Amazing Opportunity Lost
"Then [King] Agrippa said to Paul, 'Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?' Paul replied, 'Short time or long—I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.'"1
Governor Nash stepped out of his office and, for a moment, out of his role as Governor of Ohio. He tucked his large, black Bible under his arm and made his way down the hallway of the State Penitentiary, in Columbus, Ohio. As a Christian, his heart burned with desire to share Christ with a certain young man waiting on "death row." Guilty of first-degree murder of his girlfriend, the condemned one sat in his cell, just hours away from his appointment with the electric chair. Upon seeing the elderly man with a dark suit and Bible under his arm, he thought him to be a minister or the prison chaplain. His anger boiled over and he cursed as he sent the man away. A guard standing nearby could hardly believe his eyes. "You fool," he said, "don't you know who that was?"
"A preacher, I guess," was the reply. "No, that was the Governor, the only one who could set you free, and you sent him away." The young man died a few hours later, guilty not only of murder, but of sending away his only hope for freedom and life.2
You and I may never have committed any major crime, but in God's sight we are all guilty sinners facing God's judgment which is eternal separation from God in the place the Bible calls hell—whatever and wherever that may be. Because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross to pay the penalty for all your sins and mine, he is the only one who can give us the hope of a full and free pardon with God's gift of eternal life in heaven forever. If you have never accepted Jesus Christ's pardon, whatever you do don't turn him away today and in so doing fail to accept his offer of a full and free pardon.
In the words of William Shakespeare: "There is a tide in the affairs of men / Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune / Omitted, all the voyage of their life / Is bound in shallows and in miseries."
NOTE: To accept God's Invitation for a full and free pardon go to: http://tinyurl.com/6k49w or for further help read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank You enough for giving Your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to pay the just penalty for all my sins. Please help me to be sure that I have accepted Your free pardon and am a true Christian. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Acts 26:28-29 (NIV).
2. Source: Roger A. Parsons, Light From The Word, Spring 1992. Cited on http://net153.com/illustrations.