No claims of absolute originality are made for this material. As one man said, "I milk a lot of cows, but I churn my own butter." Please use these sermons as the Lord leads, but nothing on this site may be used for profit without my expressed, written permission!
Intro: Ill. The
represents those who HATE the Lord. He was antagonistic toward the Gospel
message. He accused Paul of being “mad. (
represents those who HONOR the Lord. He was sold out and living every minute of
his life for Jesus, Phil. 1:21.
· Then there is Agrippa. He represents those who are HOLDING OUT on the Lord. People like Agrippa are right on the verge of coming to Jesus, but for some reason, they are holding out. He was close, but as they say, “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. An “almost Christian is still not saved!
The Bible is filled with stories of people who were “almost where they needed to be.
According to verse 26, “almost is where we find King Agrippa. He is almost a Christian, but he is still lost. He is almost a believer, but he is still an unbeliever. He is close, but he is not there yet!
I am afraid that many people, probably some in this room today, are in that very same place. You are close to coming to Jesus, but you aren’t there yet. Friend, I can think of no greater tragedy in life than for a person to be blessed to hear the Gospel; for them to feel the tug of the Spirit; for them to know they need to be saved; and then for them to walk away and continue on toward Hell. That is a tragedy. And, it is a tragedy that is repeated far too often. I want to preach on the subject of Almost today. I want you to see that being almost is not good enough. I want to show you how you can get beyond almost saved and come to the place where you are altogether saved. This passage contains a message that we all need to hear today. Let’s consider what it means to be “Almost saved.
I. ALMOST AND THE TRUTH
(Notice the things that brought Agrippa the to place of Almost)
A. v. 26-27 The Testimony Of The Scriptures Paul reminds Agrippa of the Word of God. He tells the king that he both knows these things and believes these things. What things? The things contained in the Law and the Prophets, v. 22. Paul is using the Bible as tool to bring Agrippa to faith in Christ.
Note: This is exactly what the Bible is designed to do,
Bible is a mirror and it shines its light on man’s sin,
· The Bible is a sharp two-edged sword. It cuts to the very heart of a man, Heb. 4:12.
· The Bible is a hammer. It can crush the hardest heart, Jer. 23:29.
· The Bible is a fire. It can cause the coldest heart to burn for God, Jer. 23:29.
The Bible is a tremendous and powerful book. It can penetrate any heart and draw that person to Jesus. If fact, the Word of God is how you got saved, if you did, Rom. 10:17.
B. v. 2-24 The Testimony Of The Saints Not only did Agrippa have the testimony of the Scriptures, he also had the testimony of a saint of God. This whole chapter is devoted to Paul telling Agrippa how he was saved. Paul told it all. He told what a sinner he had been and how the Lord gloriously saved his soul. There stands Paul, bound in chains, with the scars of his love for Jesus all over his body. He tells Agrippa that he is happy and that his whole life has been changed. It was a powerful witness and it brought Agrippa to the place of Almost believing!
(Note: There is something powerful about the testimony of one
who has been changed by Jesus Christ.
This room is filled with such testimonies, and they should not be taken
lightly. There are folk here who used to
be drunkards. There are folk here who
used to live promiscuous lives. There
are people here who used to hate this church.
There are people here who used to mock, ridicule and make fun of this
church. But, today they have the
testimony that they have been changed by the power of God! What happened to them? The met Jesus and He changed their lives,
Lost friend, what Jesus has done for them, He can do for you too! There is something powerful and persuasive in a personal testimony!)
listen to the testimonies of those around you today. They were bitten by the same serpent of sin
that has its fangs in your soul right now.
They looked to Jesus by faith and they were saved. He can do the same thing in your life, and He
can do it today, Isa. 45:22;
C. v. 23,
Testimony Of The Savior Paul tells Agrippa that the things he is
talking about were not done in a corner. In other words, Paul is telling
Agrippa, You know who Jesus is and what He did!
Everyone knows that Jesus died on the cross and that He rose again from
the dead. Agrippa takes Paul to
(Note: There is something powerful about the cross of our
Savior! Go with me to
· Can you see the crowds?
· Can you hear their taunts and their curses?
· Can you see Jesus as He hangs there, bruised and bleeding?
· Can you here Him as He speaks; as He prays; as He forgives?
· Can you comprehend the truth that everything He endured – the nails; the whips; the spit; the beating; everything – He did it all for you, Rom. 5:8?
· Does His cross move you?
· Does His cross fill your heart with love for Him?
· Does His cross make you want to be saved today?
· Don’t stop at almost. Come to Christ and He will save you.)
II. ALMOST AND THE TRAPS
A. The Power Of Sin In verse 30 and in
(Note: I want you to
know the truth and here it is: There is no such thing as a cheap
salvation! One of the keys to salvation
is repentance. You must come to the
place where you hate your sins and become willing to let them go. Yes, you can come to Jesus just as you
are. But, you cannot come to Jesus until
you are willing to repent of your sins,
This is what makes a lot of people stop at “Almost. They want to come to Jesus and they want to continue to drink their beer and liquor, sleep around, and do all the things they want to do. Well, it does not work like that! You must come to the place where you see your sins for what they are and to where you are willing to break your relationship with your sins. You cannot have Jesus and your sins too! He will take you when you come His way and His way is for you to come in humility and repentance!)
