Paul Before Agrippa
Book of Acts Chapter 26
Chapter 26 begins with the Apostle Paul in the hearing room of King Herod’s palace in Caesarea, standing before the Governor Festus, King Agrippa, and his sister Bernice.
We will see that Paul will give a complete description of his calling.
When we repeat the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are giving to the world the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is what the Lord Jesus asked us all to do.
We cannot be ashamed of the Gospel!
Paul will also give his own testimony and things that concerned his own calling.
Christianity always appears in person.
The Lord Jesus uses human beings as His voice upon this earth and as His legs to take the Gospel to the world.
Christianity must be heard.
Paul gives his own testimony! We cannot give the testimony of someone else.
If we have nothing to say out of our own conscience, then we cannot be a witness for the Lord.
Our salvation may be between us and the Lord, but our experience in the Gospel is to be in full view of others.
Paul said, “I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”
Before Paul was known, he was first called Saul and Saul had been on his way to Damascus to do terrible things just as before we were saved, we were on the wrong road with the wrong purpose in life.
It is the Lord Jesus who brought about a change in Paul, just as He has brought about a change in each and every Christian, no matter where they are located.
Paul said, “I have seen the Light of the Lord Jesus”.
It is the Light of Jesus that allows us to see the filth that was in our lives, and that is in this world.
To be a Christian is to have mental illumination and liberation.
Paul said it was on this day on the road to sin that he met the Lord Jesus Christ, who is Jehovah God.
*Act 26:19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
Act 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
Remember, a Godly vision is much different than a dream. Dreams may seem real sometimes, but in a Godly vision all the characters have names, and the characters are real people, and it is as if you were dropped into the middle of something happening that was real because it is real.
God allowed those in these visions to see a future happening that was real. Dreams are just dreams good or bad and some bad ones are called nightmares.
Paul knew he had a Godly vision when he was on the Damascus Road.
This was Paul’s call into the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul was obedient to God’s call!
The Lord’s call was not up for discussion to Paul, and neither should it be to us.
Paul’s call was from Heaven, and this is the way we should all see it.
That call from Heaven should override any calling we may think we have in this world!
Paul’s vision of the Lord Jesus Christ was so real, that he knew he had seen the Lord Jesus in person just as the other Apostles!
There is no need to seek another’s opinion, when we are called of God, we know and understand it is reality!
All the charges against Paul were unjustified because Paul was obedient to the call of God.
We must never break any law when we are obedient to the Lord!
When we are faithful to the Lord we are on the right path, and we will be doing what the Lord wants us to do!
Our job is to let Christianity speak for itself!
We must allow the Word of God to do its job!
It is the Word of God that has the answers to all our questions and all of life’s questions!
We may think that our Godly experience is something between ourselves and God, but this is not true.
Paul never thought this because our relationship with God is to be shared with others!
Many times our testimony is the beginning of our conversation with those in the world.
If we are ashamed of our conversion, then we are ashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Those who have met Jesus Christ and have turned away, are running from their call into the ministry!
We cannot eat the Word of God one time, and this be enough.
We must sit down daily at the table of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2Co_4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
When we dine with the Lord, we are refreshed with His never-ending strength!
When Paul was allowed to speak his defense was that the truth of this world is in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord is serious when He calls anyone for reasonable service to the Gospel!
*Act 26:21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.
Act 26:22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
Act 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
Do you know why the queer movement, the trans crowd, the abortion industry, and many others do not believe they have to change their ways to be saved?
Because they look into the Church, and they see the so-called Christians and they do not see changed lives.
Now it is true that we cannot make everlasting changes to our lives because it is the job of the Holy Spirit who comes to live in us at salvation.
He has regenerative power, but we must be willing!
It is that changed life that shows the power of God!
We cannot neglect proclaiming the works of repentance!
Isa 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
You, without the Lord God of the Bible cannot accomplish anything worth speaking of!
There is no salvation apart from a life of righteousness, that righteousness according to the Word of God!
