I am sure that most of us have heard the expression that Almost only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades. To almost hit your target with a grenade or to almost get a ringer, sometimes is good enough, sometimes it is all you need, to win.

But this "almost rule", is not universal and it does not apply in all areas. A lot of times almost is not good enough, frequently almost is not all we need -- many times almost means we lose.

What good was it for Gary Hall to almost win the gold in swimming against the Russian Rocket.

What good is it to almost hit a home run.

What wife would accept her husbands explanation that he was almost faithful.

If you saw the Mets and Red Sox World Series several years ago, what good would it have been for Bill Buckner to say, "I almost fielded that ground ball."

Nor is it any good to tell the police who pulled you over, "well, officer, I almost was doing the speed limit."

Sometimes almost is not good enough, sometimes it means, you fail the class, miss the bus, get a ticket or have to go back to the bench.

Look how many stories in the Bible would have been different if the people only went half way, and thought that almost was good enough.

David would have almost fought Goliath;

Noah would have almost build the ark;

Abraham would have almost went to Mt. Moriah with Isaac;

Moses would have almost led the Israelites out of Egypt;

Ezra would have almost rebuild the temple;

John the Baptist would have almost prepared the way...

If these men only went part way, it would not have been enough, and more then likely their names would be as familiar to us as; (SHAMMUA, SHAPHAT, IGAL, PALTI, GADDIEL, GADDI, AMMIEL, SETHUR, NAHBI, GEUEL; 10 SPIES WHO ALMOST BROUGHT BACK A GOOD REPORT).

As the book of Joshua opens up God’s people the Israelites are almost to the promise land. They are at the very edge and the promise land lies west, just across the Jordan River.

So there Joshua and all of Israel were, camped on the east side of the Jordan, just waiting to enter the land that was promised to their fathers, nearly 700 years ago. What a journey it was, that God’s people took over those years.

It all started back 2092 BC when Abraham was called by God to father a nation of people who would worship the One True God. God promised Abraham that this nation would be a great nation and would possess a great land, "The Promise Land."

Their journeys would eventually take them to Egypt, where they would spend 430 years, nearly all of which was as slaves, building cities for the pharaohs. Their time in Egypt was not pleasant, Exodus 1:14 reads; "THEY MADE THEIR LIFE BITTER WITH HARD LABOR IN BRICK AND MORTAR AND WITH ALL KINDS OF WORK IN THE FIELDS; IN ALL THEIR HARD LABOR THE EGYPTIANS USED THEM RUTHLESSLY."

But God did not forget them during their hardships, their cries were heard by the Mighty One, and He sent them a deliverer. Moses through he power of God performed great miracles and won the Israelites freedom, bringing the powerful Egyptian Empire to her knees.

But even though the Israelites saw God’s mighty hand, they rejected God shortly after their deliverance and were forced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. The entire generation that had rejected God, except for Caleb and Joshua were now dead, and the new generation was only a river away from entering the promise land, they were almost there, after 700 years. But almost was not good enough, they needed to go all the way.

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY, Christianity has so little impact on the world. Have you ever wondered why Christians adults and teens don’t seem to be all that different from the world. Many recent studies have shown that the values and ethics of Christians is not at all that different from those in the world. Is that good news? Does that mean that our world is rapidly becoming more moral? I think we all know the answer to that. What the closing of the gap simply means is that, Too many Christians can lie, abuse their families emotionally and physically, steal, drink, cheat ..etc with the best of them.

Today, I’d like to suggest a reason for this decline within Christianity and I will also propose a solution.

The reason, I believe is really very simple. FAR TOO MANY CHRISTIANS, have only gone, "almost" with God. They like the Israelites, have been delivered from bondage, a much more deadly and more powerful bondage, then Egyptian slavery, the bondage of sin, whose wage is death, eternal death.

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