bread and broken bottles. Joshua and the people were convinced by what they saw. They didn’t consult God because they were convinced by “evidence”. How much false “evidence” today is what convinces people. You see the amazing thing is this. People believe a lot of false evidence today. Lies convince them. God’s word doesn’t, you know, the truth… but yeah give people some lies and sold! They swallow whatever comes through their TV or on Facebook. They’re happy with evidence that suits what they want to hear and believe and think. The Bible isn’t admissible evidence in their minds. People say the Bible isn’t evidence, but as far as evidence goes, a book written by many witnesses over thousands of years with unmatched historical and prophetic and personal and corporate power … that is pretty darn good evidence. But for so many people they don’t like the Biblical evidence, they’ll go by what some scientist says or some politician or some news anchor or by wait for it “consensus”. Majority opinion isn’t necessarily godly opinion.
What about another bad example. Isaac, when blessing his sons, he was convinced by what he felt. Uh oh, another mistake, see, he was convinced by something other than God’s word. That’s the problem. You go by what you see, and hear, and feel, and think, and reason… and they can all be wrong and you can be deceived. If Satan is the prince of the power of the air, the news traveling on the air to you today, it’s gonna have you believing whatever the spiritual wickedness in high places wants you to believe. That’s why people just believe whatever the world is saying. Isaac went by what he felt… and he got fooled. He got convinced by feelings… not by what he heard. What he heard made him doubt, but his hearing was overridden by his feelings. What a lesson for Christians today. They take feelings over the hearing of God’s word. The voice was Jacob’s but the hands felt like Esau’s… he got confused and fooled. There will be no confusion for you when you decide to take God’s word as truth… when you are convinced that the Bible is your source of authority, light, truth, your true guiding star for navigating the dark night of this world.
One amazing thing to consider is this. You know how you’re not convinced by God’s word. Yet you hate God’s word, it’s the bane of your existence. If only it could be changed right? The problem is God’s word does convincing. Why did they kill all the prophets? Because God’s word was CONVINCING them of their sin. God’s word convinces the world of sin and of righteousness and judgment. That’s why people of this world hate God’s word. They hate it’s convincing power. With its convincing power comes it’s convicting power! Convince is very similar to “convict”… and God’s word has convicting power.
I looked up the word convince in the King James Bible… and the word convince is found seven times, and if you look at the seven instances, you’ll learn a lot. I won’t go into them all, but the very first mention is in Job 32:12, where Elihu said “there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words”. See, the counsel of Job’s friends was not God’s word. For all their wise, righteous, intelligent input (sarcasm)… none of it was God’s word… and Job wasn’t convinced by their stupid arguments, reasoning, and bluster. Why aren’t we like Job? Not convinced by lies. Why are we so easily convinced by garbage? Probably because we are like the people in this verse … Jeremiah 5:31 – The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? Think about that “my people love to have it so”. People buy lies because they love the lies… that’s why. They don’t like God’s word convincing and convicting them.
The third mention of it is in Acts 18:28 where Apollos “mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.” The Jews didn’t believe in Jesus, but Apollos used the Bible to show them that Jesus was the Christ. That’s where our convincing should come from… God’s word. The theme continues in the fifth mention, which is in Titus 1:9, about holding fast the faithful word and by sound doctrine exhorting and convincing the gainsayers. There’s quite a lot of gainsayers out there today, people and pastors gainsaying… saying the right things to promote self and gain favor, acceptance and money. But it’s the same theme of God’s word doing the convincing.
In Jude 1:15, we see the seventh mention, and that’s in Enoch’s sermon, you know, Enoch… the by faith guy in Hebrews 11… well he told the wicked crowd that the Lord was coming and he would execute judgement and “convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Woah, what a preacher. And he said guys, you will be convinced one day… you see, this world can be convinced of all the devil’s lies… but in the end, every single person will be convinced of the truth of God’s word, of the truth of Jesus Christ. It’s a matter of when, not if!
The thing is, Biblical faith is being convinced that God’s word is the truth. Abraham was so convinced he took his only son to Mount Moriah in obedience to God’s word. That’s how highly he held the word of God in his mind. Even against all odds, despite what it looked like, he believed God’s word so strongly about his son that he thought even if I sacrifice him, God will raise him from the dead. Abraham didn’t stagger… because he had full assurance. Against hope he believed in hope. Everything we learn from Abraham, the example to us all of faith, everything we learn is that he was convinced by God’s word. That was his life, a life of obeying God’s word. He believed God… that’s where he got his righteousness from. Why aren’t Christians convinced by the Bible anymore? Right from Genesis 1 they debate, dispute and disbelieve it all. They’re not convinced by it of truth… no, they’re much more like those ungodly people that Enoch was preaching to.
God’s word is the evidence. That’s why Hebrews 11 starts with this… Hebrews 11:1,2 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. For these guys, God’s word was what convinced them. They believed and obeyed, by faith. Their faith was placed in God’s word. That’s the right place to place your faith. Don’t think it was a small thing, they died in faith, they died trusting God, trusting that God was who he said he was, that God would do what he said he would do. But the thing is, God keeps his promises, his word is so good there is no greater evidence than his word, he swore by his own word it’s that reliable, that incorruptible, that eternal.
We as Christians need to get back to a reverence for God’s word. God’s word moved Noah with fear to build that ark. Where is the fear of God today? The third verse of Hebrews 11 starts with “Through faith we understand…”. When is that going to be true of you? When is your understanding going to be based on what God’s word says… even if everything you think, feel, hear goes against God’s word? Faith is believing God’s word, trusting it, obeying it, staking your life and your eternity upon it. But it’s a sure thing… and for those that do, it is well worth it eternally. You can be a Hebrews 11 person. Hopefully God’s word is your evidence, hopefully God’s word has convinced you, hopefully you have been convinced by God’s word, may God convince you of the truth of his word, the Holy Bible, today.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)