“For the wages of sin is death; but
the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom.6:23)
Everyone loves to receive gifts and no sane human being would reject a ten thousand dollars gift from a rich man; more especially when it is clean money, and the need for it is so pressing. Likewise other precious gifts are accepted with gratitude when offered at the nick of time.
But it is surprising that a rich man has been offering you a much more precious gift than dollars, pounds, naira or franks; but you have been consistently rejecting this gift! Maybe for the fact that its importance appears not to be so conspicuous now.
A few centuries ago, Jesus Christ the God-Man said, ”Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…” Matthew 11:28.
The Reason for the Gift
In the beginning, God created humankind to worship Him and Him alone. Unfortunately, this did not go down well with satan, and so he lured man into sin and rebellion against God.
“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made….and the serpent said unto the woman; Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil….the woman took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. (Gen. 2:1-6).
Being a God of justice, He had to punish man for his sin; and so man was driven from God’s presence: “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” (Gen. 3:23,24)
However, being a Father, He would not allow His children get out of fellowship without making a way back into the fold. So, He paid the price for man’s redemption, when, through the birth, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He satisfied all the demands for reunion with man. Having taken care of the price, He threw open the door, that WHOSO-EVER WILL MAY COME!
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:…And the Spirit and the bride say, Come, And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” 1 Peter 3:18; Rev. 22:17.
Is Salvation Really Free?
The answer is twofold: No, and Yes!
NO: As you have seen from the scriptures quoted above, salvation is very expensive—to God, because it cost Him the fellowship with His Son for 33 years. For that period of time, the face to face presence of Jesus in the heavenly court was curtailed.
It was expensive to Jesus, because He went through untold humility, sufferings and agony to buy (redeem) you and me back from the slave market of sin and iniquity.
More than that, He had to shelve His glory for that period of time, to live and be known as a man of sorrows, so He could identify perfectly with you and me. He felt how you feel, lived how you live, ate how you eat, and in short, took upon Himself all of human nature so he could fully understand, what it is to be human. Having done all these, he qualified fully to be our representative.
“He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed….” Isaiah 53: 3-5
YES: Salvation is FREE to you and me because, since Christ paid the price for our waywardness, we do not have to pay again. Meditate on the following song:
“He paid a debt He did not owe
I owed a debt I could not pay
I needed someone to wash my sins away
And now I sing a brand new song:
Christ Jesus paid the debt
That I could never pay”
—Ellis J. Crum.
There is no other way by which man could have qualified for the demands of redemption.
How Shall We Escape?
There may be no repercussion if I reject your gift. I may hurt your feelings, but that is all! As far as I am concerned, I must have weighed all sides and seen that your gift does not harmonize with my plans. But, my friend, that is not true of God’s gift. You cannot reject the gift of God and get way with it. Why?
First, You cannot work out your own salvation. Gal. 2:16 says, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ,…for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified…” because, “we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away….” Isaiah 64:6.
Secondly, No other way is provided for you to get saved: “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. Being born into a Christian family cannot get you into heaven. Church attendance will not help you.
Thirdly, If you die without being saved, there is no purgatory where you can be cleansed in readiness for heaven. You are lost and doomed for hell for ever! “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow… And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment,…the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone which is the second death…and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name….For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” James 4:14; Heb. 9:27; Rev. 14:11; 21:8; Rom. 6:23.
The only way of escape is through REPENTANCE unto God, TODAY!
Repentance is a total change of heart from your old ways of sin into living a life that is approved by, and appealing to, God. You accept what the bible says about you and your sin. The Bible says you cannot deliver yourself. Faith is needed to be able to repent fully, because these are things you cannot see. They can only be perceived and taken for the words of another person, but this time, authoritative words from the Creator and the final Judge. Faith is putting your absolute trust in Christ’s finished work on the cross.
“…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house…But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on His name….If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thy heart…,thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31; John 1:12; Rom. 10:9.
If you would take this step of faith now, please say the following prayer as sincerely as you can, from your heart and believe that He has heard you and has come into your heart to dwell with you for ever.
“Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I believe You died for my sins. I accept Your gift of salvation now. Come and dwell in my life, that I might dwell with You forever in Your kingdom. I confess and reject my sins. I forsake satan and his works. I take You Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior forever. Thank You for saving me now, in Your precious name I pray. Amen.”
Please let us know that after reading this tract you have decided to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior. We like to rejoice with you and send you some more help to join a Bible believing Church while spending the rest of your life loving Hum, obeying Him and seeing Him.
Rev. Dr. Samuel Abraham
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