Pastor’s Pen: Be sure to use your coupon

I love it when those coupons come in the mail for a “Free Burger” or “Half off a Pizza.” I always cut them out and put them on my fridge or in my car. The problem is that they usually stay right there. I never get around to actually using them before the expiration date and, by then, it’s too late. I’ve lost my free burger.

The same is true with salvation. The fact is that God created us to be with Him. He wants to be with us and is delaying His coming so that opportunity isn’t gone (2 Peter 3:8-9). God Himself came down in the form of a man, Jesus Christ, and died on the cross and rose again so that you can be restored to a place where you can be with God (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). But, like the coupon, there is an expiration date on this free gift. It has to be used before you die. After that date, it can no longer be cashed in.

Some would say, “If it’s a free gift then why do I have to go and get it? Isn’t that working for it?” No, that is appropriating the gift. The free coupon I received has to be taken to the store or restaurant. I have to go there, ask for the item and turn in the coupon. I have to appropriate the coupon in order to get my free burger. Is the burger still free? Yes. Going to get it isn’t paying for the burger, it’s appropriating the coupon or gift.

To be brought back to God, you must appropriate His gift of Jesus Christ. You have to “confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. Then you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9).