Larry Deeds

Free. Free. Free.

That may be the most important word in the vocabulary of most people today. Let me give you a challenge. Count the number of times each day you hear the word “free” or anything alluding to it, in conversation, on television, internet, wherever. It will astound you.

There was a very lengthy television commercial the other night about all kinds of “free” things that we are entitled to. Among the multitude of items that could be mine “free,” a cell phone, health insurance, dental and optical insurance and on and on. (I’m still not sure why I’m entitled to all of these things, “free,” but WOW.)

I remember as a young man, one of the many truths my dad taught me was this: “You can’t get something for nothing.” Our current generation, especially in the western world, has yet to learn this.

Politicians promise us the moon, free. We can have free health care, free food, free housing, free education and when the time comes to depart this earth, free burial. What a life.

Everything free. I have to pay nothing, I have no responsibility, but hey, I’m entitled to it. This is the bait of socialism that we hear so much about today. And Nobel Prize winner Friedrich Von Hayek said, “If socialists understood economics, they wouldn’t be socialists.”

The bottom line is that all of these things cost someone something. If I give you a gift, free, whether for your birthday or Christmas or just because … it cost me something. If you give me a gift, it cost you something. If the government gives you something, it costs too.

There is only one way our government can make money to pay for all of the things we are sometimes promised — taxation. The government cannot hold a bake sale. They can’t sell Krispy Kreme donuts. They can’t hold a flea market or yard sale. They raise taxes. And since most of our reigning politicians are wealthier, the money won’t come from them. It will come from the middle class. And, the historic effect of socialism is that the middle class is lowered and only two classes exist in that society — the wealthy, ruling class and everyone else. That’s the result of getting everything “free.”

But there is one thing that I have gotten free…that is “free to me,” because it costs so greatly that I cannot even imagine it. The free gift is eternal life and the forgiveness of sins, accompanied by a secured reservation for eternity with the Lord and His true church. But the price!

God, the eternal creator of the universe, had to leave the splendor and glory of heaven, shrink himself into a holy sperm and enter the womb of a teenage Israeli girl named Mary. There He spent nine months, was born in a stable and lived on earth for about 33 years as both God and man.

As God, he understood why he had come and knew that Calvary was His destiny.

As man, he could suffer pain, disappointment, heartache, depression, rejection and betrayal.

As God, he knew that even after Calvary, he would rise again. But as man, he had to suffer all of God’s judgment on the sins of the world —my sins and yours.

He was spit upon, slapped, mocked, flogged, nailed to a wooden cross and mocked again by those who should have known who he was and why he came. Even his best friends denied knowing him and ran away.

And as our sins were put upon him and he went through eternal hell to pay for my “gift,” his father, holy and just, turned His back.

For the first time in eternity, the relationship was not “Father-Son” but it was “God the judge and the guilty sinner.” Finally, the price was paid, in its entirety. The son gave up his spirit. He alone had that power, and he died, but now the relationship with the father was re-established.

“Father, into your hands I commend My spirit.” Then came the burial and three days later, the triumph of eternity … Christ arose. Death, hell, sin, Satan, all that had thought they’d won, realized that they’d lost, forever.

Now salvation could be promised and given. The sins that had been covered by the blood of countless animals were now forgiven. Now people like you and I could become children of the king, sons and daughters of God. Now the gift could be given, freely to us, because the cost had been paid.

I received my gift as an 11-year-old. It was at a summer Bible camp. I was on my cot after lights out, and thinking about the evening message, realized my sinfulness and the great gift Christ was offering. And I accepted it.

I didn’t have a particular prayer to pray, no special words. I didn’t have an aisle to walk down, a pastor’s hand to shake, a church to join, or anything else.

I simply accepted that gift and Christ took me into His family, secure for all time.

Be very leery of all of the promised free things on television, the internet and from the lips of politicians. Remember the advice my dad gave me.

But if you’ve never accepted the free gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins, the Bible says “Today is the day of salvation.”

We are not promised tomorrow or even the next hour. Christ is waiting for you to accept the gift He purchased at such a huge cost. Won’t you do it, now!?

“For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the GIFT of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)

“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved…for whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9, 13)

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved? So they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:30-31)

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