“‘Then Agrippa said to Paul: You almost persuade me to become a Christian!’ Acts 26:28. There are many who conclude that they are Christians, because they have been enlightened to see something of their state, danger, and deserved doom . . . A person may be awakened to feel, to tremble, to desire salvation — as did Felix and Balaam, Acts 24:25, Numbers 23:10.”
“He may be reformed, and turn from open profanity to strict morality — as did some in Peter’s day, 2 Peter 2:20.
He may be assisted to do many things which are in themselves good, such as reading the Scripture, attending divine ordinances, engaging in prayer, and working miracles, Matthew 7:21-23, Mark 6:20, 1 Corinthians 13:3.
He may experience God’s power put forth restraining him, and keeping him back from sin, as did Abimelech, Genesis 20:6.
He may humble himself before God, as did Ahab, 1 Kings 21:27-30.
He may possess joy and be exceeding glad under the Word, Matthew 13:20.
He may believe the Word, receive the testimony, and admire the preacher, Luke 4:22-29, 8:13, Ezekiel 33:31-32.
He may be filled with zeal for Christ and his cause, like the multitude, John 6:15, 16; Matthew 21:8-11; Luke 23:18-23.
He may be baptized upon a profession of faith, join a Christian church, and imitate the saints in his conduct — as did Simon Magus, Acts 8:13.
He may fill an office in the church, preach the gospel, and act consistent for a time — as did Judas; and yet Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place, Acts 1:25.
He may be highly esteemed by others, be sound in doctrine, and suffer for the cause of Christ, and yet be destitute of the vital principle of saving faith — like Demas, Alexander, Hymeneus, and Philetus, 2 Timothy 2:16-18, 4:10-14, 1 John 2:15.
He may have many excellent qualities, so that he may be admired and loved by others, like the rich young ruler in Matthew 19.
He may have all that has been named above — but ONE THING may be lacking, and he be found at last, merely an almost Christian.”
By James Smith, The Way of Salvation Set Forth, “An Almost Christian,” www.gracegems.org.