Do you insist on paying for the gift or do you graciously accept that gift? We graciously accept it, of course. Then why would anyone be so insistent in wanting to work for the gift of Salvation?
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “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 God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”(John 3:16-21)
But upon receiving a gift, we do want to show appreciation don’t we. How best to show appreciation for the gift of Salvation by becoming a disciple of Christ and giving our life over to Him.
Let’s look at it another way. You have received a gift. It’s a book, by an author you don’t particularly care for. You feign appreciation, but after the gift giver departs you throw the book in the trash. Somehow word gets back to the person who gave you the gift that you threw the gift in the garbage. How do you think that person will feel about you? Depending on how they feel about the importance of the gift there could be a range of emotions from disappointment to outrage and anger. Now think about the gift of Salvation. If we accept so great a gift and then throw it away through our own carelessness or outright disobedience to His commandments, how do you think He will react on the day of His return?
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Mat. 7:21-26)
Verse 23 is the last words I ever want to hear from the lips of the one I profess to love and follow. No, I yearn to one day hear my Lord tell me “Well done good and faithful servant”.
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? (Heb 2:1-4)