Acts 26:28–29: “Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You almost persuade me to become a Christian.’ And Paul said, ‘I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.'”

January 20th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

This is one of my favorite sections in the Book of Acts. Paul had been witnessing to King Agrippa from the Scriptures about the true identity of Jesus of Nazareth, and Agrippa replied, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” Some translators prefer to make Agrippa’s reply a question, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” But it was an amazing statement for this human king to make to the apostle of the King of Kings.

The Holy Spirit has left us a very clear picture of what was going on in both men’s minds. Paul was pressing his case out of an earnest concern for the eternal soul of the man on the throne in front of him. Paul sensed that he was close to a decision, so he laid down the final statement to try to bring this king to the throne of God Almighty, the King of Kings: “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe” (Acts 26:27). We notice that Agrippa was not just sitting dispassionately, unmoved, but in fact the Holy Spirit was speaking directly to him through Paul. There was conviction going on inside the heart of Agrippa, and he sensed that he had to make a decision one way or another. It was a defining moment in his life, and for a few seconds all of heaven waited in breathless silence. Paul’s words nearly worked: “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” Sadly, almost turned out to be a huge word in the light of eternity.

In the final analysis, it was a sad day for Agrippa because he refused the gift of life. But it was a day of triumph for the apostle Paul. Paul had stood tall before the king and was fearless in his mission to take the gospel to a powerful man. It was truly Paul’s desire that Agrippa, and everyone within earshot that day, might be just as he was: saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, the risen Lord. This should be the driving, passionate desire of every disciple of Jesus.

“LORD, would You please put within each of us this day a burning desire for souls for You.”