Summary: The Passage is encouraging and concerning. Encouraging to know that God gives us an opportunity to make a choice about our eternity. Discouraging to know that there are others who hear about salvation but reject it.
ALMOST A CHRISTIAN
1. Acts 26:18 I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
2. Acts 26:24 Now as Paul thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” 25 But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. 26 For 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. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
INTRODUCTION: ALMOST A CHRISTIAN
Greetings To All. I want to extend my sincere condolences to the bereaved family and all of those friends who in any way was connected to the deceased. I knew him since 2000 but we lost touch in the last few years. I called him some time this year & we spoke briefly. Let me be blunt that, for those who do not know me, I may preach at a funeral because of the deceased but not for the deceased. I preach for the living. Whatever I have to say here will never benefit him but those of us who are still alive. So we must pay heed and allow the spirit of God to speak to me and you.
Illustration: D.L. Moody, the greatest evangelist of the 19th Century, by his own admission, made a mistake on October 8, 1871. It was a mistake he determined never to repeat. He had been preaching in the city of Chicago. That particular night drew his largest audience yet. His message was 'What will you do then with Jesus who is called the Christ?' By the end of the service, he was tired. He concluded his message, and once again presented the true Gospel with a concluding statement; 'Now I give you a week to think that over. When we come together again, you will have an opportunity to respond.' A soloist began to sing. But before the final note, the music was drowned out by clanging bells and wailing sirens screaming through the streets. The Great Chicago fire was blazing. In the ashen aftermath, more than 300 were dead and over 100.000 homeless. Without a doubt, some who heard Moody's message had died in the fire. He reflected remorsefully that he would never again in his life give an audience another week to think over the message of the Gospel.
The Passage We Read Is One Of Encouragement & One Of Concern. We are encouraged to know that God gives us an opportunity to make a choice about our eternity. We are encouraged to notice, that, even though none of us deserve an opportunity to accept Christ as our Savior, God still gives us an invitation to. We are also encouraged to note that the Gospel is for everyone, and everyone needs to hear the truth about Jesus. This bible passage tells us that the Gospel was presented to a king. He had a high earthly position, but no Heavenly position because if a man or woman is ever going to see the Kingdom of God, "He must be born again". This includes the rich as well as the poor, the noble or the peasant.
Acts 26:28 Where King Agrippa Says To Paul, “You Almost Persuade Me To Become A Christian”, Is One Of The Saddest Incidents In The Bible. This story is an example of God reaching out to the sinful heart of a man to redeem him. And yet that man delays because of the love of the world. Paul, the great Apostle to the Gentiles, was on trial once again. He had faced many trials and tests before but this would finally prove his commitment to Christ. Paul had been arrested by the Roman army because the Jews had determined to kill him. He had appealed to Caesar, since he was a Roman citizen by birth. God knew that Agrippa’s heart was ripe for the gospel and God determined to give him a chance to hear & repent. In Rome, Paul will stand before Emperor Nero and finally be killed for his faith. Paul was standing here to defend himself. But God was going to use Paul to bring forth a message as he stood before Agrippa, the King, and Festus, the governor, to proclaim the gospel and give them an opportunity to get saved. Thus he addresses King Agrippa more intently: Acts 26:27-28 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You Almost Persuade Me to become a Christian.”