Don’t Give Up on Anybody
by: Edward Cook
On a summer day several years ago I sat down with my dad and took the opportunity to talk with him about his relationship with God. I knew that earlier in his life he had read the Bible all the way through (he had said that Revelation was his favorite book), but I wanted to make sure he understood the truth of the Bible and ask him to consider where he would be going after he would die. I am thankful that I had that opportunity to share my faith with my dad. I explained to him that in the Bible we find the truth about God.
God is our creator. God made my dad and He made me and He made you, we are all His property. In Luke 12:7 Jesus says “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
God is holy. To be holy means to be set apart from all that is sinful and unclean. Everything about God is perfect. Being holy, He requires Holiness. Leviticus 19:2 reads “Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.”
Beyond that, God is perfectly righteous. Deuteronomy 32:4 reads: “He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just.” He ultimately rewards good and punishes evil. As I explained to my dad, we are all sinners. Romans 3:23 reads “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”Romans 6:23 reads “For the wages of sin is death”. By “death,” the Bible means death (complete separation from God) forever in Hell where all who have sinned will pay the penalty of their own sin forever.
That all of us deserve punishment for our sins is the bad news, but as I told my dad, the Good News is that we can be “REDEEMED”!
I made the point to my dad that God is perfectly loving. Knowing what a mess we are in, God the Father lovingly sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to the world to save us from the consequences of our sin, and allow us to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. This is the only way we can be “REDEEMED”. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The punishment Christ received satisfied God’s justice for God raised Christ from the dead to validate it and give us hope.
Therefore, we can be “REDEEMED” and escape the consequences of sin by trusting in Jesus’ death on the cross in our place. We can’t earn it. The apostle Paul says in Ephesians 2:8–9“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Every year on his birthday, my dad would say “I’m going to live to be a hundred”. On March 19, 2009 he died at the age of 78, some 22 years short of his goal. His death serves as a reminder to us not to presume upon God. The Bible tells us that man plans, but every decision is from the Lord.
I reminded my dad how Revelation says that God is returning soon. God’s offer to us to be REDEEMED is in this life only. So don’t delay with the Gospel. Matthew 24:42 reads “…be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.”Romans 10:9 says “…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
We men who have been redeemed have the responsibility to share the truth—the Good News—the “Gospel” while we still can.
I urge you all to never give up on the lost. No matter how far from salvation they may seem, keep giving them the Gospel and keep praying for them, because we do not yet know all those whom our heavenly Father has chosen to be REDEEMED.