Almost Isnt Enough
ALMOST ISN”T ENOUGH!
UTAWALA BAPTIST CHURCH
MAY 20, 2007
Scripture Reading Acts 26:26-29
Second message in the series
Last week Acts 11
Next week I Peter 4
How close is almost?
Today we will look at the results of almost accepting is it close enough, good enough?
We will look at three men
Felix the Governor
Festus Felix’s replacement
King Herod Agrippa
All three men have a part in the story and all three make the wrong decision.
In Acts 22:22-25 Paul is arrested!
Acts 23:31:35 Paul is taken to Caesarea by way of Antipatris.
Governor when Paul first arrived in Caesarea.
He was familiar with Christianity or the “Way” as it was then called.
He wanted to hear more from Paul but at his convenience.
When he returned to hear more we see he was afraid.
We also find Felix was expecting a bribe from Paul
Which he did not get.
We don’t know what Felix actually thought of Paul’s message.
We do know Felix was:
A man of power.
He knew a little about the “WAY”.
Although fearful at one point he continued to listen to Paul for two years when he was replaced by Festus.
What we do know is that he left Caesarea having rejected Christ and leaving Festus with the problem of Paul.
Porcius Festus takes a different path with the problem of what to do with Paul.
The Jews wanted Paul to be sent to Jerusalem because it would be easier to kill him there!
Festus asks Paul if he wants to be sent to Jerusalem.
After asking Festus if he (Paul) had done anything worthy of death Paul appeals to Caesar.
This was a relief to Festus as now the problem of what to do with Paul was no longer his.
King Agrippa (Herod Agrippa)
We find king Agrippa arriving before Paul is sent to Rome to stand trial.
Festus shares the problem he is having with Paul with King Agrippa.
King Agrippa desires to talk directly with Paul.
Paul gives his response to the king.
Starting in Acts 26:2-23
We find Festus’s response in Acts 26:24
Festus’s charge is not uncommon even today!
When Christians show desire and zeal for things of the Lord the world often thinks them crazy!
"The tenants of a madhouse often think all others deranged but themselves".
Paul continues uninterrupted.
King Agrippa’s response to the question Paul asks in Acts 26:27 is ALMOST!
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
Why put it off? Why Delay?
Why did each of these men delay in accepting the Gospel?
Paul was a very persuasive teacher!
So what was it that kept each of these men and possibly some of us here today from following Jesus as their Lord and Savior?
First, Felix never did accept what Paul had told him.
The fear that gripped Felix was brought about by his sense of sin and his reluctance to commit his life to following Christ.
Judgment was coming. He had no place to go or hide but he was unwilling to give up his sinful lifestyle in order to follow Jesus.
Are you holding on to the temporary pleasure of sin instead of accepting the absolute joy and peace that comes from knowing Christ?
If so, you dare not relay but need to come to Jesus Christ today!
Festus was a Greek heathen.
He was pagan in every sense of the word and thought Paul was a nut.
Festus wanted to please the troublemaking Jewish leaders so he could get credit in Rome.
He wanted to ignore Paul, wash his hands like Pontius Pilot, and ignore this problem.
After all, he was a man of importance. He loved his power and authority and didn’t want to give any of it up.
Festus refused because he simply didn’t want to accept the testimony of another. He was God and there were no others.
Are you unwilling to give up control of your life? Like taking the credit and getting the praise and lay it at the feet of Jesus?
Agrippa was going to put it off. His response to Paul was,
Some versions of the bible say! “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
What was included in the word “almost”?
What prevented his being quite persuaded, we know not.
It may have been that the evidence was not so clear to his mind as he would have liked,
Or possibly he was not willing to give up his sins; or that he was too proud to rank himself with the followers of Jesus of Nazareth; or that he wanted to wait for a more suitable time.
We have every reason to believe that he was never quite persuaded to embrace the Lord Jesus, and that he was never nearer the kingdom of heaven than at this moment.
It was the turning-point in Agrippa’s life, and in his eternal destiny; and, like thousands of others; he neglected or refused to accept and follow the truth Paul presented and died in his sins.
Have you made this costly mistake of procrastination? If so, let me share some reasons why you shouldn’t put off a decision for Christ today.
Proverbs 27:1 says,
James 4:13-14 says,
Cue slide - The Remedy
The one and only remedy to procrastination is to make your decision to accept Jesus Christ today.
The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) (Ac 26:28). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.