A Common Mistake
In a country village an old man was anxious to know how he could get the forgiveness he knew he needed.
A preacher had visited him from time to time, and had taught him that he must prayas long as he lived, and hopein the end for God’s mercy through Christ. He told him that he couldn’t knowthat his sins were forgiven till the day of judgment.
A Christian heard about the old man. He went to see him, hoping to be of some help, and asked him, “How do you expect to be saved?”
“Well, I keep on praying, and hope God will have mercy on me.”
“Because you pray?”
“Well, yes; I cannot expect to be saved unless I do pray.”
“Then your prayer is going to save you?”
“Why, as to that, I suppose it is Christ who must save me, but I continually pray for forgiveness.”
“That is, YOU must have a hand in it. Now, if I were to hold out a five dollar bill in my hand and ask you to accept, would you beg and pray me to give it to you, or would you takeit?”
“Why, TAKE it, of course,” said the old man, smiling at the apparent absurdity of such a question.”
“My friend,” he said, “God Himself offers you full forgiveness of sin. He holds it outto you and asks you to believe Him. He declares that ‘the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin’ (1 John 1:7).
“Instead of taking what He offers, and believing His blessed Word, you keep on asking Him to giveyou the great Gift He has been offering to you these many years.
“He asks you to look to Christ! You look to prayer. He declares to you forgiveness through the blood of Christ!You tell Him in return you don’t believe Him. If you did, you clearly wouldn’t ask Him to giveyou what He freely offers you. So, you make God a liar, and hopeto be saved for doing so!”
The old man’s eyes were opened. He was astonished at himself; his conscience was aroused; a real conviction of sin against Godfollowed, and he finally believed and was saved.
“This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent. Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:29,37). “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand” (John 10:28).