And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner.Acts 26:2-26
Have you ever talked with someone about the Truth of the Gospel and found yourself essentially talking to a wall? The defenses are up. The mind is closed. The heart is cold.
Imagine in your mind the scene as Paul is defending the Gospel to the governor Festus and King Agrippa. First, Festus accused Paul of being out of his mind.
How did Paul respond?
With respect to the “most excellent Festus,” Paul said he only spoke “true and rational words”. Next, he reminded his audience that the events relating to the Gospel had not been “done in a corner”, but in public, for all to see fulfilling the Scriptures.
King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.”Acts 26:27-29
What was the king’s response? King Agrippa said, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?”
Paul presented the case for Christ, yet the King was not convinced because it is the power of the Holy Spirit that is necessary to ultimately persuade someone to believe.
Still, Paul demonstrated yet another example of his single-minded persistence. Paul wanted all who heard him believe whether it took a short or long time.
Our duty is simply the same. We are called to defend our faith and depend on God for the increase.