Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
I’m peering over the edge at the end of Paul’s extensive life and ministry. The years of preaching and debating have afforded him the unique skill of persuasion shared by few. Hundreds of miracles, baptisms, and in-fillings have attended his journeys. Perhaps a thousand sermons have been delivered by his authoritative voice. He’s converted most of the known parts of Asia and established churches throughout the entire region. Now, Paul stands before King Agrippa to make a case for Jesus. My assumption is that a greater apostolic apologetic has never lived. Paul is profound, and Agrippa knows it. Paul can even see the belief in the eyes of the king when he says, “I know that thou believest.”
But in that moment of decision there is a line between life and death; between believing and denying. The line might be negligible, but it exists and it has separated many from the other side. Agrippa has consumed the world’s greatest preacher, and yet, he stumbles at the end. He’s standing at the threshold, but he hesitates to enter through the door of obedience.
Week after week I feel the Holy Spirit prodding me to persuade you of the Gospel, the Truth, the Way, and the doctrine. I’m making a case for Christ, though He needs nothing. Nevertheless, I present Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Sometimes I can see hesitations where the line between doubt and faith presses hard against minds and hearts. Hopefully, the hearer is working out their salvation with fear and trembling. Earnestly, I pray that the Word is received and we are all moving and abounding in the work of the Lord.
Even still, I’ve come to persuade. To stir up your mind’s remembrance to the miracles that you have seen. Remember the testimonies of deliverance found in the lives of so many. Know that the Blood of Jesus is powerful, and with His stripes we are healed. Be sober; be diligent. Look at the trajectory of our culture; how the whole world is morally bankrupt; how they are lost without the Cross. Know that the Word is forever settled and that the Lord has never failed. Speak His name at every juncture: Jesus! Remember the devils tremble and the earth rejoices over His name. He restores and makes all things new. Finally, there is no life greater than living for the Lord. I know you believe it.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole