The State of the ‘Almost Christian’
There are many whom I must call “almost Christians,”
for I know no other expression in the Bible,
which so exactly describes their state.
They have many things about them which are right,
good and praiseworthy in the sight of God.
They are regular and moral in their lives.
They are free from glaring outward sins.
They keep up many decent and proper habits.
They appear to love the preaching of the Gospel.
They are not offended at the truth as it is in Jesus,
however plainly it may be spoken.
They have no objection to religious company,
and religious talk.
They agree to all you say
when you speak to them about their souls.
And all this is well.
But still there is no movement
in the hearts of these people
that even a microscope can detect.
They are like those who stand still.
Weeks after weeks,
years after years
roll over their heads,
and they are just where they were.
They sit under our pulpits.
They approve of our sermons.
And yet, like Pharaoh’s lean cows,
they are nothing the better,
for all they receive.
There is always the same regularity about them—
the same constant attendance on means of grace—
the same wishing and hoping—
the same way of talking about religion—
but there is
There is no going forward in their Christianity.
There is no life,
and reality in it.
Their souls seem to be at a deadlock.
And all this is sadly wrong.
~ J.C. Ryle