Almost – Sermons & Articles

Acts 26:24-31- 24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, ”Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” 25 But he said, ”I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. 26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, ”You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” 29 And Paul said, ”I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.” 30 When he had said these things, the king stood up, as well as the governor and Bernice and those who sat with them; 31 and when they had gone aside, they talked among themselves, saying, ”This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains.”

As you know Paul was arrested in the Temple and brought up on false charges. As he defended himself before the Sanhedrin, because he was a Roman citizen, he was taken into custody by Roman soldiers. Taken to Caesarea, He was permitted to present his case to Felix, the governor, and then to Festus who succeeded him. Eventually, Paul got the opportunity to stand before King Agrippa and his wife, Bernice. It was then that he gave the king his testimony of how he became a believer on the Damascus Road.

Agrippa made a very familiar statement in response to Paul’s testimony. This statement has been repeated countless numbers of times by multitudes of people since Paul’s defense before the king. It may even sound familiar to you.

Actually we only need to examine one word in this statement. The word ”almost” is one of the Bible’s most enlightening words.

ALMOST: ”The meaning of the word”

28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, ”You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

There has been a lot of debate over the years over what Agrippa meant when he said what he did to Paul. Some have even said that he made this statement while looking down his nose at Paul as if to say, ”Are you really trying to convince me to become a Christian?” This doesn’t seem to be the case. I’ve seen people sneer at a gospel witness and I’ve seen people under conviction because of a gospel witness I believe Agrippa was under conviction.

The word ”almost” does not describe a general principle. It actually describes ”a moment in time.” I believe Agrippa was saying, ”In this moment of time I am very close to becoming a believer and giving my life to Christ.” Did he eventually, we don’t know. But it’s not likely.

ALMOST: ”The responsibility of the word”

28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, ”You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

Paul’s goal in sharing his testimony was not to merely tell a story but to give Agrippa what he needed to make an informed decision about Christ. The word ”persuade” means to ”have confidence in” or to ”rely upon.” Agrippa told Paul that he was right at the point of making a decision for Christ. He was almost persuaded to rest in Christ as his Savior.

What kept him from pushing through to trusting Christ? What caused him to be almost persuaded instead of being persuaded to become a believer? It was a simple matter of his will. It could have been his pride or his position but it was neither of these. It was his decision to make and he refused the opportunity. Like the rich, young ruler Agrippa turned away from grace. Agrippa had no one to blame but himself.

ALMOST: ”The tragic nature of the word”

28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, ”You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

Do you know what the term, ”The point of no return means?” It originated during the Second World War. When a pilot left a landing strip or a carrier he had to make sure he had enough gas to get to where he was going because he knew there would come a time when he didn’t have enough gas to get back. That was his point of no return. When Agrippa used the word ”almost” he had come to his point of no return but kept going.

Unfortunately, the word ”almost” has defined the life of many believers and non-believers alike. Many non-believers have almost gotten saved but have left this world lost and doomed to eternal separation from God. Many believers have almost become committed disciples of Christ but have left this life without ever having taken a firm stand for the Savior.

This word ”almost” is one of the most tragic words in the New Testament.

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