Women of the Word: Bernice

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Bernice is mentioned in the book of Acts in these places – Acts 25:13, 23; 26:30. She was the oldest daughter of Herod Agrippa I, and despite her royal heritage, she was not a very chaste woman. After her first husband died, Bernice married her uncle Herod. After he died, she was romantically involved with King Agrippa, who was also her brother. It is when she is with Agrippa that she hears Paul passionately tell his testimony of how God changed his life. When Agrippa listened to Paul, he said, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” But from Bernice, we get no such exclamation.

1. Bernice heard the Gospel, but most likely refused to believe it. We know that Paul’s testimony had a powerful influence on Agrippa. So powerful that he was almost persuaded to become a Christian. But we can only imagine how Paul’s testimony impacted Bernice. Perhaps it convicted her. Perhaps it moved her. Maybe she too was “almost persuaded” to give up her ungodly ways and become a follower of Jesus the Christ.

We don’t know for sure, but, unfortunately, from all Biblical/historical records, it doesn’t look like she was fully persuaded to become a Christian. Her life could have been completely transformed. God would have readily forgiven her of her promiscuous sexual relationships and multiple marriages. In Christ, she would have discovered a true and an everlasting love.

As followers of Jesus the Christ who have been commanded to fulfill the Great Commission, we must realize that some people will eagerly give us audience and listen intently to our message, but still reject Christ. They will be almost persuaded, but not fully persuaded. Regardless of the response we receive, we must do as Paul did and faithfully share our testimony. We must tell of the salvation that is fully and freely offered to all – including the King Agrippas and Bernices of the world – if only they would accept it.

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5 thoughts on “Women of the Word: Bernice

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