“Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.”
Romans 5:18 (NIV UK)
How many of you have ever received a free flight through frequent flyer miles? I know I have. But what about meals, hotels, or even entire vacations?
It turns out there’s a very specialised group of people who regularly do. These ‘air miles millionaires’ collect frequent flyer miles not just by flying hundreds of thousands of miles per year, but also by using airline rewards credit cards, or taking advantage of specialised third-party promotions available only to the highest class of airline loyalty programme members. They then exchange these miles for dream vacations, access to first-class lounges, or free upgrades on flights around the world— living an elite lifestyle most of us could never afford.
When I heard about this, all I could think was: aren’t you glad the Kingdom of God isn’t a loyalty programme? In fact, it’s the exact opposite! Salvation is a gift freely given. It is immediately available to those who turn to Jesus Christ and put their trust in his saving power to redeem and transform their life.
The Bible makes it very clear just how simple it is: “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Salvation is just that simple, and nowhere is this more apparent than on the cross itself, when one of the criminals crucified alongside Jesus asked Him, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom” (Luke 23:42), to which Christ replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (verse 43).
This is the beauty of God’s Kingdom—the career criminal who accepted Christ’s grace in his last minutes alive is no less “saved” than the career believer who accepted Christ’s grace as a young person. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known Jesus or not—what matters is that you can enter His Kingdom by His grace alone. There are no ‘miles’, no ‘loyalty programmes’, and no special membership requirements: just grace.
And the truly incredible part? That grace is free each and every day, to each and every one of us. Now that’s a deal worth believing in!
Holy Father, someone once said that we don’t want fairness; that would result in our downfall. What we need is your love, concern and help in appreciating that we have been given more than fairness. You have given us that which we don’t deserve and could never otherwise achieve. And all we can offer you is our deep thanks and praise.
Study by Joseph Tkach
About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA. You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.