Written By: Peter Denby
"Almost persuaded to believe; Almost persuaded Christ to receive; seems now some soul to say, Go, Spirit, go thy way; Some more convenient day, on thee I'll call. ('Almost Persuaded' Sacred Selections for the Church #647)
How many people do we as Christians study with and them hear them say, "I'll follow God when I've overcome this or that sin."? Or "I'll accept Jesus some more convenient time." Is this the way that Jesus teaches that we are to follow Him? Let us find out.
In Romans 3:23 we are told that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We have been separated from God due to our sins, which are a result of our failure to serve God. While we are in sin there is no way of entering the Kingdom of Heaven.
In 2 Peter 3:10 and Revelation 3:3 we are reminded that Jesus will return as a thief in the night and that we are not going to know when he will return. If then we are not to be given the information as to when we will be brought before God to answer for our sins, should we not immediately turn our lives over to Jesus so that when we die we will be with Him in Heaven for sure? I would like to look at how Saul reacted to finding out that he was not following God's will as he though that he had been.
In Acts 9 Saul was blinded by God so that God could get his undivided attention. Jesus wanted to talk with him to find out why he, Saul, felt the need to persecute, and kill, Christians. Saul at this point was afraid and asked the Lord what He wanted him to do. You too can find out what the Lord wants you to do in this same type of matter. Jesus' answer was for Saul to travel to Damascus where he was taught the will of God. Then he responded by being baptized. Saul was reformed by Jesus. Jesus offers us forgiveness of our sins in a slightly different way today. He tells us that we need to come to Him and to learn from His written Word. Saul was not a man that was almost persuaded. Saul took action! Let us look at a Bible example of someone who was not willing to follow God's teaching. She just wanted one more look.
In Genesis 19 we are told of the sins, and then destruction, of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. We are told that Lot and his family are given the privilege to flee the city of Sodom. They were told to flee and NOT to look back. Lot's wife was unwilling to flee without looking back. Immediately God turned her into a pillar of salt due to her disobedience. She was very close to getting to safety but lost her life because she desired to do things her way, NOT the safe way, God's way! Lot's wife was almost persuaded. Lot's wife was DEAD! Today, are you persuaded to believe like Saul or are you almost persuaded BUT LOST like Lot's wife? None of us know the day or the hour that Jesus will call us to judgment. We need to be prepared and need to make sure that we have accepted Jesus into our hearts, minds and souls.
Revelation 2:10 says Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. We need to make sure that we are taking action and keeping our life straight with God, as well as making sure that we give the opportunity for all people everywhere to accept Jesus into their lives.