“Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Amost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”
Paul has already stood before the Sanhedrin and was almost killed, but for the intervention of the Roman garrison at Jerusalem. Then he was brought before Felix by the soldiers after the discovery of the plot to kill him by the number of men who had bound themselves under an oath to do so. After hearing Paul we know that Felix trembled and resisted the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, saying to Paul, “When I have a more convenient season, I will call for thee.” Then Paul stood before Festus where he made his appeal to Ceaser. And then Agrippa was told of Paul and his response was, “I would also hear the man myself,” whereupon Paul was brought before king Agrippa to be heard.
Keep in mind that Agrippa had a different outlook than did Felix, or Festus, for he was a Jew. Felix and Festus were Romans. Agrippa was taught the scriptures and as he spoke, Paul could sense and see the recognition of the things that he quoted of the Law and the Prophets, and he could see the understanding in the eyes of the king upon hearing the truth concerning Christ. Yet, his response was, “Almost thou persuadest me …”
That means that Agrippa was an unsaved believer. There are multitudes of them in our churches today. You may say, “Preacher, I thought that to believe was to be saved.”
No, friend. You must believe to be saved, to be sure, but simple belief does not do the trick.
Acts 8:12-23 tells us of Simon who believed and was baptized into the church, yet he was not saved.
James 2:19 tells us that the devils believe and tremble.
Romans 10:10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
It is “By Grace” and “Through Faith” that we are saved.
Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast.”
Hebrews 11:6 “…But without faith it is impossible to please him…”
We see also in King Agrippa another example that it is possible to resist the Holy Spirit. Paul’s words were inspired by God and they reached deep into the heart of the king. Notice the charges that Paul made…
“For the king knoweth…” “…none of these things are hidden from him…” “I know that thou believest…”
Even in our day people are just as much without excuse as Agrippa was then. America has a lot to answer for.
I have been told many times how many in America have never heard the gospel message. And I still say that there are very few who have not heard in America. The problem is that our citizens are told of it from the most negative type of controversy, but all have heard of Christmas and Easter. I do know the origin of the two holidays and will not be drawn into an argument over these things and destroy the truth that I am trying to convey. The truth is that almost everyone in America understands that most Christians celebrate Christ’s birth at Christmas time and the Death, Burial and Resurrection at Easter. The press has made it very clear over and over that they don’t like the way that Christians seem to use these holidays to celebrate Christ. The general public hears little more than the hostile objections of the associated press against the Christian significance of these days. Yet it is told and that leaves all who hear without excuse.
Oh, you may say, “Preacher, show me bible to back that up, you can’t find anything in the word of God to place guilt on those that hear what the press says concerning Christianity.”
Let’s notice Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi…
Philippians 1:14-18 “And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”
Most of our behavior is learned behavior. We are taught from our youth to resist truth, honesty, fairness, and conviction!
We see conviction in Agrippa’s words, and still he turned away!
And we see in Paul, a heartbroken man of God, willing to suffer if need be in order to see another soul saved.