“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. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” 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.””
Acts 26:26-29 NKJV
Horseshoes and hand grenades
As I have proceeded on my journey in the faith, I have come to realize that the way is truly tight, and not everyone is walking the straight and narrow. As time passes, and the coming of the Lord appears more tangible, I am encountering many who are “almost”convinced, almost ready to ask the Lord Jesus to forgive their sins.
Unfortunately, there is something that stops them, something seemingly insurmountable that makes that last step of faith all but impossible.
For many it is sin, for some it is a relationship, for others it is politics, and others it is pride, as they consider that someone had to die for their sins. Many think themselves good enough. In the latter condition, they have not come to terms with the fact that we are all sinners, far from God.
“But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.”
Isaiah 64:6 NKJV
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Romans 3:23 NKJV
I read Acts chapter 26 this morning, and I read of Herod Agrippa II. He was a man who had awareness of all that was happening, and he understood the Way. But he had a huge stumbling block: The queen who occupied the throne next to him, was his wife Bernice. She was also his sister. I can imagine the inner turmoil and conviction that must have pushed through him, as he heard the testimony of Paul and his meeting with the Lord on the road to Damascus.
He knew the power of this Jesus, who Paul preached about, as Agrippa had more than likely witnessed the death of his father Agrippa I, who was eaten by worms in Acts chapter 12.
He was bound by sin, by lust, by sex and relationship. Though he knew the truth, he resisted because he did not want to lose what he had. He was like Adam, standing by Eve as she was deceived. God could have given Adam a new wife, but he had become caught under the spell of the first, as he too ate of the fruit, and all humanity has been cursed through his sin ever since.
One of the saddest things I have observed are the people who attend church every Sunday, but know not the Lord. They are lost and bound for hell, even as the Gospel is being preached to them week after week.
They almost believe, hoping that Jesus will give them brownie points for their attendance. There is no “almost” in salvation, just as there is no almost in pregnancy. Either you are or you’re not, either you’re saved or you are not. Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
“Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.””
John 3:3 NKJV
Like a hand grenade thrown into a crowded room, false professors can be very destructive in the church, as they bring their fleshly walk down the aisles and into the pews, seeking to blow up others, and perhaps tempt them away from the faith. Strong leaders recognize them and mark them.
“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.”
Romans 16:17-18 NKJV
One of my most constant prayer is for those who I sense, through the Holy Spirit, are not saved, that they have an open heart for the Gospel. I know that they are blind to their situation and completely unaware of what awaits.
Let us pray for one another. Let us also pray continually for those that we have witnessed too, who seem open, but have not said yes to Jesus.
They almost desire to be Christians, but they are bound for hell until they do. Let us also be mindful of those with us in the pews, those that we sense are not saved. Let us pray for Holy Spirit driven insight, that we know how exactly to pray.
If you are one who has experienced the negative effects of false professors and wolves in sheep’s clothing, pray that the Lord help you to endure. Leave room for God to work, either to save or repay them for their evil. I have personally witnessed what God can do, and I know that He is faithful.
“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.”
Romans 12:17-19 NKJV
If you are one who is almost convinced, know that Jesus is waiting, today is the day of salvation. In these perilous times, there are no guarantees, not even the next breath or heartbeat.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!