By Ken Weliever
As the peerless apostle Paul pled his cause before Herod Agrippa II in Acts 26, he took advantage of the occasion to preach Christ unto the ones at that gathering. Festus doggedly dodged the emphasis of Paul’s sermon by accusing him of insanity. The immoral Bernice complacently and indifferently sat through the tiring speech. Agrippa, however, seemed to be of a different disposition; he was gracious and courteous to this man of God and listened with interest to his lesson. Yet, at the conclusion of the sermon he could only muster these words: “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” To that Paul retorted: “I would to God that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.”
Many are like Festus in trying to discredit either the gospel or the man who preaches it. Such a rationalization, of course, does not change the Truth. To shout such prejudicial statements as-“You’re narrow-minded” or “You need to have more love” or “That’s just what your little group teaches” does not alter what God has said about any matter. Folks in the religious world need to realize that when God has spoken, it does little good to discredit the messenger of His Word, for It shall abide forever.
Others imitate the unconcern of Bernice. This attitude is a foolish one in view of eternity and the judgment to come. “It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment.” This writer has actually heard people say, “I don’t need all that religious stuff.” How pathetic it is to realize that many will be lost because they have failed to manifest a concern for things of a spiritual nature.
But today many are still trying to soothe their conscience by almost being Christians. Untold thousands are lost because they keep waiting and being almost persuaded. This devilish deception is not uncommon in our day and time. How many hundreds or thousands have heard the Gospel preached with a realization of their needs, but have not obeyed? How many “Agrippa’s” do we have who are almost persuaded? Friend, do not let the angel of death arrive and find you almost a Christian. Be a child of God today!
Truth Magazine, XVIII:34, p. 9
June 27, 1974