Religion, ritual, ceremony, church membership, baptism, worship attendance, heritage, good parents, morality, and many other things are meaningless, without a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is faith and repentance that shows our love for Jesus Christ!
Who would want to be in a Church where you do not have to change your wicked ways? Not me!
This is saying that the Word of God has no meaning!
Who wants to go to a Heaven that is just like this world? Not me!
This is saying that Christianity is just like all the false religions of this world.
Why was Paul being persecuted? Because he was obedient to the Lord’s call to preach the truth.
The world does not want to hear the truth!
What was the message of the Apostle Paul?
That men and women, queers, abortionist, drunks, immoral people, transgenders and all the lost should repent, turn to God, and do good works as described in the Word of God.
Paul was the Lord’s witness in teaching these things.
Paul had this same message to the lowest of humans upon this earth and those who sat on thrones!
Paul added that they need look no further than himself to see that God takes care of His children.
God cares for us even when no one upon this earth does!
As true believers, we can always count on our Lord God!
God does sometimes allow trials to come into our lives to make us tougher in facing the reality of this cruel world.
The Lord Jesus Christ also suffered on this earth at the hands of cruel men, as our example of the suffering we may have to go through.
Paul did not select his audience, he witnessed to those who stood in front of him at any given time.
He showed respect to the king for his position, but the message of Jesus Christ did not change because he was a king, or a Caesar, or the title of any ruler, or for any religious man.
No one is exempt from the message of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Gospel.
What was the truth for these Jews?
Paul bore witness to the Scriptures of the Messiah, the same Scriptures that the prophets and Moses used to say the Messiah would come.
1Th 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
Paul bore witness of the death of our Savior.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
The death of Jesus Christ was ordained before God created this world!
There was no other way for God to save us, but by His death and He will explain that to us one day soon!
Paul bore witness to the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.
Jesus Christ had to be the first one to rise from His death.
He was the first fruit, the first in importance to the truth of God!
He never again had to die because another death would have no meaning!
Rom 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
Lazarus rose from the dead, but Lazarus had to die again and there were others mentioned in the Bible and all these in this court room knew these things.
King Agrippa had never heard the Word of God preached in this manner and Festus could not accept these truths.
*Act 26:24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
Act 26:25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
Act 26:26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
We see that Festus could not accept the truth of the Scriptures. Festus was a Roman and knew truly little of the Hebrew people.
The idea of fulfilled prophecy, the resurrection of the dead, and this crucified Jew, giving light to the Roman world were foolishness to Festus.
Festus had no spiritual discernment because he had no knowledge of the one true God!
The gods of Festus were all statues and imaginary, with no such power as this Christian God.
All the gods of this world’s religions, besides Christianity are all also false gods.
Festus was saying to Paul that old book of writings had no meaning in the Roman dominated world.
The same thing is said today about the Word of God, but the Word of God is alive, and its meaning is truly clear in this world, for we are in the last days and the Word of God will become more meaningful as we get closer to the return of Jesus Christ.
Paul says. No, I am not mad Festus because the truth of God stands clearly opposed to falsehood.
The Word of God is real, the Word of God is fact, spoken in a world where lies dominate our existence, and riches rule our ways.
King Agrippa did have knowledge of the things Paul spoke of and Festus had no knowledge of those things.
None of these things were hidden from the ruler of Israel.
The Scriptures had predicted the coming of the Messiah and at least a few had gotten it right.
The news that what the Lord Jesus Christ had claimed, and His death and His resurrection, had swept through the whole country and Agrippa knew these things.
So Paul gets bolder.
*Act 26:27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
Act 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
There is a Christian song that is titled “Almost Persuaded” and it was written about these words of King Agrippa.
“Almost persuaded” now to believe.
“Almost persuaded” Christ to receive.
Seems now some soul to say,
“Go, Spirit, go Thy way,
Some more convenient day
On Thee I’ll call.”
“Almost persuaded,” come, come today;
“Almost persuaded,” turn not away;
Jesus invites you here,
Angels are ling’ring near,
Prayers rise from hearts so dear;
O wand’rer, come!
