“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 26:29
To my friends: thank you for being so kind to me in reading. I appreciate the love that you show me. And as always, I appreciate you!!!
We’re almost finished with the book of Acts in our study of New Testament Christianity, but not altogether. In Acts 25 and 26, we see the new governor Festus and King Agrippa on the scene of Paul’s unjust imprisonment.
The governor Felix kept Paul in jail when he left office, in order to appease the Jews. The Jews tried to get Festus to send Paul back to Jerusalem so they could kill him, but he didn’t. They kept bringing accusations against Paul that they could not prove. Like Felix, Festus also wanted to please the Jews (Acts 25:9). Paul recognized it and made an appeal to take his case before Caesar.
In the meantime, King Agrippa and his wife Bernice came to visit Festus. He told the king about Paul’s case, who then decided that he wanted to hear what Paul had to say (Acts 5:22). And just as God had told Paul that he would (Acts 9:15), he spoke the Lord’s message before the king – that He was raised from the dead and was a light to all people (Acts 26:1,23).
Paul spoke of how he had been a strict Jew as a Pharisee (Acts 26:4-5), how he persecuted the church (Acts 26:9-11), and his journey to becoming a Christian (Acts 26:12-20). He told of how he preached to the people, “that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance” (Acts 26:20).
After King Agrippa heard Paul’s defense, Paul asked him if he believed. “Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You almost persuaded me to become a Christian'” (Acts 26:28). That’s when Paul responded that he wished that he would almost and altogether become a Christian – along with everyone else who heard him (Acts 26:29).
Agrippa, like Felix, did not respond appropriately to hearing the good news of Christ. He didn’t repent and turn to Christ. He said that he was almost persuaded to follow Christ, but he didn’t. You’ve heard it said that almost doesn’t count.
We won’t be able to stand before the Lord in the judgment and say that we almost believed in Him, or we almost tried to live right, or we almost helped other people in need, or we almost worshiped Him, or that we almost gave our lives to Christ and have it count as having actually done it.
We have to do the will of the Lord in order to enter the kingdom of heaven – not almost do it (Matt. 7:21). God does not almost save. He is not almost just. His Word is not almost true. “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether (Ps. 19:9).
Is there something in your life that you are almost doing for the Lord that you need to altogether do? Are you almost persuaded to become a follower of Christ or are you altogether persuaded? If you are fully persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, then confess His sweet name, repent of your sins, and be baptized to receive forgiveness of your sins. Then, you’ll be a Christian.
Let’s be altogether persuaded and faithful to the Lord.
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