Almost a Christian
When I was a small boy around age 5-6 I would get up on Sunday morning and walk, alone, down to the southern baptist church approximately 5 blocks away. The security and safety that I felt in being in this place, I believe, was the attraction. This went on for a number of weeks, maybe even months, but it did come to an end. I didn’t get back to church until some years later, and that was for a short period as well. I knew nothing of the Gospel or Jesus and I certainly didn’t know anything about Paul or any of the Apostles. I knew there was something that my life needed and I kept trying to find it inside these buildings where a minister would share words about the Gospel and Jesus. I was almost a Christian but couldn’t find the key to unlock the chains that bound my life to sin and death. The good news is, the first step to removing those chains arrived on December 6, 2002 and they were finally removed on July 8, 2018.
Paul presents his case before another accuser. The latest is a person of high esteem within the Jewish faith and body politic, King Agrippa. The exchange between Paul and King Agrippa paints a beautiful image of testimony that reveals how even though people understand and want to believe they are so married to the chains of sin they will not even look for the keys to unlock themselves from bondage. We have the opportunity to break the chains and be set free, if we are willing to move past being almost a Christian.
Acts 26 NKJV
24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”
25 But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.
26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner.
27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”
28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
29 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.”
30 When he had said these things, the king stood up, as well as the governor and Bernice and those who sat with them;
31 and when they had gone aside, they talked among themselves, saying, “This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains.”
32 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”