Not As Almost As I Thought
Posted on January 22, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” Acts 26:28 (NKJV)
I may have said this in past writings but it does bear repeating, we are living in a time where it appears everyone wants to be heard. Ya woulda thought that Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any of the other social media outlets would have solved that problem. BUT NO…just like all other “fleshy” wants there seems to be an appetite for MORE!!! We can certainly see that with all the brouhaha happening on the cable news channels. Everyone with an opinion concerning the current resident of the Oval Office, to me, is a fine example of what I’m talking about. Even if it’s just to say, “He’s a big meanie head” gets airtime. All done, mind you, to try and persuade us to think just like they do.
I guess its human nature to have people who always agree with you on your side. I also guess its part of human nature to do either one of two things. Convince others that your side is right through Proxy or prove your side is right through Moxy. However, the bottom line to this is that might don’t always make right, just ask a guy who has been proven wrong through the process of proving to others just how right he is and has fallen flat on his face from it. But you know something, I can think of a guy in the Bible who wanted to convince so many people of the way, the truth and the life that he found in Jesus Christ that he would go to great lengths to even get an audience of one.
The apostle Paul was a man that could stand in front of just about anyone and preach the Gospel. At the end of the Book of Acts we’ll see just that. After a foiled attempt, by the Jews, to have him killed Paul will stand in front of King Agrippa, give his defense and testimony, then ask, “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” (Acts 26:27) But Agrippa will balk, take his base and, “Then Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.” (Acts 26:32) Well Paul, ya almost had him. Maybe next time? Maybe it didn’t happen at all.
I’ve been reading John Wesley’s sermon, “The Almost Christian” and I gotta tell ya, it almost has me convinced that I may not be one at all. Now don’t go gettin’ astonished on me over that statement. We ALL fall short of the glory of God so I don’t wanna hear it. Wesley covers his bases pretty good in this sermon and it musta been a tough Sunday morning for most when they heard him give this sermon. But, for me, the kicker in it is the following…
“So that if a man only abstains from doing evil in order to avoid punishment, “You shall not be hanged,” says the pagan, and in that “you have your reward.” But even he will not allow such a harmless man as this to be so much as a good heathen. If then, anyone from the same motive (namely, to avoid punishment, to avoid the loss of his friends or his gain or his reputation) not only abstains from doing evil but also does ever so good—yes, and uses all the means of grace—yet we could not with any propriety say this man is even almost Christian. If he has no better principle in his heart than this, he is only a hypocrite altogether.” OUCH!!
You may be asking, “What’s that all mean?” Well, I’ll tell ya what I think it means. One of the main reasons I said to Jesus was because my life was unmanageable and I was powerless over the consequences that occurred from it. I wanted that to stop. So, my cry was, “Please save me from myself.” That was granted to me, and I praise God for that, but then it came time to put His will in my life into motion. As things had to change my first thought was, “I better do as I’m told or else.” But as I matured, I realized that I was doing the Christian life outta fear of being punished rather than being challenged and receiving grace. Pretty dumb thinking on my part.
How about you? Has the world around you persuaded you to think that this Christian stuff can be all about living a life that has no freedom in it? May it not be! No one said we’d get this stuff right all the time but who is anyone to say that we get it wrong constantly. If you’re living in that mindset…STOP IT!! Being a Christian isn’t an almost thing, that’s true, but it doesn’t mean failure. It means you need Jesus more than you thought. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This: “Good men avoid sin from love of virtue; Wicked men avoid sin from a fear of punishment.” — Epicurus (Greek Philosopher 341-270 BC)
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is [d]for you, but you should rule over it.” -Genesis 4:7
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.