Gift – Open or Ignore :: By Dennis Huebshman

First of all, our Gift from God has been paid for, in full. No matter how rich you may be according to the world’s standards, you don’t have enough resources to “buy” one second of time in Heaven. Also, when someone takes their last breath on this earth, they will go to only one of two places. There are no other options, no matter what any false preachers are telling you. (Any emphasis is mine.)

The above “facts” have been here from the beginning of time on this planet. From the Garden of Eden to the Cross at Calvary, the soul of anyone who followed God’s will went immediately to a place of peace, rest and assurance of a wonderful forever.

From the Cross, and going to the end of the Millennium, all believers’ souls have gone, or will go, to be with Jesus.

On the other hand, all who did not do God’s will, or accept Jesus post-Calvary, went immediately, or will go, into a state of torment. This is just a prelude to the Lake of Fire which will be their final destination according to Revelation 20:11-15.

One of the best examples of this is the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). No matter whether a person is rich, poor, healthy or lame, it’s the condition of the soul (heart) that was there when the last breath was/is taken.

Also, it’s an individual choice, as no one on earth determines your afterlife but you. The choice is yours to freely make. God will not force anyone to accept Him or Jesus; and likewise, He will not “send” anyone to eternal punishment by causing them to fall. Any failures, any sin I have committed in my entire lifetime, has been mine and mine alone. No one, including the Father, was responsible for my actions. Once I realized this, it took away my “human trait” of blaming others for all I have done.

Having accepted Jesus as my Savior, and having the Holy Spirit within me, keeps my conscience above the tolerance level. I don’t want my conscience “subdued,” because that leads to more failures. My prayers include a request to keep my conscience sharp, so that when I do slip and fall (as everyone does, Romans 3:23), I am almost immediately asking forgiveness, and accepting whatever discipline the Father gives me.

Some may get upset when disciplined; however, Hebrews 12:6-8 gives a great explanation for everyone, especially believers. “For the Lord disciplines the one (you and me), and chastises every son (and daughter) He accepts. Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons (daughters). For what son (daughter) is there that a Father does not discipline? But, if you do not experience discipline, something all sons (daughters) have shared in, then you are illegitimate, and are not sons (daughters).”

It continues for a couple more verses, but Hebrews 12:11 sums it up nicely: “Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But, later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it.”

God wants what’s right for us; and when we get to our Heavenly Home, we’ll have forever bodies and new mindsets that won’t be subject to temptation and sin. Meanwhile, here on earth, He disciplines those He loves. Please understand; His discipline is just and righteous, and is not abuse.

God did not have to provide a way for us to be with Him, but He did. He did not have to make a free gift, but He did. He did not have to send a precious part of Himself (Jesus), but He did. He could have left us “hanging out to dry,” but He didn’t. His love is “pure” in every way.

We all enjoy receiving gifts for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. How do you believe the “giver” of the gift would feel if you just left it on the table unopened? How would you feel if you went out of your way to provide something really nice, only to have it tossed aside unopened?

Our Father experiences those feelings whenever anyone rejects His free gift of eternal life in paradise. He values what He has given so much, that He will forgive the “receivers’” sins just for opening and accepting the wonderful treasure.

The most precious “element” to ever touch this earth was the blood of our Lord and Savior. Through His grace, our sins, no matter what they are or have been, can be forgiven just by receiving His sacrifice. We should be condemned for our sins (Romans 6:23), but they can be gone forever through the Blood of Jesus.

In God’s mercy, He will accept anyone who accepts – truly accepts – His Son. God can tolerate NO sin of any kind, great or small. However, those who faithfully receive His gift are forgiven.

Hebrews 8:12 says, “For I will be merciful toward their evil deeds, and their sins I will remember no longer.”

As I said previously, we will be forgiven but are still liable for our consequences of the sin. One example: a person who commits murder gets sentenced to death by the court. They can call out, and the Father will forgive the sin, but they will still be executed according to the law. Thing is, once they have taken their last breath, they will be with Jesus.

The only sin that is unforgiveable is to take that last breath without having accepted Jesus as your Savior. You could live a “very good” life and be a wonderful person; however, if you don’t receive and open His free gift, you will end up in the Lake of Fire forever. There will be “good” people in hell, and some not so good in Heaven.

John 14:6 is the key: “Jesus said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by me.’”

So, exactly how do you “open” the gift? First, confess you are a sinner deserving to be condemned (Romans 3:23 and 6:23). Believe Jesus is your Savior, and have faith that His sacrifice was all you need to be saved (John 14:6; Romans 10:9-13).

Call on Him to come into your life and prepare a place in Heaven for you (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13; John 14:1-3).

When you have confessed with your mouth (you don’t have to be near anyone when you do this), believe He can save you through His gift – which you cannot buy, earn or deserve – and you will be saved. God has promised this, and God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). When you truly do this, you will have “opened the gift,” and the Holy Spirit will come to live within you. This cannot be taken away from you if you truly have called out to Him.

We will have “issues” and possibly persecutions while on this earth. However, the forever we face afterward is totally worth it. To not accept Jesus but accept this world is to accept Satan and all his lies, and your eternal life will be totally miserable.

The Father did not want it to be totally difficult and complicated for us to receive His gift. He also knew there would be many that would not accept, as Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14. However, for those of us who do accept Jesus, we will praise Him through all eternity for the wonderful gift He gave us. A Forever Party!

Call on Him today, as tomorrow is not promised to us. Once He returns and takes His believers Home to be with Him to escape the wrath, it will still be possible to call out and be saved, but the cost will be very high. Open the Gift of Life He has given us.