Believe it...or not.
Some minds cannot be changed. As often as we might attempt to persuade both the religious and the unreligious of the beauty of the freeness of God’s Grace in the salvation of sinners, they will not buy it. You can show them verse after verse and plead the testimonies of converted sinners and still they will argue in unbelief that such a grace is not possible.
They will insist that to posit such an offer from the Lord is, in essence, giving freedom to men to sin with abandon. And if you think about it for a moment or longer, it may appear that way. In fact, you probably have the nature of the Gospel correct if people misread you in this manner.
God’s Grace in saving sinners is just unbelievable. To not believe it in the light of His Word reveals just what the result hints at concerning the human heart: it is dead in its sin and cannot believe such marvelous Truth. Only the miracle of a Holy Spirit burst of new life can bring the reality of Truth to the dead heart.
The only thing that the dead heart can do when confronted with God’s Truth is believe in itself. This dead heart believes all kinds of unbelievable things about itself. It believes that it is alright. It believes that it can do very little wrong. It believes it can please God and be accepted by Him for the good it can do.
The problem is is that this dead heart cannot believe the Truth concerning the freeness of God’s grace because it has not and will not believe the Truth concerning its own putrefied state. Dead is dead and it is totally dependent on God to make it alive. Just do not ask such a one to believe that for a minute.
But God, being who He is, has determined that some will be objects of His Grace and others will be objects of His Justice. In dispensing Grace, He gives what we do not deserve. In dispensing Justice, He gives men exactly what they want.
They want their works to vindicate and validate them in the end. That is exactly what happens. Hear the Word of the Lord in the Revelation, chapter 20 and verse 13: “The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.”
Those not willing to trust the atoning work of Jesus as the basis of their judgment will be judged on the basis of how they lived. Part of that judgment will be the searing regret of knowing that things could have been different if they would have believed less concerning themselves and more concerning God.