At the end of a long conversation my friend replied that he was not ready to make a commitment toward Christ. He said, “I want just enough of Jesus to get by.” I was too young to understand the depth of the moment, but I realized it some years later. My friend liked church. He enjoyed the music and sermons. This minimal relationship with God helped him with his guilt and gave him enough satisfaction, but he, like so many others were living in the margins of Pentecost. Eventually he quit altogether. Our conversations had brought him to the brink of total devotion, but each time he made some excuse and retreated into the shadows. He was a marginal man. He was a person who skirted the primary and tried to live in the secondary.
Paul dealt with similar things in his day. The most notable I suppose was his desperate desire to reach King Agrippa. The unconvinced king replied, Acts 26:28 “Almost thou persuades me to be a Christian.” He was right there; almost, but not quite.
Jesus challenged the rich young ruler to sell all and follow Him, but when the young ruler realized the cost, the Bible says that he walked away “sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”
You see, no one really can live for the Lord on the edge. In Jesus, it’s either all or nothing. “Almost” always leads to nothing at all. “Almost” keeps you just cold enough not to fully understand the moving of the Spirit and lukewarm enough not to know the truth about His sacrifice and what ours must be.
Today I feel the Lord reaching for His church to return to their first love: To make a total and complete commitment. God is calling for people to look toward Him and put their hand to the plow and not look back. The word is Immersion. It’s a baptism of consecration and it is the only way.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole