Summary: Pilate would tell you today that when it comes to deciding for Christ… Almost is never enough.
INTRO: 1. Pilate…a man who in his lifetime knew so much prestige and so much power.
a. He had many times been the guest of Caesar himself.
b. He had ruled over thousands in his lifetime.
c. His word was as good as law.
d. Held the lives of so many in his hands.
e. He lived in the finest palaces, surrounded by many servants.
2. But if you where granted an audience with Pilate today, he would say nothing about his great accomplishments, the power, wealth or prestige he held.
a. But with tears in his eyes Pilate would cry out “Almost, Almost!! I almost did the right thing. I was so close but let it slip right through my fingers.”
b. I could have listened, I could have changed my life and most of all changed my eternity.
3. “Almost” speaks of missed opportunities, aborted efforts, fumbled chances.
a. So important was the lesson here that all four of the gospel writers included it in their gospels.
4. God had orchestrated this time in his life. (So it is in your life)
a. Couldn’t blame it on a lack of opportunity.
ILL. As I studied this I came to discover that there were only a few years that Pilate dealt with civil matters. (First 6 years. temporary filled in for the absence of Legate of Syria)
b. Couldn’t blame it on lack of power or authority. (Wore the signet ring)
c. Couldn’t blame it on a lack of understanding. (Understood Jesus’ innocence, even that Jesus claimed to be Christ, even applied placard on Cross—King of the Jews))
d. Couldn’t blame it on a poor messenger. (Jesus himself)
e. Couldn’t blame it on lack of warnings. (Even Wife that loved him most sent a warning)
5. Five chances Pilate had…five chances he let slip through his fingers.
a. Never had there been a more important choice than what Pilate faced.
b. Never will there be a greater question given you than “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?”
6. Many of the poor attempts Pilate made when it came to this decision, multitudes are still making today.
a. Many are convinced that if I can almost make a decision then God will honor that.
b. Pilate would tell you this morning that when it comes to deciding for Christ… Almost is never enough.
I. PILATE THOUGHT HE COULD AVOID THIS DECISION
a. Pilate knew what should be done, but he failed to act.
b. Pilate thought avoiding this decision was the easy way out.
c. Many believe if they just avoid God’s house, God’s people, hearing a message, reading a tract then God will give them a free pass.
d. How often I’ve seen people I know need the Lord, simply slip out of that door before the message.
e. But just as Pilate tried to pass Jesus along to Herod… Jesus just keeps coming back.
f. No matter where we go or how bad we live the question remains ever before us.
A. THIS IS AN INESCAPABLE DECISION
1. Avoiding it won’t make it go away.
2. Can’t escape into sin, for He died for the sinner.
3. Can’t escape into darkness, because He is the light.
4. Can’t escape into the crowd, He know the number of the hairs on our head.
5. Avoiding Jesus won’t free us from making this decision.
Heb. 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
B. THIS IS AN INTENTIONAL DECISION
1. If we make no decision, we’ve actuality made a decision.
2. This isn’t a matter of choosing between being a sinner or a saint…we were born sinners.
3. Our neglect will return to condemn us.
4. It’s intentional because we know what we’ve ignored.
Heb. 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
5. When you avoid making this decision you aren’t refusing the preacher or the church… but Jesus Christ himself gave everything to turn you from a path of damnation.
6. It’s intentional because we neglect to act on it.
ILL. If you neglect to pay your taxes or renew your driver’s license the law doesn’t give you a break. There is a penalty in the natural world for neglect.
7. Jesus has made it so easy that we have to be intentionally negligent to refuse it.
8. Intentional because we’ve decided to remain against him.
Matt. 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.