Free Gift

 

What plans, if any, have you made for eternity?  I'm sure that eternity is seldom, if ever, the center of your attention.  Partly because we can't fully comprehend it, and partly because we think that there is nothing we can do about it, we try to ignore it.  I'm sure you understand that eternity is time without beginning or end.  But, are you aware that you will exist somewhere for all of eternity?  Jesus, the eternal Son of God, said in Matthew 25:46, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."


If for no other reason than the immense amount of time you will spend there, you would be wise to seriously consider eternity for the next few minutes.

What may surprise you is that you get a choice of where you will spend eternity.  That's right; you get to choose!  If you have not yet made your choice  for eternity, you should --- as soon as possible because it is a limited-time offer!  Your choice of where you will will spend your next life must be made during this life.  According to God's Word, as you saw in the verse above, the default is an unspeakable horror!  I want to help you make the right choice, so let me share some fantastic news with you!

God loves you!

God loves every person. The Bible describes just how much God loves you and me and what that great love provides in  John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Your sin has separated you from God!

Although God loves you and me, He can't allow us into His presence without violating His own holiness.  He explains this in Isaiah 59:2, "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."  
 

It's impossible for you and me to see ourselves as we really are in His eyes, but His Word tells how sin comes between us and the holy God who loves us in Isaiah 64:6, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."

This separation will cause your everlasting punishment! 

As you saw above, the Son of God, told His disciples in Matthew 25:46.  "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."  It takes very little deduction to determine who the "these" are in this verse. The verse tells you and me three things:

   1. Everyone will exist somewhere forever! There are only two destinations and they are both 
         without end!

   2. The righteous will live eternally!

   3.  "These," obviously the unrighteous, will be punished eternally!

If you were asked to choose between these two eternal destinations, life with God or punishment and separation from God, which would you choose? A ridiculous question? It may seem so, but many, perhaps including you, have already chosen everlasting punishment. Jesus Christ said it in John 3:17-18, "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

If only the righteous experience eternal life while the unrighteous suffer eternal punishment and separation from God, it would seem eternally profitable to be among the righteous. So, just who is righteous?

Again, the Word of God is very clear about this in Romans 3:10-11, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God."    It appears, from God's Own Word, that only the righteous will live with Him throughout eternity but because none of us is righteous, none of us has any hope of heaven!

I'm glad you are still with me, but by now you are no doubt wondering, "Where is the fantastic news I was looking for when I started reading this?"   You have every right to be upset. But stay with me a little longer and I will get to the MOST FANTASTIC news in the world!  Here it is:

God, Himself, has provided the righteousness you need!

We've already discovered that the God of the universe, because of His infinite holiness, requires absolute righteousness from all those who would live eternally with Him. At the same time, we have learned that no one on earth possesses that kind of righteousness in himself or herself. In fact, we've learned that what we may call righteousness by our value system is as "filthy rags" in the eyes of the Holy God of the universe! 

II Corinthians 5:21 says, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."  It explains how we, who are the embodiment of sin, can have the righteousness required to go to Heaven. This verse, however, is full of personal pronouns which would require the careful study of the context to fully understand the person described by each pronoun. Therefore, I will paraphrase this verse, replacing each pronoun with the Person it defines. I will put the names in parentheses after each pronoun: "For He (God) hath made Him (Jesus Christ) to be sin for us, Who (Jesus) knew no sin: that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (Jesus)."

God offers you Christ's righteousness as a free gift!

What must you pay for a gift?   "That's silly!" you say, "If I have to pay for it, it's not a gift."  You're right. In fact, the term "free gift" is redundant because  "free" means "gift" and "gift" means "free!"  Let me show you two passages from God's Word that declare eternal life to be a "free gift:" Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." and Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

God makes it abundantly clear, if you are honestly seeking, that there is nothing that you can do to earn Christ's righteousness! It is being offered to you, right now, as a gift. There are only two things you can do with this offer. You can refuse it or you can accept it.

Christ's righteousness is free to you but it is not without cost. In order to remain just and holy while offering you His righteousness, Christ had to become a man and die for our sin on a cross outside of Jerusalem. He also had to be buried. Then God showed His satisfaction with Christ's substitutionary payment for your sin, when He raised Him from the dead!

How you can take advantage of this free gift!

If you are seriously interested in receiving Christ's righteousness; if you realize that you are a sinner and cannot obtain Christ's righteousness on your own; if you truly believe that Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead to provide you with His righteousness; if you want to be saved from everlasting punishment, then you are like the jailer in the city of Philippi way back in the first century. Notice his question and the answer in Acts 16:30-31, ". He asked: "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"  And they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."

The word "believe," in the Greek, has a much deeper meaning than the simple acceptance of some fact. To "believe in the Lord Jesus Christ" means that you place your full confidence for eternal life in nothing else but in Him and His finished work! 

Friend, you and I have probably never met. Nevertheless, God has shed His love upon me and now, through me, He is telling you how much He loves you, and longs for you to accept His gift by your faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. He has brought you to our website so that you could have the opportunity to receive His gift of eternal life.  If you want to talk to someone as soon as possible, call us at (262)764-9849. Or, you can e-mail me at southportbaptist@gmail.com

Dr. G. Scott Jones, Pastor 

©1997  

Please feel free to copy this gospel presentation with the following restrictions:
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