Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. ~Acts 26:28
The word “almost” describes a near decision or event. When the terrorist attacks on four of our commercial airplanes occurred on September 11, 2001, there were people who almost took those flights, but did not. There were some people who had planned to enter the World Trade Towers that morning for work, but did not for other reasons. For these people, they are probably living in the memory of, “I almost did, but I’m glad I did not.” Then, there are other people who have had opportunities that they could have benefitted from that they decided against. For these people, they are living in the memory of, “I almost decided to do this, but now regret that I did not.”
We see the deferment.
King Agrippa told Paul, “Almost thou persuadest me….” “Almost” is when we defer a decision until a later time. It means that you are close to making a decision, but you are not in favor of deciding at the moment. It means that you have been given enough facts to make a right decision, but you choose to put it off to another time for consideration. People say “almost” because they are not ready. They say “almost” because they are afraid of what it might cost them. They say “almost” because they are afraid that their family or peers might be critical of them. They say “almost” because they do not think that making a decision now will benefit them. In many cases, people say “almost” because they think that they will have more time to decide in the future.
We see the danger.
Saying “almost” to Jesus is dangerous. When we say “almost” to commitment, we are saying that we do not want to make any commitments right now. When we say “almost” to surrender, we are saying that we will not surrender our life or possessions now, but we will keep thinking about it. When we say “almost” to salvation, we are saying that we think we will have more time in the future to decide. Saying “almost” is telling God that you want to make Him wait for you. Saying “almost” is running from the Spirit’s conviction that you need to obey God, but you have chosen not to. Saying “almost” leads the pastor to think that you are close, but the reality is that you are trying to avoid doing God’s will. Saying “almost” to surrendering to the mission field is saying that you understand that the need for laborers is great, but you don’t want to be part of the solution for reaching the world with the gospel. “Almost” is the one word that can keep you in the darkness of disobedience instead of the light of obedience. “Almost” is the one word that will haunt every sinner who dies and goes to hell.
We see the disappointment.
We have no record that King Agrippa ever repented of his sins and called on Jesus to save him. This man heard a clear gospel presentation and was under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. He could feel the tugging of the Holy Spirit, but he said: “Not now. I’m almost there, but not yet.” He may have been thinking about what it would cost him if he said, “Yes.” He may have been thinking of what he would have to give up. It may be that he thought he had another twenty years to make that decision. However, the disappointment is that he went into eternity having rejected his opportunity to get saved under the preaching of the Apostle Paul. No other Christian was closer to winning Agrippa to the Lord than Paul. I wonder if Paul ever thought, “I should have tried a little harder.” In any case, it is a huge disappointment when someone says “almost” to Jesus when the right decision is to say, “Yes, Lord!”
The key word when it comes to making decisions for God is “now.” “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” Don’t put off the things of God: do it now!
Have a willing-hearted God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Isaiah 36-41