All-the-Way a Christian versus Almost a Christian - Part Two

“‘Then Agrippa said unto Paul, ‘Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.’” Acts 26:28 (KJV)

When the Apostle Paul was making his case for Christ before King Agrippa, he testified that prior to his conversion to Christ he was clothed in his Jewish credentials. He was devoted to his deep-seated commitment to the religion of the Jews.

As he spoke to King Agrippa, Paul was on his A-Game!  He was taking the Good News to the highest leaders in the area. He may have been a prisoner but the Gospel was not in chains! His message was thick with truth and rich in reason because his testimony was fixed in the facts of the crucifixion and the resurrection.

Paul had a personal knowledge of King Agrippa’s vast and reputable grasp of Judaism. He was also Jewish and well-taught. So much so that King Agrippa was considered an expert in Judaism.

So when Paul asked if King Agrippa believed the prophets, he had masterfully placed the potentate in a corner. Paul was compelling him to take a stand. Surely the King would not denounce what every Jew believed! But King Agrippa knew that if he acknowledged his faith in the prophets, he must then face the question: “Is Jesus of Nazareth the one true Messiah to whom the prophets were referring?”  Paul was basically calling King Agrippa to be an all-the-way Christian and not an almost Christian.

King Agrippa understood the Word of God and heard the truth, but refused to do anything about it. His conscience caught the concepts, pondered the principals, and exercised his emotions but his will would not walk in the way of truth.

I believe that is the tragedy of many lives today; so close yet so far away. You see a person who comes very close to the kingdom, almost persuaded, but for one way or another, they don't take that final step in. You think, "Oh, how catastrophic to be so close to eternal life, so close to the kingdom of God, so close to freedom from sin. So close and yet so far away.”

One of the possible explanations for King Agrippa refusing to become an all-the-way Christian could be connected to the person sitting next to him: Bernice. She was a sinful, immoral companion and he may have concluded that becoming a Christian would mean losing her and his other immoral associates. He was unwilling to make that sacrifice.

What is it that you will not reject or relinquish in order to have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ? Like King Agrippa, are you embedded in the error of religiosity and rules, roped in rebellious or even repulsive relationships, or kept prisoner by your pride? Listen to what the Scriptures say:

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.” Mark 8:35 (KJV)

“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” Matthew 10:37-39 (KJV)

Please hear my heart. The “almost a Christian” is a foolish proposition. Jesus Christ went all the way in His sacrifice for us and therefore we must go all the way in committing our lives to Him. He did not “almost die” on the cross. Remember a person is not almost dead. He is all-the-way dead. Likewise, one cannot be almost a Christian but must be all-the-way a Christian!


For the Glory of God,
 
PBKSR