The Incredible Free Giveaway Offer

No, my blog has not been hacked and taken over by some seamy cheat hacker trying to pry bucks from your gullible or not-so-gullible grasp. This is just a little story I made up. So indulge me.

A creative entity known as Apple decided to make known an incredible free giveaway offer of iPads and gave away an almost immeasurable quantity of iPads to all the people who heard about the free offer and responded. The hope was that the iPads would serve as a resource for people to “think different,” create good stuff, and generally make the world a better place.

Surprisingly, word did not spread as widely as Apple might have anticipated, and Apple decided to just give away iPads where the offer was not made known.  After all, Apple had always been the sole source of iPads, and it was within Apple’s purview to distribute iPads at pleasure. Apple found all kinds of people who wanted to “think different,” to create good stuff, and to generally make the world a better place. So Apple gave iPads to them, too.

Now the first group of people, who received their iPads because the offer had been made known to them, felt it was unfair to be giving away iPads to people who had not heard of the offer and had not responded to it as they had. They felt it was not like Apple to give away iPads to people who had not heard about the offer, and they began telling people that Apple should not and would not give away iPads to people who did know about the offer and respond to it.

Were they right to do this?

I’m guessing that most people would say “no” to this story, and I would be one of them.

They were not the ones making the decision. They were not part of the decision-making process about making an offer or giving away iPads. They did not word the agreement of the offer. They were beneficiaries of the process. They lost nothing; they still had their iPads. The wonder is that they largely kept the information about the offer to themselves.

You see, the people who responded to the offer were given a promise, then they received the gift. The second group of people just received the gift.

Now do me a favor. Put your cursor at the beginning of the story, sweep it and copy it and paste it into a text document app, and do a search-and-replace. Replace “Apple” with “God” and “iPads” with “salvation.”

Oh, let me just do it for you:

A creative entity known as God decided to make known an incredible free offer of salvation and gave away an almost immeasurable quantity of salvation to all the people who heard about the free offer and responded. The hope was that the salvation would serve as a resource for people to “think different,” create good stuff, and generally make the world a better place.

Surprisingly, word did not spread as widely as God might have anticipated, and God decided to just give away salvation where the offer was not made known.  After all, God had always been the sole source of salvation, and it was within God’s purview to distribute salvation at pleasure. God found all kinds of people who wanted to “think different,” to create good stuff, and to generally make the world a better place. So God gave salvation to them, too.

Now the first group of people, who received their salvation because the offer had been made known to them, felt it was unfair to be giving away salvation to people who had not heard of the offer and had not responded to it as they had. They felt it was not like God to give away salvation to people who had not heard about the offer, and they began telling people that God should not and would not give away salvation to people who did know about the offer and respond to it.

I don’t know about you, but I would still say that the people in the first group were not right to draw this conclusion and make this pronouncement.

For all the same reasons.

If you can find a scripture that says God gives up His sovereignty to show mercy and favor to whomever He wills because of His contractual obligation to those of us who have heard the offer and responded to it, I’d like to see it.

I understand that He is a just God and that we are imperfect people and that believers have an advantage in living saved lives and making the world a better place, but I am not aware that our ongoing imperfections are less egregious to God. I haven’t read anything in scripture that says we stop sinning after we believe and respond or that our sin becomes less sinful.

In fact, don’t the people who live that kind of lives that believers should be living put us to shame for having the law of love written on their hearts yet having never encountered the free offer of salvation made by God through His Son, Jesus, the Christ?

If we are going to picture God as only just and not merciful — having somehow exhausted His mercy at Calvary as if it were a finite quantity — then we truly picture ourselves as children of a lesser god.

And if we keep the information about that offer to ourselves, when others could benefit from it here and now and gladly join in the telling, well then … what does that say about us?

Now, the qualifier. I said nothing about God giving this incredible free offer to everyone, but to everyone whom He wishes to give it.  It is within His power enacted by Christ’s blood to save everyone. It is not within His nature. Clearly, we have much information in scripture that indicates He will judge and there will be those who will reject Him and His offer and face consequences that have no reprieve.

But you have to know someone to either receive or reject them. You have to be aware of an offer in order to accept it or turn it down. You have to have knowledge of a promise in order to believe or disbelieve it.

At the same time, you can reject everything that a person stands for without knowing them, or even knowing that they exist.

Anyone can accept a gift. If a life is lived which displays the acceptance of that gift, will God ultimately deny it to someone living it yet who has never heard the Name of the Giver?

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3 thoughts on “The Incredible Free Giveaway Offer

  1. God is merciful and just. God so loved the world that he offered His only begotten Son as the perfect sacrifice. God has extended his mercy and grace to all men. God also said, “this is my beloved Son, hear ye Him.” Jesus said in John 8:24 ” Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins, for if you do not BELIEVE that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Paul stated in Romans 5:1-2, ” Therefore, having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” To answer your question kb, “Will God ultimately deny it (salvation) to someone living it yet who has never heard the name of the giver?” The answer is YES he will. Man cannot please God without FAITH, Heb. 11:6. We have salvation through FAITH, Eph 2:8. We are sanctified by FAITH, Acts 26:18 Man may live a good moral life in the eyes of man, but without FAITH, that man can never please God. No man can live a righteous life without faith. So what do these verses teach us? 1. We must believe in Jesus or die in our sins. 2. We are justified by faith, 3. We have access to salvation by and through our faith in Christ Jesus.4. We cannot please God without faith. You had it right kb, when you said, “you can reject everything that a person stands for without knowing them, or even knowing that they exist.”

  2. I know this post is a couple of weeks old now, but I’m still thinking about it.

    I can’t help but think your metaphor, which you seem to have applied to somewhat-recent discussions on your blog, is not all-too-different from a situation in which “God decided to just give away salvation where the offer was not made known.”

    But the Jews (and even some Jewish Christians) “felt it was unfair to be giving away salvation to people who had not heard of the offer and had not responded to it as they had”.  They too seemed to have forgotten that “God had always been the sole source of salvation.”

    I think we would all agree that they were wrong.

    In fact, the Apostle Paul had quite a bit to say about that as well.  (See Galatians).  He reminds that “if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

    I submit that you could remove the word “law” from that sentence and fill in the blank with any other word, and it would still hold true.  Indeed, God is the sole source of salvation and He decides to whom He will give.

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