“But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you.” Acts 24:25
1. Preaching on righteousness and what is right living.
2. Preaching on self-control and putting away sin like adultery and other immorality.
3. Preaching on the coming judgment.
Preaching like Paul will prick the sinners heart to obey. Some do and some get frightened and send it away.
The Holy Spirit was promised to come to the Apostles and, “He will convict the world of sin [compare to point 2 made by Paul], and of righteousness [compare with point 1 from Paul’s sermon to Felix], and of judgment [compare with third point from Paul’s sermon to Felix].
Therefore the 3 point message of the Holy Spirit is,
1. Repentance from sin.
2. Practice righteousness and holy loving.
3. Tell the people that judgment is coming.
This three point message is called preaching the Gospel. It’s called making disciples and calling for complete obedience to Jesus Christ, Mark 16:26; Mt. 28:18-20. It’s called preaching “repentance and remission of sins in His name to the nations”, Lk 24:47. It’s about pricking hearts and calling for people to turn from this evil world, Acts 2:37-41. It’s preaching, “faith in His name”, to receive salvation, Acts 3:16. Preaching should call for repentance and turning to God so your sins will be forgiven, Acts 3:18. Good preaching calls for people to turn from evil and to turn to good so that forgiveness and “times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord.”, Acts 3:19. It is summed up as, “preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ”, Acts 8:12. Or it is simply called preaching “Jesus”, Acts 8:35.
In both Acts 8 instances, the people were immediately escorted to the water to be baptized for their sins to be washed away. When the Eunuch and the Samaritans were baptized, they turned from evil to live as disciples of Jesus so that by God’s grace they secured salvation at the coming judgment day.
When Peter preached to Cornelius, Peter preached about God judging the living and the dead and about remission of sins, Acts 10:42-43. By good preaching, Cornelius learns that he is lost and needs God’s forgiveness to be ready for the judgment day. After the miraculous Holy Spirit confirmation that God is accepting Gentiles into the kingdom, after this, Peter immediately commands that Cornelius be baptized.
Today, if we preach against sin, and for righteous living so that people are ready for the judgment day, we must do as Philip and Peter did and command that people get baptized. And the words of Ananias should not be foreign, who said,
“And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on His name.” Acts 22:16.
Don’t you see that Saul was not washed on the road to Damascus. Paul prayed for four days, while blind, yet he was still not washed. Ananias made it plain that baptism was necessary to begin this new life. If Paul was to be saved from his sin and prepared for judgment day, he needed to be baptized and wash away his sins.
Three point preaching is preaching to do with the past, present and the future. The past is the life of sin to be repented of. The present is the life in Christ we are to live. The future is heavenly glory if we are prepared for the judgment day.
If you hear the preaching of Faith in Jesus, turn from sin, live to God, and you will be saved at the judgment of God.