Several events in recent months in the United States have raised the question of whether or not the death penalty should continue to be allowed as a form of punishment in America. Some states have said that it is becoming more difficult to obtain the drugs used in lethal injection. In Arizona, Oklahoma, and Ohio, there have been ‘botched’ executions — where the person sentenced to die was not killed in short order according to procedure. These cases garnered a lot of media attention and renewed calls for the death penalty to be abolished. There have also been cases where a person on death row has been found innocent of the crime they were put there for. In fact, a recent study determined that at least 4 percent of all people sentenced to death are actually innocent.
Currently, there are over 3,000 people on death row in the United States. Can you imagine what it is like sitting on death row? Waking up every day in a cell knowing that each minute that passes puts you closer to the time when your life will be terminated by a lethal injection or an electric shock? Can you imagine living every day with a countdown ticking in your mind?
You might shudder at the thought of that kind of existence. However, every person born into this world is sentenced to die. We are all under a death penalty. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed unto men once to die.” Whether you want to accept it or not, your life — and the life of every person alive — is slowly winding down to a point of termination.
The reason we are placed under this death penalty is the same reason why men and women are placed on death row in the United States — SIN — the bad things that we do. The Bible says in Romans 3:23, “the wages of sin is death.” God says that death is the consequence of our lying, stealing, adultery, murder, rebelliousness, pride and a multitude of other transgressions. In your eyes, you may think you have not done anything to merit the death penalty on earth, but in the eyes of a perfect and holy God, the slightest infraction is enough to place you under the sentence of death.
For an inmate on death row, death may seem like the end. The only way a criminal can avoid his fate is if he is pardoned by the state’s governor or by the President of the United States. (There have only been 31 pardons in the United States since 1970.)
You can be pardoned of your sins as well. Romans 3:23 goes on to say, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” You can receive a pardon for your sins and the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. How is this possible? This is possible because 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ who is the Son of God came to Earth, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross for your sins and my sins. God poured out His judgment and wrath on His own Son. Jesus took our place — He died the death that we deserve to die and took the punishment that we deserve to take. Romans 5:8 tells us why God did this: “But God commendeth his love (or shows His love) toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
What Jesus did for us on the cross is equivalent to what you or I would be doing if we walked into a prison and took the place of an inmate on death row — dying so that prisoner could go free.
Of course, you cannot benefit from Jesus Christ’s sacrifice if you do not accept Him as your Saviour. You will not receive the gift of eternal life unless you turn your life over to Him right now. You will not know for sure that you are going to Heaven (whether you die suddenly and unexpectedly or whether you die naturally after living a long life) unless you know for sure that you have opened your heart to Christ and He is living inside of you.
Do you want to make this decision today? Do you want to receive the pardon that Christ has provided and get out from under the death sentence that sin has placed on you? If so, allow me to share with you three simple steps that you need to take to give your life to Christ and be given a home in Heaven.
First, admit that your sins have separated you from God. Our sins are the bad or wrong things that we do. We must agree with God about our sinfulness and admit your need for forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Second, realize that God loves you, and believe that his sinless Son, Jesus Christ, died for your sins — taking the punishment that you deserve. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Third, accept Jesus Christ’s invitation to be pardoned of your sins and receive eternal life by inviting Jesus Christ into your life by faith as your Savior from sin’s consequences. Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you trust Jesus Christ for salvation, you will be saved from sin, spiritual death, and hell, and you will be guaranteed a place in Heaven. If this is your heart’s desire, you can pray a short prayer to let God know about your decision:
Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today and forever. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”.
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!