Summary: Almost being saved is not god enough when God bless, He blesses altogether, not half way. When God call us out of darkness, He calls us all the way, not just half way.
Banner of Praise Ministries
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Rev. Dr. Levi Howard Wright
Pastor ~ Teacher ~ Evangelist ~ Founder
"Almost Being Saved Is Not Good Enough"
TEXT: ACTS 26:24-32
24 And as he spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
25 But he said I am not mad, most noble Festus; but I speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
29 And Paul said, 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.
30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them.
31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.
32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar. (KJV)
The Apostle Paul was persuaded by a heavenly vision. It was a vision that converted his life. It was a vision that changed him from a persecutor of the Christians to a minister of the gospel. Before his conversion and born again experience he persecuted the church and everyone who he came into contact with who stood up for Christianity.
His cruelty toward the Christians was known throughout the land. People would tremble at the sound of the name Saul of Tarsus. Saul religiously persecuted and burned to the stake, professing Christians. He burned out the eyes of others in an effort to make them denounce Christ and all that he stood for.
But one day Paul met the Captain of Salvation while he was on his way to Darmarcus with the authority and commission from the chief priest to suppress Christianity by persecuting the Christians.
As he traveled down the Damarcus Road he met a Persuading Force¡¨ that he could not ignore or reject. It was a force that brought about a change in his whole life, for He saw a heavenly vision that could not be mistaken as a mirage.
He saw a great light, a light from heaven, such as could not have been produced by a delusion, for it was not night, but it was midday. It was not in a house where tricky might have been played with him, but it was on the Damarcus Road, in the open air. The light was such a bright light that it out shined the noon day sun.
This new heavenly vision was not produced by Paul¡¦s imagination, for it shined all around and about the others that traveled with him. The force and power of the light was so great that it caused them all to fall from their horses onto the ground. I can imagine that they wondered what great and strange phenomenon is this that shine before us brighter than the noon day sun.
In the Old Testament times God spoke and manifested himself in the thick darkness and made His pavilion there. He spoke to Abraham in the in the great darkness, for there was a dispensation of darkness. But now that life and immortality has been brought to the light by the Gospel, Christ appeared in a great light.
Christ is the light of the world. Those who traveled with Paul saw the light only, they did not see Christ in the light. Paul not only saw the light, but he heard a heavenly voice coming from the light, speaking to him in the Hebrew tongue, the native language of his religion. Yes, the voice called him by his name twice. Saying Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou me?, it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. Paul asked who the voice belonged too and Jesus responded by saying, I am Jesus whom thou persecutes.
The Lord told Paul to stand upon his feet for he appear unto him in the Heavenly vision for the purpose, to make him a minister of the Gospel. The Lord told Paul to preach the Gospel and witness to both the Jews and the Gentiles that their eyes might be opened and that they might turn from the darkness unto the light.
He told Paul to preach to them that they may turn from the power of Satan unto the power of God, that they may receive forgiveness of sin. He spoke these very same Words of deliverance to King Agrippa.