For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Some of you may remember the slogan, "America, love it or leave it."
Those of you who are reading this Daily Devotion in other lands may have a similar saying. The expression means simply this: appreciate and support where you are, or move to a place where you can offer that support.
Apparently, some people in Great Britain feel that way about Christianity. If they can't support it, for whatever their reason, they're going to leave it.
That's why more than 100,000 former Christians have gone to the World Wide Web and downloaded a "Certificate of Debaptism." On the Web site where the download is offered, it tells individuals to "Liberate yourself from the Original Mumbo-Jumbo that liberated you from the Original Sin you never had."
Filling out this non-official document is their way of renouncing their faith in the Savior.
What the slogan essentially means is they don't love Christ or Christianity, and they're going to leave. I wonder, if the angels rejoice over a sinner who repents, what do they do when a sinner wrongly convinces himself he has no sin from which he needs to repent?
More importantly, how does God feel?
If you were the heavenly Father, how would you react if an unworthy individual rejected the gift that your Son had died to obtain? If you were Jesus, how would you respond if your sacrifice -- the one which cost you your life -- were deemed unnecessary? If you were the Holy Spirit, what would you do if a sinner refused to hear your call, your knock?
As Ephesians says, we are saved by grace, the gift Jesus has won, the gift the Spirit wishes to share. And, as we all know, a person can decline to receive a gift. God won't force anyone to accept or value what His Son has done. God won't drag anyone into heaven. But on Judgment Day, some people will wish He had.
This is why, today, we pray for the debaptized -- those who have decided to become the desaved.
THE PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, I give thanks for the faith the Holy Spirit gives, for the salvation Jesus has won. Now, while there is time, do that which is necessary to open the hearts of those who have refused the Redeemer. Let them see their sin and need for salvation. Let them be brought to forgiveness and faith. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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