Friday, September 11, 2009

Almost Persuaded

Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

These words are some of the most disappointing and sobering words ever recorded in Scripture. Before we look at the reasons that Agrippa refused to be saved, let's first look at some interesting facts that helps put things in perspective.
A. The Messenger – the Apostle Paul
Agrippa couldn't blame his lost condition on the preacher! God sent him the best there was, and yet he still refused.
1. The Messenger was Powerful vs. 22 (he had God helping him!)
2. The Messenger was Passionate vs. 24
3. The Messenger was Persuasive vs. 29
B. The Message – the gospel of Jesus Christ
1. The Message was a Testimony vs. 4-18 not hearsay, but personally experienced and proven in his life
2. The Message was Truth vs. 25
3. The Message was Told vs. 26

Some reasons why Agrippa probably wouldn't get saved.

I. Pride

• Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
• Psalms 73:6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain;
• Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
• Psalms 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
• Proverbs 16:5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
• Proverbs 21:4 An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.

II. Position

• Matthew 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
• Luke 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
• James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

III. Possessions

Turn to Mark 10:17-25
A. The Man was Searching vs. 17
B. The Man was Serious – he came running
C. The Man was Self-righteous vs. 20
D. The Man was Sorrowful
• Matthew 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
• 1 Timothy 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
• Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.

IV. Peer Pressure (Felix and all the others were sitting there watching him)

• James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
• Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

V. Procrastination

• Acts 17:32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.
• Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
• James 4:13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
• 1 Samuel 20:3 but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.