Read: Acts 26:19-28
Ac 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
I. Three key words
A. The first word is 'Almost'
1. Almost = an adverb which means a little less than or nearly; it means to fall short of the mark
2. We use the word often to make failure look like victory.
a. Our team 'almost' won the game.
b. A 'B+' on our report card is 'almost' an 'A'
c. Jason and I 'almost' won the trophy for men's horseshoes…because I 'almost' threw lots of ringers! : )
3. However the context we find this word this morning isn't about games or grades…
4. It is about a man's soul who was lost for eternity, because he fell short of the mark.
B. The next word is 'Persuadest'
1. It is a verb that means 'to convince' or 'to move to a position of confidence or trust'
2. This word illustrates the responsibility of every believer here this morning.
3. We are to do our best to convince others to come to a place of confidence and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. That is what witnessing is all about.
5. Certainly it is the Holy Spirit who must bring conviction and regeneration, but God has chosen to use us to present the Gospel message to others that they might believe.
Mr 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Ro 10:13-14 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Ro 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
C. The next word is 'Christian'
1. As an adjective it means to be 'Christ-like'
2. As a noun it refers to one who has, by faith, placed their trust in Jesus Christ for salvation.
3. There are many things that we might be, and not be a Christian.
a. We might be born in a 'Christian' country like America…but that doesn't make us a Christian!
b. We might be brought up by godly parents who love the Lord… but that doesn't make us a Christian!
c. We might be educated in a Christian fashion…through Sunday school, Christian school, or even Bible college…but that doesn't make us a Christian!
d. We might have been baptized or be on the membership roll of this or another church…but that doesn't make us a Christian!
4. So again to be a Christian is to receive Christ by grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus on Calvary as the complete atonement for our sin.
II. Biblical Examples of 'Almost' Christians
A. Judas - a type of the UNSAVED church member.
Joh 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
1. Judas was baptized by John the Baptist like the rest of the disciples.
2. He was a part of the first assembly of believers established by Jesus Christ.
3. He had the respect and the responsibility of being one of His followers.
4. But he was lost!
a. First he was influenced by Satan
b. Later he was indwelt by Satan
c. Brought by despair to commit suicide
d. He went to his own place
e. He had ample opportunity to accept Christ, but went out into eternity without Him.
B. Felix - a type of the procrastinator who says, not now, but one of these days…
Ac 24:24-25 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. 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.
1. He knew the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, but resisted Him.
2. He chose to put off the most important decision that we can make in our lives.
3. We have no record that he ever found the time to come to Christ.
2Co 6:2b "…Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."
C. Rich Young Ruler - a type of the self-righteous who thinks that as long as he lives a moral life, he doesn't need salvation.
Mt 19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
1. By his own evaluation, he was a good person.
2. After all, he never killed anyone, never committed adultery, never stole anything, never told a lie, always honored his parents, and he even loved his neighbors.
3. But Jesus pointed out there was still something that was lacking…
4. He loved his riches on earth more than the treasure of eternal life.
Mt 19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
5. Many think that they are morally upright and therefore without a need for the Savior, but of course that isn't true!
Ro 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
D. Unbelieving thief - a type of those who come close to Christ, but reject Him.
Lu 23:39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
1. He was close enough to hear the dying words of the Savior as He made intercession for those who crucified Him.
2. He was close enough to hear the precious blood of Christ drip from His body to the foot of the cross.
3. He was close enough to hear the other thief cry out for mercy and receive it!
4. Many are like this man…they sit in churches and hear the Gospel message week after week, they see others come to Christ, but they still reject Him!
E. King Agrippa - a type of one who believes in God, but rejects Jesus Christ.
Ac 26:27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
1. Paul was convinced that Agrippa believed the message of God's prophets, but he would not accept Jesus Christ!
2. Many today will freely admit, "I believe in God," but they will put their faith in Jesus Christ…they are lost!
Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
3. Belief in God will not save anyone!
Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
4. We must place our faith in His Son, Jesus Christ!
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
This morning, are you a Christian? Or are you almost a Christian? Come now and receive Him as your personal Lord and Savior. Let us take the Bible and show you today how you can be saved for all eternity!
For those who are believers here today, what about our walk with Him? Are we almost serving Him with our life? Almost surrendered to Him? Almost a witness for Him?
The great hymn writer, P.P. Bliss, penned these words in 1871.
'Almost persuaded' harvest is past! 'Almost persuaded' doom comes at last! 'Almost' cannot avail, 'Almost' is but to fail! Sad, sad that bitter wail, 'Almost, but lost!'