By: Gary L. Hutchens
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 before dying face down in the sand from thirst and exhaustion. Just over the hill, just a half mile away was Saratoga Springs. He “Almost” made it to safety, but he died before he got there.
A young soldier fought four years through World War II. He survived horrific battles and was there when the allies won the war. He called his mother from Europe and told her, “I’m coming home.” After arriving back in the U.S. he boarded a small plane for Dallas, TX. The plane crashed. He “Almost” made it back home, but he died before he got there.
On February 1, 2003 the Space Shuttle Columbia returned from its twenty-eighth mission, having spent sixteen days in space. Families of the crew gathered in Houston to welcome their loved ones home. But a piece of foam insulation broke off, damaged a wing on the shuttle, and the force and heat of reentry into our atmosphere caused the shuttle to literally disintegrate. Pieces rained down over the states of Louisiana and Texas. All seven astronauts perished. Only sixteen minutes from landing they “Almost” made it back home safely, but they died before they made it.
The Apostle Paul, a prisoner in Roman custody, stood in a hearing before King Agrippa. After presenting the basic message of the gospel of Christ Paul asked Agrippa, “do you believe the prophets?” He then answered for the king, “I know that you do believe.” King Agrippa’s response? “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” (Acts 26:27-28). Sadly, the scriptures never indicate that Agrippa ever became altogether persuaded to become a Christian.
Being only “Almost” persuaded to become a Christian is eternal disaster! Being “Almost” forgiven of your sins means you’re still facing eternal death, condemnation in Hell (Rom. 6:23; Jas. 1:12-15; Rev. 21:8). Being “Almost” saved means you’re lost. Why would anyone remain just “Almost” persuaded to become a Christian, just “Almost” ready to put their Lord on in baptism and be forgiven of their sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16)?
Could it be pride? Could it be an emotional resistance to humbly admitting the guilt of sin and the need for forgiveness? Repeatedly, the scriptures warn, “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” (Jas. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5).
Could it be fear? Many people fear they cannot consistently resist sin and live a faithful Christian life. But God promises to never allow you to be tempted beyond your ability to say “No.” He will always be there for you (1 Cor. 10:13). Be assured, “the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations…” (2 Pet. 2:9).
Could it be that you think you’re too busy? Jesus spoke of those who offered excuses, claiming they were too busy come. But excuses will keep you outside the blessings of Heaven (Lk. 14:16-24).
Could it be you’re simply not finished with sin? “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). How sad it will be to only gaze into the city of Heaven, just short of walking the golden streets, not quite in the presence of the Heavenly Father, “Almost” living eternally with the saved… BUT LOST! That will be the eternal disaster of “Almost”…
Gary L. Hutchens