Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 16:1-17:41 / Acts 26:24-27:12 / Psalm 81:8-16
Paul stood trial before governor Festus, answering charges brought against him by the chief priest and Jewish elders. Festus was at a loss on how and where to begin his investigation into the accusations and suggested that Paul be sent to Jerusalem for trial. Paul objected and appealed to Caesar. When King Agrippa and his wife Bernice arrived to visit Festus, they were told about Paul and they asked to personally hear his story. They were intrigued and wanted to know more about “The Way”.
As Paul stood before the three of them, he shared about his Pharisaical zeal, his conversion on the Damascus road and the call to take the message of Jesus Christ and salvation throughout the world. Festus interrupts Paul, shouting Paul is out of his mind and insane. (Acts 26:24) Paul defends the message of Christ as true and reasonable by referring to the valid support found in prophecy.
Paul turns to Agrippa and asks, “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.” (vs.27) Agrippa replies, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” (vs.28) King Agrippa was almost persuaded, Paul was fully persuaded and Festus was not persuaded. These three reflect the world in which we live today – believer, unbeliever, and in the middle.
There are those today who are almost persuaded… they believe in Christ and His message but they aren’t ready to place all of their trust and faith in Him. Like Agrippa, they want some more time to make a decision. Unbelief is a dangerous place to live, but “almost” believing is even more dangerous. They have enough “faith” to consider them somewhat “safe” and enough apprehension to be considered “fully” committed. Halfway is “good enough”... but those who are lukewarm live with a false security and will sooner or later discover a certain judgment.
Paul’s desire for King Agrippa and all present was to be fully persuaded as he was except for the chains that bound him. Our message should be no different…that all would come to repentance…those who do not and those who “almost” believe.