From Jesus, With Love
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
The redemption that Jesus made available to men through His baptism and death is a love gift with no strings attached. We are not used to receiving things without someone wanting something in return, so its hard to really grasp the nature of this fantastic offer of a free salvation. In the back of many people’s minds it is the thought that there must be a hidden agenda somewhere. No one gives something for nothing!
However, let me assure you, there is no fine print in the contract of salvation. All we are asked to do is to take the pardon He graciously offers and then begin to enjoy our freedom. Jesus said, “Come to me all you who labour and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28 All we have to do is to come to Him, give Him our burdens and take the gift of rest from Him.
Though Christ has redeemed all mankind from Satan’s slave market of sin, unfortunately not everyone has chosen to avail himself of the ransom and go free. A story is told of a young man who was convicted of murder many years ago. His parents, being influential and wealthy, finally obtained the stay of execution from the governor and eventually the convict was granted a pardon. This man, still sitting on death row, was given the news that he had been given his freedom. However, when he was handed the pardon, he rejected it. He said, “I am guilty and want to die.”
Try as they could, his family and lawyers couldn’t persuade him to change his mind. In an efforts to keep him from being executed, the family took the case all the way to the highest court in the state. The court ruled that a pardon is not a pardon until it is accepted by the one for whom it was intended. The man went to his death, not because he had no alternative but because he refused to accept the pardon.
So, it is with men. Those who spend eternity separated from God in bitter anguish of soul and body will do so not because there isn’t an alternative but because they won’t accept the pardon that had already been made available through the Gospel of the water and Spirit that contains God’s righteousness, unconditional love and grace, Once a man accepts a pardon he is forever free now and forever more.