1. Paul went up to Jerusalem as is recorded in the 21st chapter of Acts.
2. While there he was falsely accused by the Jews and they set about to kill him.
3. But he was rescued out of their hands by Claudius Lysias.
4. Claudius Lysias sent him to Caesarea to Felix.
5. When Felix left Caesarea, he left Paul in the hands of Portius Festus who succeeded him.
6. When Paul was questioned by Festus about being sent back to Jerusalem to stand trial before the Jews, Paul appealed to Caesar.
7. While waiting to send him forward to Rome and to Caesar, Festus was visited by Herod Agrippa II, who desired to hear Paul's defence.
8. Upon the occasion of Paul's making this defence, we have Agrippa making the statement, "Almost Thou Persuadest Me To Be A Christian."
9. Agrippa was a very immoral man seemingly, it is inferred that he was living with his sister Bernice in incest.
I. WHAT WAS PAUL TRYING TO PERSUADE AGRIPPA TO DO?
A. Was he wanting Agrippa to pull some strings to release him?
B. Was he wanting to enter into some business deal with him?
C. He no doubt was trying to get him to turn from his evil ways and become a Christian.
D. He wanted Agrippa to know that he was not seeking his material possessions or authority, but his soul.
II. BUT WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN?
A. A Christian is a follower of Christ, pure and simple. Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16.
1. To follow Christ, is to follow His teaching as it is laid down in the New Testament. 2 Jno. 9.
III. THIS PERSUASION, THAT SEEMINGLY ALMOST TURNED AGRIPPA, IS DIRECTED TOWARD MEN AND NOT GOD.
A. Some people have the idea and teach the idea that God must first be persuaded to act upon man before man himself can be persuaded to turn.
1. They pray for God to come into the life of a sinner and change him.
2. But we need to recognize that it is not God's will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Pet. 3:9.
IV. WHY WAS AGRIPPA BEING PERSUADED BY PAUL?
A. Because of the terror of the Lord. 2 Cor. 5:11.
B. Because of the goodness and severity of the Lord. Rom. 11:22.
C. Because God is a consuming fire. Heb. 12:29.
1. As He was a consuming flood during the time of Noah.
2. And as in the destruction of Jerusalem.
D. Because he stood a chance of receiving eternal life, that was promised to all the faithful.
E. To show forth gratitude toward God.
1. We should love and obey, because He first loved us.
2. It is said that a young man took his father's place in the ranks of the army during the Civil War.
a. The young man was killed in battle far away from home.
b. The father found the grave of his son that was marked as all the others with a simple marker.
c. He made a permanent marker of stone and upon it wrote these four words: "HE DIED FOR ME".
V. BUT AGRIPPA SAID "ALMOST" THOU PERSUADEST ME TO BE A CHRISTIAN. WHY WAS HE NOT 'ALTOGETHER' PERSUADED?
A. Possibly there were many excuses that he could have used to sooth his burning conscience.
1. He might have loved this present world more than he loved God.
2 Tim. 4:10; 1 Jno. 2:15-17.
2. Maybe he did not want to change his religion, being a Jew.
a. Even though the Ethiopian eunuch was a devout Jew that changed his religion when he was taught the right way.
b. Even though Saul of Tarsus, a Jew far ahead of his fellow Jews in the religion of their fathers, changed his religion when he found out what he needed to do to please God.
3. Maybe Agrippa's associates were not Christians, therefore he could not see breaking ties with them and their manner of life in order to become a Christian.
4. Maybe he did not want to be baptized because he could not see the "why" of it.
5. Maybe he did not become fully persuaded because he could not hold out in the religion of Christ.
a. Therefore, the best way to solve that dilemma would be never start.
6. Maybe there were hypocrites in the church.
a. When we want to use this excuse, let us remember that one cannot hide behind something or someone that is not larger than himself.
b. Are you willing to concede that a hypocrite is a bigger man or woman, in their life, than you are?
7. Of course, Agrippa might have in some ways been like Felix, he might have been a procrastinator; one that puts things off.
a. If he was a procrastinator like Felix, he should realize that Christianity is a matter of conviction and not of convenience. Acts 24:25.
8. But whatever was the cause of Agrippa's not being altogether persuaded, it seemingly was enough to finally condemn his soul to a devil's hell.
1. Let us here note the words of the song: "Almost Persuaded".
2. Notice very closely the last three words of the song: "Almost But Lost!"
3. Friend, what about you, are you ALMOST or ALTOGETHER persuaded to obey your Lord today?
By Jim Sasser
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