Are You Almost or Altogether a Christian? Lessons from Felix and Agrippa

Paul Before Agrippa

King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds. ~Acts 26:27-29

The fateful words of verse 28, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian,” were uttered by King Herod Agrippa II at the end of Paul’s testimony before him, Festus the governor and other high profile guests. [1] As far as we know, Agrippa never became a Christian, and so is eternally regretting these words. Earlier in Acts, Paul also stood before the governor Felix, who trembled with conviction as Paul “reasoned of righteousness, temperance and judgment to come,” [2] but shook it off and never repented. So, even though the word is never used regarding Felix, we could say he also was “almost” a Christian, experiencing conviction but not repentance. If you want to make sure that you are not merely almost, but altogether a Christian, then please keep reading, as we see what we can learn from these two cases.

A book I highly recommend to discover if you are an altogether Christian – other than the book of 1 John – is The Almost Christian Discovered by Puritan Matthew Mead. In it he exhorts the reader [3] to “examine yourselves, [to see] whether [you] be in the faith,” [4] to “make your calling and election sure.” [5] He talks about the dangers of being an almost Christian and gives several illustrations from Scripture. Please allow me to give you a couple of examples from the book:

  • A man may hate sin, and yet be but almost a Christian. [6]
  • A man may have great hopes of heaven, great hopes of being saved, and yet be but almost a Christian. [7]

Following are a few lessons we can learn from almost Christians Felix and Agrippa in the same style as Mead. May we heed their warnings.

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