As Christians we often say salvation is a free gift. But as that phrase came to my mind this morning, I thought, “It’s a free gift that requires everything.” I realized how oxy-moronic that is. It’s free but it requires everything. With salvation, I signed up to give God control over every part of my life, to surrender totally to Him, to desire His desires and give up my own. Wow, it’s not sounding so free now.
But this is really important to tell “aspiring” Christians. When we share the Gospel, we need to make it clear that this is a free gift that requires all. I think too often we have offered the opportunity of someone receiving Christ as their Savior and we stress the free part. “You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to earn it with good works.” And that’s true. But maybe we’re giving a wrong impression. It’s free…but are you prepared and willing to give up your own ambitions? It’s free…but are you prepared and willing to take on God’s ideas as your own? It’s free…but are you prepared and willing to count the cost?
I’ve been afraid to do that. I’m afraid they might back off. They might not think it’s a great idea afterall. But without me telling the truth, I’m giving a wrong impression and that could create a still-birth–A spiritual birth that dies before it lives. Some of my “converts” have done exactly that. Would it have made a difference to tell them about the surrender part? Maybe I did.
But for sure, if we stress it, we can be confident that if God is the one calling them into His family, they won’t back away. It’ll be a live birth and they will live powerfully with Him.
I hope I remember this the next time I share the Gospel.