THE REJECTED BEST GIFT
By Buel Hallpike
(Note: All Scripture quotations are shown in blue italics. Unless otherwise indicated, they are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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The best offer
What would you say if a poor, starving person rejected your offer to supply all of their needs and to give them a lifelong income that would totally transform their lives with no strings attached? “Incredible!” you might think. Yet this happens every day with the most significant gift of all.
The majority of persons in the world are living in abject poverty and do not even know it. You see in our materialistic world, wealth and poverty are measured in monetary units - something tangible in this transient life. Many religions and denominations perpetuate this narrow limited view by emphasising the present as as if that were all that mattered.Their goal is achieving wealth, fame or prestige to satisfy their appetites here and now. Their motto seems to be “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” (Isaiah 22:13). This way of living does not consider the more abundant living that is possible now, and eternal life or punishment after death. There is no room in their minds for their Creator, and no realisation that they will one day meet Him either as a friend or foe.
The Saviour left heaven and came to live on earth and then gave His life, taking the punishment that should have been the penalty for all sinners. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of [Yahweh] is eternal life in [Yahshua the Messiah] our [Saviour] (Romans 6:23).
So by giving His life He provided the gateway whereby all who accepted His free gift would live eternally with Him, when He returns to earth. “For [Yahweh] so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For [Yahweh] did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of [Yahweh]” (John 3 :16-18). So right now you are heading either for everlasting life after death or eternal damnation. It all depends on whether you choose to accept or reject the gift that Yahweh has provided.
It seems such a simple thing to plan for life after death. We plan and take safeguards against many eventualities: car insurance in the event of a car accident; house insurance against damages of nearly every possible disaster to our homes, health and life insurance and so on, yet the most important insurance of all for eternal life is neglected most of the times. Why is this?
Why persons do not accept the gift
A friend of mine jokingly said to me some years ago, “I am so busy. I could not find time to die!” Of course we know it does not work that way. Death does not wait until we can find a convenient time to accommodate it. Like the risks against which one takes out insurance, it occurs unannounced and so we need to be always prepared. But just as we do not take out an insurance after the risk has occurred, so likewise preparation for eternal life can only take place before we die, and since none of us knows when that event will occur, we need to give this top priority before it is too late. It is not wise thinking to crowd this most important decision out of your busy life, as though there is no life after death and then to suffer regret when the heavenly verdict cannot be reversed. Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7). Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Like it or not, you will find time to die; and after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
Would you say you are not interested in highway signs indicating a crossroad, or warning you of danger that is ahead? Whether or not you take the Bible seriously, the fact is that none of its past predictions have failed to come to pass, except for those, which relate to some yet future event. With such a high level (100%) of statistical reliability, you can be assured that prophecies of the Second Coming of Yahshua and of life after death will also happen just as the Bible has said. Is it a wise gamble to ignore the Biblical evidence and forewarnings? You will be reflecting agonisingly over your lifetime disinterest when after death you discover that you had made the most serious and irreversible blunder.
My church or religion does not teach this
Some churches that claim to believe the Bible preach a watered down and empty version of the truth that is pleasing to the ears of their hearers, but are sending their followers to eternal destruction. With blood on their hands they will meet the Saviour, who will say the chilling words: I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:23). You ought to obey [Yahweh] rather than men (Acts 5:29). Yahshua taught “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:13-14). Yahshua said to His disciples: “if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also”. One of His disciples (Thomas) replied: Teacher, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Yahshua responded: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:3-6). Regardless of what your religion or church may teach, there is only ONE way to have eternal life after death, and it is by accepting the gift of salvation that Yahshua had freely provided when He died in your place. It is not churches or your religion that will make the final decision of your eternal destiny, but the Saviour, whose gift you are rejecting. So do not let them or any religion lead you astray. Your eternal home is too important to be entrusted into the hands of others who cannot save you. THE DECISION IS YOURS.
I am a good person
No one is good enough, or can rely on their good deeds to obtain everlasting life. The final Judge will not be you but Yahshua. The Bible says: Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But [Yahweh] weighs the hearts (Proverbs 21:2). Therefore every person would think he or she is o.k. But Yahweh has a different and the highest possible standard, which He has recorded in the Bible. The problem however is that none of us in our own strength or efforts can possibly attain to His level. Yet it is His judgment and not your opinion or anyone else’s that will finally determine whether you are accepted or disallowed. This is the dilemma facing everyone.
