December 3, 2021 — Almost is not Close Enough

“Have you ever encountered someone who almost came to faith, but didn’t make the final decision?” I asked Stan one morning while we waited for Ricky to bring our breakfast.

“I won’t know for certain until I get to heaven,” Stan replied, “but there was one person back in our old town who I spent a lot of time with sharing my faith, but as far as I know he never came to faith. He just couldn’t pull the trigger! Like a lot of people.”

“Why do you think that is?” I asked.

‘There are probably as many different reasons as there are people,” Stan replied. “And while I  can only speak for myself, there’s a clear parallel path in the Bible that I’m so thankful I didn’t follow.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“It has to do with a man named ‘Agrippa’ who just couldn’t get a grip!” Stan replied with a smile.

“Agrippa couldn’t get a grip?” I repeated. “What’s that mean?”

“Oh, it’s a long story,” Stan replied, “but in a very small nutshell, the apostle Paul appeared before a King who was named Agrippa to make a defense about why he had been arrested. As part of what Paul said to Agrippa, he told him about what God had done in his life.”

“Kind of like a personal testimony?” I asked.

“You could say that,” Stan replied. “It’s like the personal testimony each one of us is to have to tell others about how we came to faith.”

“So when Paul told this to the Agrippa guy,” I said, “did he come to faith?”

“Not then,” Stan replied, “and as far as I know, Agrippa didn’t ever come to faith. I will know for certain when I get to heaven, but it seems he just couldn’t pull the trigger to accept God’s free and gracious gift of salvation and redemption.”

“Did he come close?” I asked.

“Seems so,” Stan said. “The Bible indicates that Agrippa said to Paul, ‘In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian’. Close but not close enough. As the old saying goes, ‘Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades’.”

“It’s coming to faith that matters,”I commented, “not coming close to coming to faith, is that what you’re saying?”

“You got it, my friend,” Stan replied. “Almost is not close enough!”

_____________________________________

Bible verses to consider:

And Agrippa replied to Paul, “In short time you will persuade me to become a Christian.” And Paul said, “I would to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains.” Acts of the Apostles 26:28-29.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the people you brought into my life to tell me of your free and gracious gift of salvation and redemption through Jesus. Thank you for leading me to accept the truth and to not to just come close. I pray for each person to whom the truth is presented so that each one of them will come to faith and have the assurance of life eternally with you when it’s time. I pray that they will come to faith, not just come close to coming to faith. Please help me in following every step of your lead in presenting the truth of the gospel so each person can make that choice. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you come to faith? If no, why? Do you agree that coming close to coming to faith is not close enough? If you have come to faith, do you have friends and family who have not? If so, what might you do to help them in not just being close? Is that what you would like? Why or why not?

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