Almost Christian

On July 25, 1741, John Wesley introduced the idea of an almost Christian. After a discussion in my church home, I think an almost Christian is someone that has yet to relinquish full control to God, and still believes they can “earn” God’s grace; but how can a person earn something given freely?

The almost Christian has yet to experience true brokenness. All Christians experience trials, but there is always one trial that forces us to our knees and makes us defer to God. Only when we are truly broken do we defer to God and allow Him to take control. Control over our hearts, minds, souls, finances, etc. In our weakest moments God reveals our purpose, our value, God’s will. He does this in many ways through people, situations, or even during times of mediation.

In 1 Kings, the Prophet Elijah carried out God’s will and admonished Ahab and Jezebel for turning their backs on God and abandoning the ways of their fathers. Elijah was a prophet chosen by God to deliver His message, but when Elijah was presented with the earthly consequences of God’s message Elijah ran from his divine responsibility as far and as fast as he could. Tired, broken, and dying in the desert, God was patiently waiting with food, water, and rest. As Elijah fled he exuded doubt about his mission and acted as an almost Christian. Elijah did not trust God with control over his life. He doubted God could protect him from Jezebel shows us that Elijah still thought he had control over his circumstances. God used Elijah’s frailty to show love, forgiveness, and strength. Elijah returned to fulfill his purpose herding God’s flock. Elijah’s acceptance of God’s will is the rebirth of a true Christian. As a Christian we have nothing to fear. God never promised our purpose would be easy, He only promised we would be equipped to carry out His will.

Having faith casts out fear, doubt, and commands that we recognize God has control. To answer the previous question, we cannot earn a spot; your spot had your name on it before you were ever conceived. All you have to do is accept your identity in Christ and strive each day to be more Christ-like than you were the day before. We are the only Bible some in the world will ever read. We must extend grace freely to others so we mirror Christ. Not only should we extend grace freely, we are called to also love, accept, and nurture all we come into contact with. This means acceptance of our fellow Christians and non-believers alike.

All of us are God’s children; some just choose to rebel longer than others. By being Christ-like we exemplify a long-standing offer to have a relationship with the perfect Father. No matter what, the call is to invite others to walk with you in fellowship.  An invitation may be declined but it will never be forgotten, God has a plan for all of us. Are you living out His purpose for you?

– Kat McCoy