Christianity 201

December 19, 2014

Receiving the Gift

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:47 pm
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John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Preaching has changed over the last two decades and there is a certain style of sermons that is disappearing and may even seem quaint to younger readers. The way illustrations are weaved into messages is one example, but we need to remember that Jesus ministry consisted of using parables to make his point. There is no record of him having four points that start with the letter “P” (or Aramaic equivalent).

pardonStephen Weber shared the story of picking up some coal for his wood stove from two identical twin brothers.

…I also enjoy visiting with Richard and Robert, bachelors who never married and continue to live in the same home they grew up in. I observed some evidence of Christian faith on the wall of the small office but last week Richard (or it might have been Robert) began to tell me a story and I realized he was witnessing to me!

He told me about George Wilson who was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging for robbing the US mail on a route between Philadelphia and Reading Pennsylvania in 1829. But just before the time set for his execution President Andrew Jackson pardoned him. However Wilson refused the pardon and the Supreme Court ruled that a pardon was not in effect until accepted. Wilson was executed even though he had been pardoned, since he refused to accept it.

He went on to relate this to God’s offered pardon and the necessity that we accept it. The Bible says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). An old hymn ends with this inviting line, “Will you this moment His grace receive?”

Because God is just, He must punish our sins. But because God is merciful, He Himself suffered the awful penalty when Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby with the mission to redeem and offer pardon. He suffered the wrath of God when He died on the cross of Calvary. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Isaiah has a powerful, timeless call to the human race, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (55:7).

Just consider the wonderful words. “He will abundantly pardon.” You can easily memorize them, And He will! Don’t be like George Wilson. Accept God’s freely offered pardon. “Will you this moment His grace receive?”

3 Comments »

  1. Hi. I just stumbled upon your blog. I used to blog under the name transientglory. One of my posts was re-posted here I think back in 2011. Anyway, I now have a different blog that I’m (quite honestly) trying to get more traffic on. I definitely wouldn’t mind if you re-posted some of my posts here. Thanks. :)

    Comment by thewarwithsarx — December 20, 2014 @ 4:38 pm | Reply

  2. ah! I just realized that link doesn’t work. My blog address was http://www.thewarwithsarx.com but I couldn’t afford to keep the domain name. The address is now http://www.thewarwithsarx.wordpress.com

    Comment by thewarwithsarx — December 20, 2014 @ 4:41 pm | Reply

  3. Ok. I’m an idiot. http://www.thewarwithsarx.com does still work. Sorry about that.

    Comment by thewarwithsarx — December 20, 2014 @ 4:59 pm | Reply


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