Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
When studying the Bible, it is not unusual to come across a scripture that you think is sad. You might think it was sad for Adam and Eve to sin by eating the forbidden fruit that resulted in them being banished from the Garden of Eden.
You might think it was sad that Delilah told the Philistines that Samson's strength was in his hair which resulted in them cutting his hair, gouging out his eyes, and taking him as a prisoner.
You might even think it was sad that the dogs ate up Jezebel's body, even though she was an evil queen. You might think it was sad that Judas betrayed Jesus.
You have every right to think those things are sad. I think those things are sad, but I think the saddest scripture in the Bible is what King Agrippa told Paul.
Paul was being sentenced to death. First, he was allowed to plead his case before the political leaders, including Felix, Festus, and King Herod Agrippa. Paul told King Agrippa about himself and tried to teach him about the saving power of Jesus Christ. In fact, he appealed to Agrippa to believe. Agrippa listened attentively, but then he confessed to Paul:
“You almost persuaded me to become a Christian” (Acts 26:28).
I think what Agrippa said was sad because Agrippa was close to believing, but he didn't quite get there. He did not confess Jesus as Lord of his life at that time. The Bible does not say whether Agrippa ever did become a Christian. Because Agrippa was "almost persuaded" and never "fully persuaded" at that time, we don't know whether we will see him in heaven or not. That was the last time he was mentioned in the Bible.
Don't be like Agrippa. Don't stop at being "almost persuaded." Be fully persuaded that Jesus died for your sins, and God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10).
The Word "Almost"
“Almost” is one of the saddest words in the English language. You might wonder why it is the saddest word. The word is similar to another sad word, “Near”
“Almost” means being close to the end of something, but not completely there. It is coming slightly short of something. "Almost" is coming real close, but not quite making it. You have probably heard it said, "Coming close doesn't count unless you are playing the game of horseshoes."
“Almost” is like getting a bite on a fish hook, but when you yank the pole up, nothing is there. You almost caught a fish, but you won't be eating that fish for dinner.
“Almost” is like getting a 59 on a test when the passing score is 60. "Almost" is like getting to the airport the moment the airplane is leaving. You were almost on time, but you still missed the plane. “Almost” is actually being close to something, but not quite close enough for your desired results. That's why it is upsetting when athletes lose by a point or a nanosecond.
Biblical Examples of People Who Were "Almost Persuaded"
Agrippa was not the only person in the Bible who encountered an "almost" situation. The rich young ruler went to see Jesus about becoming a disciple. He was almost ready to follow Jesus until Jesus told him he had to give up his riches. The Bible says the rich young ruler walked away very sad (Luke 18:18-23).
The five foolish virgins almost entered the room to see the bridegroom, but the door closed just before they could go in (Matthew 25:1-13).
When Jesus was tried, Pilate, the governor at that time, almost saved Jesus' life because he did not find him guilty. Because Pilate was afraid of the people, he washed his hands over the situation and sentenced Jesus to death (John 19:16).
When we see Jesus face to face, we want to hear Him say, "Well Done" instead of hearing Him almost saying it. Let's not be like Agrippa because being "almost persuaded" will not get us into heaven. We must be fully persuaded by believing in the saving power of Jesus Christ. We must receive and accept the gospel message by faith (John 3:16).
Abraham was fully persuaded and believed what God promised him would come to pass. God made a covenant with Abraham that he would be the "Father of Many Nations" with descendants, land, and riches. That's why Abraham was able to take Isaac to be sacrificed on Mount Moriah. He was convinced that God was in control of the situation and Isaac would not be killed (Genesis 22:1-18). By faith, Abraham did not waver or stagger at God's promise.
We should be fully persuaded because God has shown us in His word that He is our God and we are His people. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will protect those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High (Psalm 91:1)
In conclusion, we can be "almost persuaded" like Agrippa, or we can be "fully persuaded" like Abraham (Romans 4:21). Hopefully, you will choose to be the latter.