I was born and raised in the great state of West Virginia. I love to go back home to visit my family and this June I get to spend a little time in a place that has been enshrined in a song as “Almost Heaven”. I don’t remember streets of gold, but some were brick. I don’t remember there being no pain, but I do remember spraining my knee and having to be on crutches. I don’t remember not seeing any tears, sorrow, or death, but I do remember attending many funerals in that state of dear family members. Albeit the state is beautiful with its mountains, valleys and rivers, but being “almost Heaven” is no way near all of the glory and splendor of Heaven, itself.
Come to think of it, “almost” anything is not anything. “I almost won first place.” “I almost got away with it.” “I almost bought a new mustang.” In reality I came in second, I got caught, and I didn’t buy that mustang. “Almost” makes it sound better though, doesn’t it? We often tell the kids when we are traveling that we are almost there. We haven’t completely arrived yet, but we are really close; they start gathering their things and are eagerly waiting for us to get there. But they still have to wait.
Some of the saddest words in the Bible are “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian” (Acts 26:28). Why? Because almost becoming a Christian is still not being a Christian. You are still lost, no matter how “almost” you are. Almost being a Christian will get you almost Heaven. What exactly is “almost Heaven” spiritually? It’s the better sounding phrase for hell. Why settle for almost when you are able to have the real thing? Why would you want “almost Heaven” when you CAN have Heaven? It’s quite simple. Hear the gospel of Christ (Romans 10:17), believe in Christ (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6), repent of your sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30), confess Christ (Romans 10:9-10; Acts 8:37), be immersed in water for the remission of sins (Mark16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16) and live faithfully (Acts 2:42, 47; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Revelation 2:10).
Please, please, please don’t let the saddest words said about you is “_______ almost became a Christian”. Let’s take out the “almost” today.
By Kristina Odom
Kristina and her husband, Justin, serve with the church of Christ in Fairfield, IL where her husband is the preacher. Kristina is a stay-at-home mother to their three kids.