The Trap of the Almost Christian
John Wesley said, “Ever since the Christian religion was in the world, there have been many in every age and nation, who were ‘almost persuaded to be Christians.’ But seeing it avails nothing before God, to go only thus far.”
Luke wrote in Acts about the apostle Paul’s confrontation with King Agrippa, Paul says, “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” 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 (Acts 26:27–29).”
Almost persuaded. The truth is almost is not enough.
In the parable of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13:24–30) one of the applications Jesus teaches is that the tares represent something degenerate. They are worthy to be burned. He’s clearly talking about someone who isn’t genuinely saved. They may look the part; talk the part; act the part, but deep down they are “almost” Christians.
Tares represent the almost Christian. They exist among the wheat (what John Wesley calls the “altogether Christian”), hearing the Word, believing it to some degree, but lacking true conversion. They never take the next step in their faith to complete and total surrender to Jesus.
Pastor David Platt in his book Follow Me puts it this way:
“Churches are filled with supposed Christians who seem content to have casual association with Christ while giving nominal adherence to Christianity. Scores of men, women, and children have been told that becoming a follower of Jesus simply involves acknowledging certain facts or saying certain words. But this is not true. Disciples like Peter, Andrew, James, John show us that the call to follow Jesus is not simply an invitation to pray a prayer, it’s a summons to lose our lives”
Friend, if you’re a tare or are an almost Christian, it’s sinful poison. You’re only hope of being set free is really understanding your current spiritual condition because you’re partaking of the devil himself and need to repent immediately!
The fact is that at some point Jesus will clean and separate the precious from the worthless, the wheat from the chaff, the wheat from the tares. It’s your decision, but remember the almost Christian sets aside so much of the life Christ died to give.
If you’re an almost Christian here’s some of what you’re missing:
- The fullness of Jesus and all He has for you
- The power of the Holy Spirit continually filling your life
- The joy of completely resting in Jesus and His plan for your life
- The peace of living in His will and not wandering from this way to that way.
Quoting Pastor Platt, “Superficial religion involves a counterfeit Christian life that consists of nothing more than truths to believe and things to do, and it misses the essence of what it means to follow Jesus.”
Don’t fall into the trap of simply be “almost” as King Agrippa or others in the church. Go to God and take seriously, with Him, your current spiritual condition. Don’t wait until it’s too late—repent, confess your sin and get right with God.