Summary: Here's a sermon dealing with those who hear the Gospel preached and walk away still unsaved.

Almost Persuaded

Acts 25:13-23; 26:1-28

13 And after some days King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to greet Festus.

14When they had been there many days, Festus laid Paul's case before the king, saying: "There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix,

15about whom the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, when I was in Jerusalem, asking for a judgment against him.

16To them I answered, 'It is not the custom of the Romans to deliver any man to destruction before the accused meets the accusers face to face, and has opportunity to answer for himself concerning the charge against him.' 17Therefore when they had come together, without any delay, the next day I sat on the judgment seat and commanded the man to be brought in.

18When the accusers stood up, they brought no accusation against him of such things as I supposed,

19but had some questions against him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who had died, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.

20And because I was uncertain of such questions, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there be judged concerning these matters. 21But when Paul appealed to be reserved for the decision of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I could send him to Caesar."

22Then Agrippa said to Festus, "I also would like to hear the man myself." "Tomorrow," he said, "you shall hear him."

23So the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had come with great pomp, and had entered the auditorium with the commanders and the prominent men of the city, at Festus' command Paul was brought in.

In Acts chapter 26, verses 1 through 18,

Paul tells King Agrippa...

that there was a time when he had no use for Christians...

and had done things contrary to the name of Jesus.

He went on to tell about how Jesus came to him and he was saved.

Now let's pick up the story again in Chapter 26.

19"Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.

21For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come--

23that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles."

24Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!"

25But he said, "I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.

26For 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.

27King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe." 28Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You almost persuade me to become a Christian."

Dorothy McIntyre was a faithful Christian woman, but her husband Carl wasn't. Carl had gone to Sunday School when he was a little boy, but had quit going to church when he became a teenager. Dorothy tried on several occasions to get Carl to attend church with her, but he always had other things he preferred to do on Sundays. The only times Carl was seen in church was for weddings. Carl loved to hunt and fish and when he wasn't doing that, he'd sleep late on Sundays and spend the rest of the morning drinking coffee with a bunch of good old boys at the local restaurant. Carl was a good husband. He was honest and a good citizen. Though he drank beer, nobody could truthfully say that he was a drunkard.

More of that story a little later!

If we could walk through hell today...

we would find all sorts of people

who were at one point almost persuaded to become a Christian.

No doubt hell consists of farmers and factory workers.

We would find doctors, nurses, lawyers, and businessmen.

We would find some teachers, politicians, and policemen.

Among those in hell would be some movie sports stars.

We would also find some people who went to church...

And listened to many sermons...

But never really got saved!

One such man was King Agrippa.

He was a man of royalty, great position, and honor.

He had influential friends and was a powerful authority.

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