The saddest words ever sung are, “Sad, sad, that bitter wail,`Almost, but lost!” To think that one can be sincerely interested, perhaps even striving as hard as they possibly can, to get so close, and then to lose out completely. The Bible is full of such characters, those who almost gained the prize.
The Rich Young Man
Mark records the story of a young man who “ran” up to Christ, so eager and interested in salvation he could barely wait. Mk 10:17-22 When Jesus questioned him, Mark says, “He felt a love for him” (Mk 10:21). Surely he had come to the right place and was standing in front of the right person who could direct him in the right path. Jesus pointed out, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess, and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But, the Bible says, “At these words his face fell, and he went away grieved, for he was one who owned much property.” So close! He had worked for so long, now it was right on the tips of his fingers, and yet he let it slip right through his hands.
The angels came down into the wicked city of Sodom to rescue Lot and his family from the impending doom God was about to rain upon the city. They even had to take them by the hand and bring them out of the city as they hesitated (Gen. 19:16). Once safely out of the city, they were instructed to hurry and flee for their lives, and not to look back, which they did. They were nearly assured of safety, almost free of the impending doom, “But his wife, from behind him, looked back; and she became a pillar of salt” (Gen. 19:26). Almost safe, only to perish with the rest because she did not obey completely.
Moses led the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt and tolerated much abuse at their hand, as he sought to lead them to the promised land. He got all the way up to the edge of the land he had worked so hard to lead the people into, but was never permitted to actually enter the land himself. Moses relates how he pleaded with the Lord, ” `Let me, I pray, cross over and see the fair land that is beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’ But, the Lord was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me; and the Lord said to me, `Enough! Speak to Me no more of this matter.’ ” (Deut. 3:25-26). So close, he even got to go up into the mountain to see the land itself (Deut. 34:4), but he was not permitted to enter because he had failed to do what God had instructed him (Num. 20:7-12).
Herod Agrippa II
In reasoning before Agrippa, Paul appealed to the prophets and sought to reach the king. He drove his argument home: “King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you do.” Agrippa, feeling the effects of Paul’s logic, replied, “Almost, you persuade me to become a Christian” (Acts 26:27-28). These words of Agrippa truly represent the condition of many living today. They are almost persuaded to obey the gospel and become children of God. They are so close to having the prize right there in their hands, and that is as far as they ever seem to go.
It is sad to know that every Baptist in the world will be lost. Lost, despite they believe Jesus is the Christ. Lost, because they refuse to baptized into the body of Christ. It is sad to know that every Catholic in the world will be lost. Lost, despite the fact that they believe Jesus is the Christ. Lost, because they reject the kind of baptism of Jesus and His apostles (i.e. Immersion). It is sad that all denominations will be lost. Lost, despite the fact that they believe in Jesus. Lost, because they reject the doctrine of Christ and his apostles as absolute truth. It is sad that many in the churches of Christ will be lost. Lost, despite the fact that they obeyed the full gospel of Christ. Lost, because they partially continued in the apostle’s doctrine, but also taught the doctrines and commandments of men. Almost has never been enough to please God. He told those of the Old Testament, “You shall thus observe all My statues, and all My ordinances, and do them: I am the Lord” (Lev. 19:37). And James says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all” (Jas. 2:10). Let us not stand before God arguing and debating with God of all the wonderful works we have done, yet to hear Him reply: “ And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Mt 7:21-23 Don’t let “almost” stand between you and salvation! ‘Almost’ cannot avail; ‘Almost’ is but to fail! Sad, sad, that bitter wail-`Almost, but lost!’ ” Now is the acceptable time to do the will of God. Now is the day of salvation. 2 Cor 6:2