God Has a Gift for You
by Dave Breese
Most of the people of our world are, even now, in the process of making life’s greatest mistake!
What is that mistake? It is the mistake of believing the wrong thing about God and about what it is that He wants to do for you and for me. You see, most people believe that God is some kind of a tyrant in heaven and that He is displeased with us to the place where He demands that we do many painful things before He will save us and take us to heaven someday. By thinking this way, most people increasingly resent the God who made us all and, in their ignorance, dismiss the suggestion that they will ever avoid hell and gain heaven.
But because God will not allow us to stop thinking about these things, people mask their true feelings by telling silly jokes about heaven, hell, Saint Peter checking out entrance credentials, and many other foolish notions about where we will live in eternity. As a result, many have forced themselves to stop thinking about life, death, and eternal life and go for months, or even years, ignoring the only subject without which nothing else matters—God and the salvation which He offers.
It is time, therefore, for many of us to learn two straight and simple facts, whereby we can clear up these dangerous notions about eternity. In fact, our eternal life depends upon an understanding of these simple facts. They, therefore, must be understood before it is forever too late.
Fact 1—God does not hate you, He loves you. The Bible teaches that love is the very nature of God, saying that, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). In fact, anyone who has read the best-known verse in the Bible must believe that God loves the people of the world. It say, “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” (John 3:16).
In fact, God set forth, He displayed His love in such public and demonstrative fashion that no one should ever doubt His love for us. The Bible says, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Remembering that God loves us, we can easily see the second fact which we must know. It is this
Fact 2—God offers salvation as an absolutely free gift to all who believe in Him.
It does not matter how guilty, how terrible, how murderous, how wretched, how degenerate a person may be. One may have committed more terrible sins than he can remember, but still he is offered salvation as a free gift. The Bible clearly says this, declaring, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
What is a free gift? It is a present which we receive, though we did not earn it. No one is able to earn, to merit, to deserve salvation. Because we are sinners, all that we deserve is hell and eternal damnation. Happily, God offers us not what we deserve, but what we do not deserve. Salvation comes not because we have earned it, but because Christ has paid its price for us when He died for us on the cross.
A free gift is also something that we do not have to work to keep. If a person gives us a gift and then later takes it back because we did not merit it, then it never was a gift in the first place. So it is with salvation. We do not earn salvation before or after we are accepted of God as one of His children. The essence of salvation is that we receive eternal life. Eternal life is exactly that—life that goes on forever once it becomes ours.
We hope, by this time, you say, “It is unbelievable but wonderful. What must I do that I may receive this gift?” That question has already been specifically asked and answered in the Bible. The answer—“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). You see, there is nothing that one can “do” to be saved. Each of us, because we are dead in trespasses and sins, is disqualified from doing things to be saved, from salvation by works. We are saved, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy” (Titus 3:5). Salvation is not by works, it is by faith.
Faith in what? Faith in who Jesus was and what He did for us on the cross. Saving faith is to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. It is then to believe that His death on the cross is the finished work which is the basis of our salvation. One the basis of this faith, we receive Christ who brings to us the gift of God, which is eternal life.
How astonishing that so many people in our world still refuse to receive this gift. Turning from the grace of God, they are, by the millions, buying into a bogus version of Christianity which offers salvation by works, by the payment of money, by church membership, by baptism, by following a human leader. These people, by working to “do” something for God, miss salvation entirely. No one can be saved except they receive salvation as a free gift.
Have you received this gift? You may be a church member. You may have done many good works. You may have helped the poor and needy. While these things may be commendable, they are not salvation. The basis of salvation is faith alone in Christ alone.
God still offers you his free gift—eternal life. Why not make this the day in which you receive that gift and are truly saved. Remember the way is faith. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.