"You almost persuade me to be a Christian."
These are tragic words in many ways. It is tragic in the sense that Agrippa heard the truth of the crucified and resurrected Messiah, Jesus, and still rejected it. It is tragic that he stood at Heaven's door and chose hell. Any time someone rejects Jesus Christ and His offer of hope for their life, it is most definitely tragic. As I study this story though, I see something that must have been especially tragic for Paul that many believers have experienced.
Paul was a man that knew of the convicting and changing power of God. When he spoke of his Lord, there was lightning in his eyes and thunder in his voice. He had once walked and lived far away from Jesus Christ, but when Christ came into his life, He came in like a storm. Paul had gone from being a persecutor to the persecuted for Christ's sake. This man who had once cursed the name of Jesus now could not help but speak it and proclaim it to all who would listen. At this very moment of his life, he has been given an audience before some of the most powerful rulers in the land, and he desired greatly to show them the love and power of Jesus. He spoke with fervency and conviction, and laid before them what change the Holy Spirit had brought into his life.
Here is where I think that it became tragic for Paul. Read the verse this way. "Paul, YOU almost persuade me to be a Christian." I believe that when Paul heard this his heart sank. We often tend to focus on the word "almost" in this passage. I don't think that is what would have bothered Paul as much as the fact that Agrippa was almost persuaded by Paul and not the Holy Spirit. Paul knew that his words were not adequate enough for one to be converted. He knew very well that every man needed to be convicted then converted by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We have too often put too much pressure on ourselves to convert people. We almost at times try to talk people in to accepting Jesus. If you are what has convinced someone to be saved, it just might be another false profession. The greatest tool that you have in sharing your faith is the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. You are completely powerless without it. As you live your life and share your faith, pray more than any thing for the power of the Holy Spirit to be present. We cannot persuade men like the Holy Spirit can move them.
May you have the power of God today!