Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nothing is Free

A Sign of the Times

Please believe me when I say that it's not just because I'm old and cynical that this church marquee offends me. I don't believe I wrote about the one that said, 'This blood's for you,' (I am not kidding) or one at Mother's Day which read, 'God couldn't be everywhere at once, so he made mothers.' In general, I do not like church marquees, for it seems to be far too tempting for some people to put a new message on the marquee weekly, even if it is bad theology and trivializes the Word of God.

Case in point: this sign. FREE TRIP TO HEAVEN.

Let's examine more closely this FREE trip to Heaven.

Isaiah 53:3-11 ESV

"He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrow, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned - every one - to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?

And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities."

Yes, salvation is free to us, by God's mercy and grace, but it certainly was not free to God the Father, nor to his son, Jesus Christ, who took the punishment we deserve, that through Him we might have peace with God and the 'free' gift of eternal life.


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17 comments:

Lana Wallpe said...

I'm thinking you have to either work pretty darned hard to get to heaven or being a saint just comes naturally to some people. I haven't met too many "naturals," and I am sure they even work every day chatting with the Lord and praying for us sinners, which could be seriously hard work these days!

This is the girls' second day of school and my first morning at home to enjoy a little peace and time for me. Trying hard to catch up with all my blog friends. Have you read the book I suggested to you yet? Think I might start a weekly or bi-weekly book review. I did manage to read some this summer as a means to escape the heat and chaos when I had a chance.

Hugs! P.S. We are getting green again! It doesn't help the corn much, but our recent rains might just save the beans if we don't get any hail with it. Gotta keep our fingers crossed for such luck later today. Storms they are a comin' according to the weathermen.

Parsley said...

So true. Freedom is not free. Freedom from sin through Christ, freedom in our country...bought with a price.

Thanks for the great post.

Amy Burzese said...

Seems to be a cheap way to attract attention for unfortunate ones who are always drawn to something "free". Beware of something advertised as free, even on a church.

Jenn said...

Great post, Judy! I think, most humans, forget the sacrafies of all who have come before them - especially God. I think it's getting worse too.... people take so much for granted.

ImSoVintage said...

I think the worst one I saw was "pimp slap religion" on a church marquee. I don't even want to know what that meant.

Yenta Mary said...

A line in one of my very favorite movies, "Babette's Feast," says: Mercy imposes no conditions. So true, with God. And yet, mercy and salvation can't be free - we can't just keep blundering along narcissistically, never learning, never atoning. We should pay some price, make some effort, to redeem ourselves even knowing of God's love and grace ....

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

Amen, Judy...I really don't understand church signs. Do they really think people will read a silly sign and suddenly want to go to church to learn about God? Seriously? And don't get me started on the songs where Jesus is my boyfriend. Ugh.

Vera said...

Oh Judy, thank you for that, I totally agree with you and Amy's comment also. I could go on and on, but the one about God and mothers bothers me. May the day never appear where the twisting of truth doesn't make real Christians uncomfortable!

bj said...

Oh, dear....
I try not to pay too much attention to church signs...some are cute, some are offensive but I don't focus on them.

OK, now about that CHOCOLATE...too hot to mail it to ya now...tell ya what...I'll follow you right back and if we meet in the middle, I'll bring your chocolate. :)

Olive Cooper said...

I completely agree. Whoever does these is not thinking.

Chatty Crone said...

The highest paid work - on both sides of the coin. sandie

Debra said...

Great post! I don't think you are cynical at all!

русский(Russian)_Princess said...

Amen to that!

Ruth Kelly said...

Well said my friend. I agree with you 100%.

EM Illustrator said...

Amen to that my friend! What a great post.

Denise said...

Amen, totally agree with you.

J_on_tour said...

I agree, the ultimate price was paid and it commands respect, not like a cheap newspaper advert.

"If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him"
CT Studd

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