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When Close Is Not Good Enough

Over the years, I have encountered many people who have responded to the question, “If you were to die today, do you know where you would go?” with the answer, “I am almost there, I am close” or “I am working on it” and many other unBiblical answers. Hebrews 4:1-2 speaks of those who “come short of it.” They hear the word of God but it did not profit them, because it was not mixed with faith.

In Acts 26:1 King Agrippa told Paul he was permitted to speak. Paul explains his encounter with God and in v24 Festus calls him crazy. They have a brief conversation in front of Agrippa and Paul turns to Agrippa and asked, “King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets?” Before Agrippa can answer, Paul said, “I know that thou believest.” Then in v28 Agrippa tells Paul he was almost persuaded to be a Christian. Then in v29 Paul wished that he not only was almost but altogether as he was, meaning not just almost saved, but altogether saved. I have encountered many “almost” Christians in my life, but almost is not close enough. Jesus spoke in Mark 12:28-34 and said, “thou art not far from the kingdom of God.” “Not Far” means not there yet…knowing enough, seeing enough but not there yet. Acts 17:22-27 God is “not far from every one of us.” Lost persons, It is not far from where you are to Jesus! It is only a few small steps from Hell to Heaven! Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” If we come short, we do not have enough! Read Romans 10:1-13 and notice how the Jews came short of the righteousness of God. V8 tells us “The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart”, yet they are not saved. Imagine that, so close but so far away!

Now, let me show you how close a person can be and yet be so far away:

  1. You can believe the Bible and still be lost, so far away. Agrippa believed the prophets, Acts 26:27
  2. You can believe in Hell and still be lost, so far away. Felix trembled in Acts 24:24-25 after hearing of “Judgment to come”.
  3. You can be a member of a Church and still be so far away. Good Church members die lost every day! John 6:67-71
  4. You can be a good, honest, upright, caring, giving, loving person and die and go to Hell! Mark 10:17-22 tells of a young man that kept the law from his youth up and yet Jesus said, “One thing thou lackest.” He was so close that there was only one thing left to do… “Take up the cross and follow Me.” He had not accepted Jesus as the messiah.

You can know all the right things, believe all the right things, do the right things and still leave the “One thing” undone…Accepting Jesus as your own personal Lord and Saviour. If that is true of you, why not accept Him now, today, right now and you will be “altogether” Saved, not just “close”.

If you will believe you are a sinner, and that you are lost, and that God loves you and gave Jesus to die on the Cross for you, and in repentance and faith receive Him, you will be saved!

John 1:11-12 “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not, But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” May God bless you dear reader. If I can pray with you or for you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Pastor Lev L. Humphries, Psm. 27

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