Almost Persuaded - Acts 26

Almost Persuaded

Acts 26:1-32

King Agrippa and his sister Bernice, with whom he had an incestuous relationship, had come up to Caesarea to greet Festus, the new governor.  He told the king about Paul.  Agrippa showed great interest in hearing what Paul had to say.  So the following day the king and Bernice enter the auditorium with great pomp, being accompanied by the commanders and prominent men of the city.  Festus was also there.

Paul, the prisoner, was brought before Agrippa, and afforded the opportunity to speak for himself.  He testified of his manner of life from his youth, how he had belonged to the strictest sect of Judaism.  In his zeal for God he persecuted the followers of Jesus of Nazareth.  He went on to speak of his conversion and call to the ministry to the Gentiles.  He continued his testimony, saying, "Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come---that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles."  Acts 26:22, 23.

Festus interrupted, shouting, "Paul, you are beside yourself!  Much learning is driving you mad!"  In other words, he said that Paul was crazy.  Today some people share his sentiments regarding Christianity.  But Paul went on, "For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escape his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner."

Be aware that King Agrippa was also known as Agrippa II.  His father was Herod the king, Agrippa I, with whom we became acquainted in Acts 12.  You'll remember that he harassed the church, killed James, and had Peter put in prison.  Now Paul is testifying before this madman's son, who was not ignorant of his father's dealings with believers.  King Agrippa was not uninformed of the gospel of Christ.

Paul asked, "King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets?  I know that you do believe."  The king responded differently than Festus.  He answered, "You almost persuade me to become a Christian."  Almost persuaded!  It isn't enough to believe that the prophets and Moses spoke the truth.  King Agrippa believed, but was not persuaded.  Paul's final word: "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."  "Almost" always comes up short.  Imagine almost believing, almost having your sins forgiven, almost being born again, almost becoming a child of God, almost having eternal life, and almost going to heaven.  What a tragedy!

 

Heavenly Father, we know there are no half-ways in believing in You.  Either we do or we don't.  Thank You for the assurance that You give in Your Word.  Increase our faith.  In Jesus' name.  Amen! 

 

Aristarchus of Thessalonica - Acts 27 

 
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