Almost Christian

10/26/2005 6:28 AM

S: ?Then Agrippa said to Paul, ?You almost persuade me to
become a Christian.? And Paul said, ?I would 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.?? Acts 26:28, 29

O: The story of Felix, Festus and Agrippa has always been a
powerful story to me. Felix liked talking to Paul, and he
brought him in to listen to him ? but it was all about
entertainment. It sounds like Paul spent the time really
talking to him and seeking to win his conversion. But
Felix didn?t bite. He just wanted money from Paul and used
him as entertainment ? for two years!

Festus comes along and simply wants to do the Jews a favor.
He wants to do them some kind deed to be expedient to his
rulership. Yet, Paul supersedes the whole thing by
appealing to Caesar.

But along comes Agrippa. With a very short testimony, Paul
reaches to the very core of who Agrippa is. John Maxwell
describes it this way:

In one of his most compelling court speeches, Paul
addressed King Agrippa. As you read this chapter; try to
sense Paul?s strategy. Paul believed the best defense is a
good offense and nearly converted King Agrippa. Maxwell
Leadership Bible, p. 1362

Agrippa?s words were some of the saddest recorded in
scripture: ?You almost persuade me to become a Christian.?
Almost doesn?t count in anything except hand grenades. We
have no record of Agrippa after this ? in the Bible. It
might be interesting to see what historical evidence we
could pull from him and find out really what happened in
the long run.

A: How many times have I heard words like that during
reaping meetings? Oh it hurts to her those words, when
people are nearly persuaded, but don?t come across the
line. I must have heard that dozens of times, if not over
100 times. At various stages in the journey of a series of
reaping meetings, people will say ? either with their body,
their language, or their actual words, ?You almost persuade
me to become a Christian.?

It?s so hard to watch people make that decision and walk
away. It?s so hard to listen to them be so close, and yet
so far. It?s so hard to have them fall away.

But for me, I can never stop trying. It?s in my very
makeup of who I am and who I will always be. I want to
make sure that I am constantly taking strides to call
people to a decision.

P: Lord, I know that you are leading my life and my church.
I know that you are leading my family. I know that we are
trying to listen to you. Please keep leading us to call
people to a decision for Christ. Please keep us asking,
keep us listening, keep us focusing on you. Please help us
to follow you. Please help us to be guided by you. Please
help us to walk with you. I love you, Lord.