Acts 26:28,29 – “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.”
I have been thinking a lot about Judas lately. I have been doing a devotional book and one of the lessons was on Judas.
Judas walked with Jesus all those years, saw all those miracles, heard all His teachings – and yet, he still did not believe. He was looking for a zealot, someone to lead his people out of Roman bondage and tyranny. Judas thought he had found that leader in Jesus. And instead of listening and having his heart changed, he became bitter and deceitful.
And then you have Agrippa. He heard all that Paul had to say, had seen the changes in the people and may have even experienced the time of Jesus’s death. Yet, he couldn’t give his heart to Christ. “Almost thou persuadest me”.
How many people will be standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ saying, “I almost believed”? It makes my heart sad to think of those people. Those people who have seen Jesus at work in someone’s life. Those who have seen His mighty hand change a situation because of prayer. Those who have sat in the pew week after week and heard the Gospel yet remained where they were instead of giving up the fight.
I just wanted to remind you today that you can lead someone to change, but you can’t make them change. All you can do is offer the change. It is similar to losing weight. You know you need to do it. You know you need to make the change. But until you decide to change and have been persuaded that it is necessary to do so, it is futile to try and change. You have to be persuaded that you are overweight and your health is in danger. With salvation, you have to be persuaded that you are a sinner and your eternal life is in danger of the fires of hell. As followers of Christ, we can show someone these truths from the Bible, but until they allow the Holy Spirit to convict their heart, change is not going to happen.
So let me encourage you today, live the change. Live the difference that Christ has made in your life. Remember – you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. You can show others Christ in your life, but you can’t make them accept Him as their Savior.