You see we all acquired a sinful DNA from our fore-parents Adam and Eve, and we cannot change it. Sinning comes naturally. From our youngest days we did not need to be taught to do wrong, and with the passing of time, habits have become ingrained. We may dress it up and give it an air of respectability but the deep-seated dross remains. Your sin may be different from that of another person’s and vice versa but all humankind is tarred by the same brush of sin. That is why Yahweh provided the way to break the cycle of sin and to give us the privilege of living with Him forever.
The Bible tells us, All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And [Yahweh] has laid on Him [Yahshua] the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). Thus Yahshua became the burden bearer for our load of sins. So that when Yahweh looks at those persons who have accepted His gift of eternal life He does not see our sins that have been taken from us. Rather He sees us as righteous because of our faith in what our Saviour has done. It is that faith, in His sacrificial work, which will save you, and not your works of righteousness or your opinions of yourself, or your thoughtful and loving deeds of kindness. No! And what is more, you cannot change your sinful nature. Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil (Jeremiah 13:23).
There is no substitute for His only way of salvation. It is His way, or no way! Yahweh’s verdict of all persons whose sins are not covered by Yahshua’s sacrificial blood, is that [you] are all like an unclean thing, And all [your] righteousnesses are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). However 'good' you may think you are, you will be barred from eternal life, except you accept Yahweh's only means of salvation. Yahweh does not regard your 'good' ways as righteousness, and the Bible plainly tells us that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of [Yahweh] (1 Corinthians 6:9). Think about that! Your final destination may not be where you think you are heading!
I am an atheist or agnostic
This article is not about proving or disproving the existence of Yahweh or the validity of the Bible. It is very much about what happens after death. It is not about winning an argument. For both the Bible believer and the atheist have their respective entrenched positions and neither is likely to relinquish their preferred and strongly held points of view. The argument of one can be reversed in defending the stance of the other. Both think they are right and the other is wrong. Unfortunately both cannot be right. So we will address instead the all-important question of the advantages and disadvantages of accepting or rejecting the gift of eternal life.
Let us imagine that in the end the atheist is confirmed to be correct in believing that the Almighty Yahweh does not exist and that the Bible is not true, what would the Bible believer have lost? Since according to the atheist there would be no after-life, then the believer would not have lost anything as according to the atheist he would not be resurrected and would just remain dead. On the other hand if the Bible believer were finally proved to have been right, the atheist would have lost his eternal life and would be confined to eternal punishment, while the Bible believer who embraced the teachings of the Bible would have inherited everlasting life. It seems therefore that the atheist has all to lose, whereas the Bible believer has all to gain. It makes good sense to cover the eventuality of there being life after death, than to disavow that possibility and discover the error after it is too late.
The agnostic is no more secure by sitting on the fence than the atheist who takes up a firm position of disbelief. You see there is no middle position. You are either saved by accepting the gift of salvation or lost by rejecting it. There is no third option.
The gravitational pull is a force that functions whether or not we accept the theory. Indeed if you tried an unaided summersault over a precipice in defiance of gravity you would neither remain suspended, nor live to prove your hypothesis. Here is a direct question to you Mr or Ms Atheist or Agnostic, who has attended many funerals: Do you believe that one day even you will die? You may avoid answering this question but you cannot evade the inevitable end that befalls all humankind. When your day comes to depart from this life, will your disbelief or doubt that Yahweh exists hold fast to the end? Your eternal destiny is at stake. This is no trifling matter. Your theory will be of no avail when faced with the reality of life after death! Think about it NOW! Better to be saved than sorry.
To all persons who for one reason or another reject the gift of eternal life, you will regret it one day. This article as well as any other messages or sermons you may have heard but which you spurned will testify against you and you will not be able to plead ignorance. How shall [you] escape if [you] neglect so great a salvation? (Hebrews 2:3)
On the other hand you can accept this gift of eternal life when you have faith in Yahshua, repent of your past sins and pattern your life daily according to His teachings. It is a turnaround. Instead of walking away from Him, you walk towards Him and become His follower. When you have taken this initial step, He will give you the Holy Spirit who will enable and empower you to live a life pleasing to Yahshua that is not otherwise possible in your own strength.
This can be your guarantee that you will spend eternity with Yahweh and His Son Yahshua in the everlasting Kingdom. It is too good a gift to be rejected. THE CHOICE IS YOURS!
"Our beliefs must fit in with the Scriptures especially when the Scriptures do not support our beliefs". Buel Hallpike
©Buel Hallpike August 2018