“Almost persuaded,” harvest is past!
“Almost persuaded,” doom comes at last!
“Almost” cannot avail;
“Almost” is but to fail!
Sad, sad, that bitter wail—
“Almost,” but lost!
So, what is a Christian or who is a Christian?
To be religious is one thing, but to be a Christian is much much different.
This is where the false Church has its problems.
There are many who belong to the Church, but they are not Christians.
In fact, my opinion or your opinion is irrelevant!
We have to go to the New Testament, the Word of God to get this answer!
A Christian is that person who has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as the basis if his faith and the rule of his life!
The Lord Jesus Christ is our foundation onto which we shall build upon!
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Law according to which we think, and we feel.
When we adopt Jesus Christ as the law of our thoughts and our feelings, then we must be Christians.
To be a Christian is to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ in His ways, not the ways of the world!
The Jews deny that Jesus was the Messiah so, they will always deny Christians are anything of value to God.
To the Jews those who followed Jesus were “the Way”, or “that Way”.
Should we be known as Christians?
When we study the Lord Jesus Christ and all that He is, and all that is said about Him, and His relation to God and to man, and see that these are the traits we need in our own lives, then we will see that we ought to be Christians. To be more like the Lord Jesus Christ.
These are the same things that were ordained by God from the beginning of creation!
When God said, “let us make man”, I believe God meant, “let us make Christians”.
Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:
The image of God is the image we see in the Lord Jesus Christ!
We are not made to be gods!
We can be made in the image, our character, like our God.
In respect to intelligence.
In respect of His moral nature.
In respect to righteousness.
In respect to true holiness.
In respect to life eternal.
We are to do our absolute best, to be like the Lord Jesus Christ in all His ways!
To King Agrippa, to become a Christian would seem to be a demotion from his current status as king.
This was the most critical moment in Agrippa’s life, and he answered with “almost”, as he was beginning to close his ears to the words of the Apostle Paul.
You see, when we are offered an opportunity to meet the Lord Jesus at Mount Calvary, we will have to make a discission about our destiny.
We cannot say that King Agrippa was almost a Christian because that person does not exist!
We cannot be almost Christians!
We must in every deed become a Christian!
If we believe the Bible is indeed the Word of God, then how can we deny the fact that we need to be like Jesus Christ.
If we reject becoming a Christian, then we are saying the Bible is a book of lies!
How did Paul respond?
*Act 26:29 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.
An almost Christian, is someone who wavers between Jesus Christ and the world.
Paul said; you have to move from being almost persuaded to altogether persuaded, before you can become a Christian.
There are many false notions of Christianity.
Many believe to be a Christian is having a free ticket to sin and then be forgiven but this is not true.
Rom_6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
God forbids Christians to intentionally sin and then beg for forgiveness!
We live in a pleasure mad society, and it is this pleasure of sinning that the lost refuse to give up, even though God says that pleasure will not last very long.
Yes, to be a Christian there will be suffering in this life!
Heb_11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
To be become a Christian is by “Grace”, a free gift, because it is God’s Will that we all become Christians.
That is being like the Lord Jesus Christ in all our ways!
There is a great danger than some with a vast knowledge of the Scriptures may never seek a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
This sounds like King Agrippa.
If we have been on a long journey and finding that we are near to the end brings great comfort, but to almost be a Christian should bring no comfort at all because, it is still rejection of the truth of God!
We should remember the story of the Ten Virgins.
Mat 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
Mat 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Mat 25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
Mat 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Mat 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
Mat 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
Mat 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
Mat 25:8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
Mat 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
Mat 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Mat 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
Mat 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
All ten of these were virgins, but five of them did not the Holy Spirit (oil) living within them which means they had rejected the truth of God and God had never signed their names in His Book of Life so, He did not know them.
We cannot just live a pure life; we must accept the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ to be a child of God!
King Agrippa died and went to Hell, because even knowing the truth of the Scriptures, he could not give up the pleasures of this world even though they can last no more than a lifetime and usually not near that long.