… forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (Matthew 6:12)
Our national debt is currently at $16.9 Trillion, and rising at the rate of approximately $21,412 per second. This is an incomprehensible figure, especially considering that the median household income is about $50,000 per year. That is equal to about 2.5 seconds on the national debt clock. We hear those trillion dollar figures being thrown around as if nothing by the liberal media and left-wing politicians on a daily basis, and most listeners (if they are even listening) have no concept of the implications of such a horrific burden on our people and future generations. Those who are paying attention are screaming, “Stop! You’re going the wrong way! Stop!” But no one seems to be listening. It would be nice if someone with a heavily reinforced check book would come along and say, “Here, let me take care of that for you.”
As great as the national debt is, there is a debt that we owe that is far greater than that. It is the debt of sin that every individual owes for offending Holy God. Indeed, if we could imagine the most righteous person imaginable, if that person had told the smallest “white lie,” that sin alone would far exceed the level of the national debt. In fact, as one 19th Century pastor, William Elbert Munsey, put it, when we offend an infinitely Holy God, we have offended Him infinitely, so that our debt is equally infinite.
Many ignorantly justify their own righteousness by comparing themselves to someone who is more sinful. For instance, a mass murderer might say, “Yes, I killed six people, but I’m not as bad as Hitler; he killed over six million!” That is an extreme example, I know, but it makes the point. Those who judge themselves by those who are greater sinners than themselves hold a false sense of security that when they stand before God, their good will outweigh the bad, and they will qualify for entry into heaven. Nothing could be further from the truth. John says of the end of the age, at the great white throne judgment, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works … And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:12-13, 15). Very simply, if your name is not written in the book of life, then you will be judged “according to your works” as recorded in the “books.” One of those “books,” I believe, is the Bible, the Word of God, which is the standard by which we are all measured. According to this passage, those whose names are not written in the book of life have the record of their works measured by the standard of God’s Word, and apparently, no one meets the Standard. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one … For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10, 23).
The good news is that someone with unlimited resources has stepped up and said, “Here, let me take care of that for you.” His name is Jesus Christ. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:4-6). This offer comes to us at no cost to us. It is a free gift that cannot be earned, bought or repaid (Ephesians 2:8-9). As with any gift, it must be accepted, and no one is under any obligation to take it. Why would anyone reject such a gift? “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).
If you cannot pay off the national debt, what makes you think you can pay off your personal sin debt to God? He will pay it off for you, if you will let Him. If your name is not written in the book of life, or if you are unsure of where you stand, you need to:
- Repent of your sins (Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19; Acts 8:22)
- Believe, i.e., put your faith and trust, in Him (John 3:16-18; John 3:36; John 8:24; John 20:30-31; Romans 10:9; Hebrews 11:6; 1 John 3:23; 1 John 5:13)
- Ask forgiveness for your sin and receive His salvation (Matthew 7:7; Matthew 21:22; Romans 5:17; Ephesians 2:8; Hebrews 9:15; 1 John 1:9)
- Baptism should follow as it is an outward and visible profession of faith in, obedience to, and identification with Christ as Lord (Acts 2:38)
- Join the fellowship of a Bible believing church (Hebrews 10:23-25)
The debt is paid in full. All that remains is for you to accept the free gift that is offered by the One to whom the debt is owed and the only One that has the authority to cancel the debt. The choice is yours.