Summary: This, to me, is one of the saddest incidents in the entire Bible. Looking upon this narrative we can see that this is an example of God reaching out to the sin stained heart of a man to give that man a chance to be saved.
TITLE: ALMOST SAVED
SCRIPTURE: ACTS 26:19-29
Can I talk to you this morning about the subject – Almost Saved? ALMOST - is a sad word in anybody’s dictionary. It keeps company with expressions like “If Only” and (in the South) “Near ‘Bout’ Almost is a word that smacks of missed opportunities and fumbled chances.
• Three Time Olympic Silver Medalist Swimmer, Tim KcKee was edged out for first place in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany in the 400-meter race by two-thousandths of a second – how do you even measure that?
• He almost won a gold medal
Max Lucado gives us these sad statements that revolve around Almost –
• “He almost got it together”
• “We were almost able to work it out”
• “He almost made it to the big leagues”
• “I caught a catfish that was bigger than me. Well, almost!”
• As it is often said - almost doesn’t count except in horseshoes and hand grenades
In our text we find FESTUS, the newly appointed governor, consults with AGRIPPA about an unusual prisoner left over from the days of his predecessor by the name of FELIX. Agrippa has heard about this controversial Christ follower, so he requests an audience with Paul. The next day, amid great pomp and circumstance, Agrippa and Bernice parade into the Hall of Audience to listen to Paul speak.
This, to me, is one of the saddest incidents in the entire Bible. Looking upon this narrative we can see that this is an example of God reaching out to the sin stained heart of a man to give that man a chance to be saved. And yet that man would not hear because of the love of the world and the circumstances of his life.
Paul, the great Apostle to the Gentiles, was on trial once again. This old warhorse for the Kingdom of God had faced many trials and tests to this point in his life, but this one was going to be his final exam to prove once and for all, his faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ.
• I Always admired Paul and all he went through and remained faithful
• Stoned and left for dead
• Imprisoned multiple times
• Let down a wall in a basket
• Through all this he remained faithful
• We let the Summer Heat
• We let the Rain and Wind
• We let the Cold Air of Winter
• We let the Traffic
• We let the Complaints of Others
• We let misunderstandings
• We let so many factors influence our Faithfulness or lack thereof
God was going to use Paul to bring forth a message as he stood before King Agrippa and Festus, the governor, to proclaim the gospel and to give testimony of his conversion on the road to Damascus. Paul was fighting for his very life. He had been arrested and put under protective custody of the Roman Army because the Jews had determined to kill him. Paul had appealed to Caesar, since he was a Roman citizen by birth.
As Paul stood between his Roman guards that day, waiting for his audience with Agrippa, I cannot help but believe that he stood there in silent prayer. He was seeking God for wisdom, asking the Lord to give him the right words to say in presenting his case for innocence. He had been charged with many false charges because of his preaching of the gospel.
• What a hard thing to bare – to know that you are only preaching and teaching the truth, in love, to reach out to a hurting world – and then to be condemned for doing so
• I remember being featured in the local paper THE BLACK CHRONICLE some years ago
• Attacked, Character Attacked, Family and Friends Attacked just because we were determined to do God’s will and not bend to denominationalism and legalism in the church
• I can only imagine the hurt that Paul must have felt at times
• He was human just like you and me
I can understand how Paul must have felt that day and many days prior to that as a Preacher of the Gospel. Years of Preaching and Teaching and we still see those around us that will not listen, no real change in their life. There may be some here right now who won’t hear what this message has to say to you simply because your mind and your heart are occupied with the things of this world.
• Perhaps it’s your children
• Perhaps it’s your job
• Perhaps it’s your duties around the home
• Perhaps it’s what you must do after church
• Perhaps it’s any one of a thousand things that occupy your mind