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The Saddest Verse in the Bible

While most people focus on the love of Jesus and all the wonderful things that come with being a Christian, there is a verse in scripture that may be the saddest verse in the Bible.   It is found in the book of Acts where the Apostle Paul is trying to convince King Agrippa to become a Christian.   The King’s response says he was almost persuaded to accept Christianity.

27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. 28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.   Acts 26:27-28

There is an old saying that says ‘close’ only counts in horseshoes and grenades and while that may be true, it is not limited to that.   Close doesn’t count in Christianity either.   I’ve seen different polls conducted that show 80-90% of Americans believe in God, yet no where near that number have committed their lives to living for Christ or attend church on a regular basis.   Now, don’t get me wrong, believing is a wonderful thing, but it is where you start, not end.  The simple definition of faith is believe and trust.   You believe God and you trust God in everything.   This problem is not new to our time; it has always been there through time.   It was, as you see from the above verse, present in first century.   James talks about this in a letter to the churches.   Although written to the churches, that is Christians, it talks about this idea of believe and commitment.  

18 But someone may well say, "You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works." 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS," and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.   James 2:18-24

In verse 18 he commends them that if they believe they do well, but then he says that even demons do that, which leaves the implication that something further is needed.   In the next verse he starts off by saying “But are you willing to recognize…” indicating that something may be lacking in their lives.   James does not stop there, he goes on and explains that faith without works, you faith is “useless”.   That is a powerful statement.   It tells us we have to act upon our beliefs; we have to put feet on our faith.   In verse 24, James says that you are “justified by works, and not by faith alone”.   James gives an example in verse 23 of what he is talking about.   He goes back the Old Testament where Abraham, at God’s request offered up his son Isaac on the alter and it was Abraham’s faith together with his actions that resulted in Abraham being called a friend of God.   (For those not familiar with this passage about Abraham, God stayed Abraham’s hand, it was God seeing if Abraham would follow what God had commanded or not)   Abraham’s actions, his works, were reckoned to him as righteousness.

You accept God’s grace through faith the bible tells us in Eph. 2:8, but as we have learned faith requires more than simple belief.   It requires us to act upon our beliefs and go forward living our lives for God.   Where are you in your life, do you believe but never acted upon that belief.   It is a wonderful thing that you believe, you are headed down the right path.   But are you “almost persuaded” as King Agrippa was?   Close may count in horseshoes and grenades, but unfortunately, it does not with Christianity.   You have to put feet on your faith.   On the day the church began in Acts, Chapter 2, Peter preached a sermon and those listening were persuaded by Peter and the rest of Apostles and asked what to do in verse 37.   Peter’s answer in verse 38 still stands today as what everyone who wants to be a Christian needs to do.   Verse 38 says in response to the question of what to do:

   37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" 38 And Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.   Acts 2:37-38

There is your answer, repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.   Verse 47says tells us that God adds you to the church when you do this.   After this you need to live the faithful Christian life, all of your life and heaven is yours.  (2 Timothy 4:6-8; Rev. 2:10)   Are you ready to begin your journey with God?   Come join us in our walk of love with God on the way to heaven.



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