By: Tim Grissom
A religious person is not necessarily a born-again person—even when their religion is steeped in the gospel. I know because I was one, an “almost” Christian.

I’ve written part of my faith story on this blog before, so I won’t repeat it now. I’ll just say that Proverbs 5:14 pretty much summed up my life until I was nearly thirty years old: “at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.” I was active in my church, immersed in Christianity but empty of Christ.

I was no better off than the rich ruler whose story is told in Luke 18. He was in the midst of the Way, literally close enough to Christ to have a conversation with Him. He asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” But because he didn’t like the answer, he walked away.

Jesus had gotten to the heart of the matter, as we see Him do time after time in personal encounters. He lets the person know that He is completely aware of what is going on behind the closed doors of their heart. But this exposure of secrets—with all the awkwardness, shame, remorse, and foolishness it churns up—He’ll gladly follow with welcoming mercy and redeeming grace.

Now that that’s out in the open, and you know that I know . . . Come to Me. Find rest for your soul. I love you and I will never unlove you.

It breaks my heart to think that this rich ruler walked away from that eternal promise so he could live a few more years in luxury. As far as we know, he never came to Christ.

He almost did.

I pray regularly for the “almost” Christians who live in our neighborhoods and attend our churches. I pray their hearts awaken to the truth that Christ is coming, maybe soon, and that to be almost ready is to be completely unprepared.
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