(Note: There are some here today who are walking in Agrippa’s
shoes. You know you need to be saved,
but you are allowing some sin; some fleshly pleasure; some ungodly relationship
keep you away from Jesus. Friend, that
thing you love so dearly is going to wreck your life and take you to Hell if
you don’t let it go. No one, no thing,
and no pleasure is worth going to Hell over,
B. The Power Of Self It wasnt just sin that stopped Agrippa at Almost. There was also the problem of self. Notice how self kept this man from coming to Jesus.
1. He Was Concerned About His Position Agrippa was a King! If he had professed faith in Jesus Christ, his Jewish subjects and his Roman superiors would have turned on him like a pack of rabid wolves.
2. He Was Concerned About His Pride The Roman Governor Festus was in that room that day. If Agrippa had accepted Jesus as his Savior, he would have lost face before this man. Agrippa could not allow Festus to see him confess his sins and bow to an invisible Christ at the word of a prisoner in chains. His pride would not allow Agrippa to bow.
3. He Was Concerned About The Price As he sat there that day, Agrippa could see Paul. Paul was chained and his body was scarred by all the persecution he had suffered because of his relationship with the Lord Jesus. Agrippa knew that is he came to faith in Christ; he would lose everything he valued in life. He was not willing to pay the price to come to Christ.
So, here is the real problem. Agrippa wouldn’t believe because Agrippa didn’t want to believe! That is always the problem. Lost people remain lost because they refuse to accept Jesus into their heart and life. They might be motivated by what they will have to give up. They might hold back out of pride. They might be afraid of what the Lord will require from their lives. They might be concerned about saving face before their friends and family. They might be afraid to pay the price.
when you boil all the fat away and are left with the bare, naked truth, people
don’t get saved simply because they don’t want to,
Now, let’s look at this thought from a spiritual vantage point. If you know you need to be saved, you are one-third there. If you have a desire to be saved, you are two-thirds there; you are “Almost there. All you need to do is come to Jesus and you can be saved today. Then you will be there and not just “Almost there.
If you are lost, come to Jesus and be saved. Allow nothing to stand in your way.)
III. ALMOST AND THE TRAGEDIES
A. Almost Always Leads To Destruction
If Agrippa had come to faith in Christ, it would have changed his life. Jesus Christ changes everything he
touches. There is Paul, locked down in
chains, yet his heart is filled with joy and peace,
(Note: We need to understand this truth: Almost no one goes to Heaven alone and no one goes to Hell alone! If you refuse to come to Jesus, you need to stop and think about who will follow you there. Friends lead their friends to Hell. Parents lead their children to Hell. Husbands and wives lead their mates to Hell. No one wants that to happen!
On the other hand, who would be touched if you came to Jesus; a child, a spouse, a friend, a community? When Jesus brings you in, He will use you to help bring others in too. Don’t let your “almost stand between you and you salvation! Don’t let your “almost push those you love closer to Hell.)
B. Almost Always Leads To Damnation Agrippa lived his life the way he wanted to live it. He “Almost came to Jesus, but one day death came for King Agrippa II and he died without Jesus and went to Hell. His “Almost was nowhere near good enough. One day, he will stand before Jesus at the Great White Throne and he may say, “Lord, I believe everything the Law and the prophets say about You. I believed what Paul said about You. Lord, I came to the place where I almost accepted you. The Lord will look at Agrippa and say, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
But, Agrippa won’t be alone. No, there will be a vast multitude of people who “Almost got saved standing there with him. Think about that. Here are a few people who came close to Jesus, but did not get saved.
Judas Iscariot Three years with Jesus. He
kissed the Door of Heaven and went to Hell,
The Jewish Religious Leaders They knew the truth, but they crucified the Lord anyway,
· The Rich Young Ruler He was almost there, but he would not believe, Matt. 19:16-30.
Jesus healed the ear that Peter cut off,
The Lost Thief He saw Jesus dying and He watched Jesus save his companion, but he
still dies lost,
· The Soldier Who Gambled For Jesus’ Garments And Won He had a testimony and probably told it everywhere he went, but he was still lost, Matt. 27:35.
He heard the Gospel and wanted to wait until a more convenient time came
He heard the Gospel and called Paul a mad man,
She heard the Gospel and walked away,
The question today us this: when Agrippa stands before Jesus and hears his sentence, will you be with him and the rest who “almost made it? Or, will you be standing with the redeemed saints of God? What will “almost cost you?
Conc: I once read about a man by the
name of William Hyatt. He was a 62-year old miner, and his dead body was found
out in the
Do you know you need Jesus? Do you have a desire to be free from your sins and to be saved? If you can say “Yes!” to these two questions, then you are “almost there. But, I hope you know by now that “almost is not good enough. If Jesus is calling you, throw down your sins, your pride, and the rest of your objections and come to Jesus right now.
Do you know someone who is “almost there? Come and pray for them today.