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Hymn: Almost Persuaded

by PastorMinton on April 8th, 2016

Almost Persuaded

Author: Philip Bliss (1871)

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HYMN BACKGROUND

Bliss was inspired to write this hymn after hearing a message on Acts 26:28, where Agrippa tells Paul he is almost persuaded. The preacher said, “He who is almost persuaded is almost saved, but to be almost saved is to be entirely lost.”

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LYRICS

1 “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.”

2 “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!

3 Oh, be persuaded! Christ never fails—
Oh, be persuaded! His blood avails—
Can save from every sin,
Cleanse you without, within—
Will you not let Him in?
Open the door!

4 “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!”

5 Be now persuaded, oh, sinner, hear!
Be now persuaded, Jesus is near;
His voice is pleading still,
Turn now with heart and will,
Peace will your spirit fill—
Oh, turn today!

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COMMENTARY

This hymn based on the reflections of Acts 26:28 is a very sad but true commentary on American Christianity, not just in the late nineteenth century but also in the twenty-first century. Many people are willing to accept <b>almost</b> everything about Christianity, but they always stop short.

The above-mentioned preacher’s closing statement, presumably before his altar call, is a very condemning statement of Law: “He who is almost persuaded is almost saved, but to be almost saved is to be entirely lost.” “Almost” is not enough. Salvation is an all-or-nothing proposition. No one will be in Heaven because he or she was “almost” a Christian. Sadly, many will be in Hell because they were “almost” a Christian. The time is short. We are only promised the “now.”

History doesn’t record whether King Agrippa ever “finished” coming to faith in Christ. For the most part, history says he died childless after being very devoted to the Roman Empire and Hellenizing as much of Judea as possible. From the historical narratives, it is highly unlikely that Agrippa got any closer than “almost persuaded.”

The hymn calls out to the soul of the person who has come into the worship service, pleading for their assurance of their salvation. These are not just unbelieving visitors. There are many baptized and confirmed Christians (even Lutherans!) who struggle with being “almost persuaded.” It is a call to come and believe in Jesus Christ for their entire salvation. The hymn calls out that “now” is the time. There may be no more convenient time. While the hymn is typically used at the end of the sermon as an altar call, it is also very important to be placed before the sermon in a non-communion service, where the sermon serves as the apex and main event of the service. Then the pastor/preacher may take the opportunity to “persuade” those struggling by the Word of the Holy Spirit.

From → Hymnody

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