Have you ever stopped to think about eternity – forever and ever – endless? What an awesome thought! Each one of us has a never-dying soul. Where will your soul be for an eternity that never, never ends? Everything on this earth comes to an end, but not eternity. God tells us in His Book, the Bible, that there are only two places in eternity: heaven and hell (Luke 16:22-23). Which one will it be for you?
Let’s go back 2000 years in history. There on a Roman cross was Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Why was He there? He had come to bring life, health and peace. But He was rejected by the leaders of His people, who persuaded them to make a cruel demand: “Away with this Man … Crucify Him, crucify Him!” (Luke 23:18,21).
The Roman executioners whipped Him. They took long, sharp thorns and twisted them into a crown and beat it down on His head. Blood trickled down His back and face. No one took pity on Him or tried to comfort Him. The soldiers came and nailed His hands and feet to that cross. The pain was excruciating.
What did Jesus do about it? Did He call for vengeance on His murders? Did He call for a thunderbolt from heaven to destroy them? He could have. Instead, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). Is it possible? Have we heard right? Yes, He actually prayed that they might be forgiven.
Do you realize that you are a sinner in need of forgiveness? Yes, we all have sinned – whether little or much – for God says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). He also says, “The wages of sin is death.” But then He adds, “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Have you neglected God’s amazing, free offer of salvation? A person who consistently neglects to pay his taxes will end up in jail – as he deserves. But all who neglect Christ and His offer of forgiveness will end up in hell – as they deserve.
A farmer, who had to cross a creek to work his fields, was repeatedly warned about the rotten timbers in his bridge. His answer was always, “I’ll take care of it next week.” One stormy night he was returning home from the fields. As he crossed the condemned bridge it collapsed and the poor man drowned in the raging stream.
Will you die a neglecter of the forgiveness Jesus Christ offers you? The Bible says, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3). What is your response? We hope you are not saying, “I’m not interested! This world was made for me to enjoy myself. None of your long-faced religion for me!” Or perhaps you have another excuse?
Stop and listen to Jesus saying, “Father, forgive that man, forgive that woman who has sinned against me. Forgive them, Father.” Listen to His loving voice calling you, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37).
Don't forget this warning: How will you escape if you neglect to accept God’s gracious offer of forgiveness? The Bible is clear: you cannot escape!
Scriptures from The New King James Version, © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. By Permission.