“A socialist once came to see Andrew Carnegie and soon was railing against the injustice of Carnegie having so much money. In his view, wealth was meant to be divided equally. Carnegie asked his secretary for an assessment of everything he owned and at the same time looked up the figures on world population. He did a little arithmetic on a pad and then said to his secretary. ‘Give this gentleman l6 cents. That’s his share of my wealth’” (Sermon Illustrations).
This socialist seemed to think that in some odd way, all people earned the right to an equal and fair share of all wealth. Certainly he was surprised to see just how little this ended up being. People often have their own ideas about what is just, fair, and what they deserve. Sometimes this attitude translates into spiritual matters as well. They say, “God would never condemn someone for that!” They state, “All good people are going to heaven.” They proclaim what they believe is fair and what are matters of spiritual injustice, but Scripture doesn’t support their ideas. The reality is, if we received what is just, fair, and what we deserved, it would not be at all pleasant. Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death….” Since all have sinned (Romans 3:23), all have earned death.
If God were being fair and just, then he would give us what we have actually earned, death and eternal separation from Him. Thankfully, there is more to Romans 6:23, “…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We have not earned, nor do we deserve anything at all from God. Everything He gives us is from His love and mercy.
However, just because this gift is offered doesn’t mean everyone has accepted it. Interestingly, in order to accept this wonderful gift however, we have to follow and obey the proper steps. Every step plays a role in accepting the gift. We must “believe or die in our sins” (Romans 10:17). We must “repent or likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). We must “confess Jesus as Lord” in order to “be saved.” (Romans 10:9-10). Then all of these steps lead to the final act which takes a person from being lost to being saved, baptism (Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:26-27; Romans 6:3-4; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 3:21; Mark 16:16).
What a forgiving and compassionate God we serve! Let’s praise Him for His kindness towards us. However, let’s make sure we do what He has asked us to accept this wonderful gift!