by Steve Wagers

This content is part of a series.

Close, but No Cigar (15 of 16)
Series: A Closer Look at the Book: ACTS
Steve N. Wagers
Acts 24-26
November 25, 2007

Sermon Outline
1. Felix: Concerned but not Converted!
A) A Servant He could not Accuse
B) A Season He would not Accept
2. Paul: Confined but not Condemned!
A) His Willingness to Stand on Trial
B) His Willingness to Stand for Truth
3. Agrippa: Confronted but not Convinced!
A) A Supernal Testimony
1) A Happy Man
2) A Hopeful Man
B) An Eternal Truth

The phrase, "Close, but No Cigar," is of US origin and dates from the mid-20th century. Fairground stalls gave out cigars as prizes, and the owners of livestock that did not receive a blue ribbon were handed a cigar instead.

It is first recorded in print in Sayre and Twist's publishing of the script of the 1935 film version of Annie Oakley: "Close, Colonel, but no cigar!"

It appeared in U. S. newspapers widely from around 1949 onwards. For example, a story from The Lima News, (Ohio) November 1949, where The Lima House Cigar and Sporting Goods Store narrowly avoided being burned down in a fire, was titled 'Close But No Cigar'. [1]

As I ponder the events of Acts 24-26, the phrase that immediately pops into my mind is, "Close, but No Cigar." There are 3 main character in these chapters; Paul the Apostle, Felix the Governor, and Agrippa the King.

Paul had just stood toe-to-toe with the council in Jerusalem with a "good conscience before God." Many of the devout Jews hated Paul's message because of its challenge to their orthodox system.

Thus, they had spread many slanderous rumors and accusations about Paul which caused the leaders to step in to investigate their claims. However, up to this point they could find nothing on Paul, because there was nothing to find.

Paul was guilty of nothing but preaching Christ, proclaiming Christ, presenting Christ, promoting Christ and pleasing Christ.

The council arranges for Paul to be sent to Caesarea to stand before ...

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