When I was an adolescent there was a popular TV series called “The Millionaire.” It was about a wealthy philanthropist named John Beresford Tipton, who would choose a down-on-their-luck soul out of the population to bequeath a million dollars to, tax free. He would send his emissary, a guy named Michael Anthony, to the chosen ones with a cashier’s check with their name on the payee line for a million bucks.
If I remember correctly, few would receive the check right away, as they figured it was some kind of hoax, or that it had some hidden strings attached to it. I mean, nobody just gives away a million dollars to people he doesn’t even know, for crying out loud! But Anthony would eventually convince them that it was real, and before the show was over, they would gratefully receive it and bank it.
Whenever I am attempting to show someone the gift of salvation by grace, I will often use this story as an example of the way it works. There are some differences, however. One difference being that everyone, not just a select group, gets the offer. Everyone in the world has a check for eternal life, with their name on the payee line.
God said in the letters to the Romans and the Ephesians that salvation was a gift that one could not work for; it is purely by grace (unmerited favor):
“For by grace are ye saved, through faith, that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:”
God is offering salvation to anyone in the world, without reservation, who will simply receive it in faith.
What if those people who were offered that million dollar check said no, I will not receive it? If they had done that, would that million dollars still be theirs? No. Not if they refused to receive it and bank it.
The gift of salvation is infinitely more valuable than a million dollars. After all, we’re talking about where someone will spend eternity here, folks. Yet millions thumb their nose at it every day, because they actually think God will look upon the the exemplary life they’ve lived, and accept them on that basis. Or, they think their life has been so bad/horrific, that God could in no way forgive them for what they’ve done. Or they accept the offer, not because they believe they are in need of salvation, but because “everyone else” appears to be accepting it (believing in vain) But for those who recognize and acknowledge their need to be saved–that they are lost and without hope, and believe and receive the gift in faith–God imputes his righteousness to their heavenly account, saves them and seals them unto the day of redemption. (Eph. 1:12-14; 4:30)
Question: Which group of people are you in?
Are you saved? Jesus Christ—“who knew no sin”—and his sacrificial death on the Cross, has made the way for “everyone that believeth…to be reconciled to God. History has shown that whatever peace man has achieved in the world can only be temporary. The Bible says that individual men and women can know, beyond a doubt, that they are saved and bound for heaven, and therefore have absolute and permanent peace, regardless of what is going on in the world, by trusting Jesus Christ and his death on the cross for their eternal salvation. “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures….for our justification….believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”15 Have you done this? If not, why not now?