By: Gary L. Hutchens
What does the word “Almost” mean? Almost getting a passing grade on the exam means you got a failing grade! Almost getting that job you wanted means you did not get that job! Almost succeeding at some endeavor means you failed at that endeavor! Almost winning means you lost! Almost making it across the street without getting hit by that oncoming truck means you got hit by that truck! Simply put, Almost Won’t Get It!
On February 1, 2003 the space shuttle Columbia almost made it safely back home after spending sixteen days in space on its twenty-eighth mission. Just sixteen minutes from landing safely on the ground the shuttle disintegrated and the whole crew was lost.
At the end of World War II, a young soldier called his mother from Europe and told her, “I’m coming home.” He had fought four years in the war and survived horrific battles. After arriving back in the United States he boarded a small plane for Dallas, TX. The plane crashed! He almost made it back home but died before he got there.
Sixty-two year old William Hyatt walked twenty-two miles across the Mojave Desert after his car broke down. He crawled the last two miles. Just over the hill, just one half mile farther was Saratoga Springs. He almost made it to safety but died face down in the sand from thirst and exhaustion.
How many batters have stood at the plate, swung and almost hit a game winning homerun only to have it caught at the fence for an out? How many receivers have almost caught the winning touchdown pass only to have it brush off the tips of their outstretched fingers for an incompletion? How many potentially game winning basketball shots almost went in but bounced off the rim as the game ending buzzer sounded? Almost, Almost, ALMOST! Almost just won’t get it.
The most tragic “Almost” statement is recorded in scripture: “Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You almost persuade me to become a Christian.’” (Acts 26:28). There is no record of Agrippa ever becoming fully persuaded. Certainly, he was not the first person to be just almost persuaded to become a Christian. Untold multitudes have been almost, yet not fully, persuaded to be baptized into Christ for the remission of their sins.
We sing the hymn “Almost Persuaded.” The last half of the last verse emphasizes the reality of being only almost persuaded. “Almost cannot avail; Almost is but to fail; Sad, sad that bitter wail ‘Almost but lost!’”
The baseball player will have another time up at the plate. The football receiver will have another chance to catch a pass. The basketball player will have another shot. Almost is not the end for them.
But a soul standing before the Lord at judgment, having been only almost persuaded to become a Christian, will face the consequence of having wasted his time to become fully persuaded! He will not be able to enter he gates of pearl to walk the golden streets of Heaven. Eternal condemnation in Hell will be his reality. When facing eternity there is nothing positive in the reality of having been only almost persuaded to come to Christ. No, almost just won’t get it…
Gary L. Hutchens