Getting ready to face the day, I happened to notice an ad for “hair club for women” playing on the television. Photos flew by of before and after shots of women. Most had been afflicted with bare spots or thinning mane and the “after” photos showed them with gloriously full tresses.
Then I saw it. Down in the corner the small print said, “Results may vary.”
Ahh. Yes, indeed. Results may vary. The old “caveat emptor.” Let the buyer beware.
The ad might as well say “these are not typical,” as advertisers are forced to do by truth-in-advertising laws.
Sadly, you and I are used to such come-ons and slick sales spiels. No one expects the used car salesman to tell you why we should be cautious in buying this particular car. We’ve learned to turn a suspicious eye toward the seller of the house who cannot quit raving about all its fine points. What, we wonder, is he not saying?
Which brings me to my point…
The fine print of the gospel
Has anyone ever found “fine print” in the Lord’s offer of salvation? Is there anywhere that we are told things such as:
–You’re going to love Jesus, but not everyone has the complete package of sins forgiven, name written in the Book of Life, acceptance into God’s family, and Holy Spirit’s entrance. Some people are received conditionally and have to work their way upward. Results vary.
–You’re going to love Jesus but not everyone gets all their sins forgiven. Some get all, some get 40 percent, and some more. Results vary.
–What we are offering is the Truth, but not everyone has to call on the name of Jesus. Other deities may also be invoked in various cultures of the world. Truth for one may not be truth for the other.
Anyone ever seen any of that? No, and you won’t.
Thank God, you will not find any fine print or fast talk in God’s Word. Instead, we find statements such as:
Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely (Revelation 22:17).
As many as believed, to them He gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12).
Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).
If anyone thirst, let him come unto me and drink…. (John 7:37).
Whoever comes to me, I will in no wise cast out (John 6:37).
May I make a suggestion or two?
–First, look up those scriptures
–Second, in reading them in your Bible, look closely for an asterisk. See anything directing you to footnotes with qualifying statements such as: “Only for residents of Israel or New Jersey”? Or “Results may vary” or “Not typical” or even “Only for the educated.”
–Third, smile really big. You are included in every one of those “whosoevers!” You are an “anyone.” You can come to Jesus!
–Fourth, let’s make one final point: There are plenty of people around who want to insert fine print into the Gospel message. “Sure, you are saved by faith, as Scripture says, but thereafter you keep yourself saved by works.” Ever heard that? Paul attacked that very philosophy in the opening chapter of his Epistle to the Galatians. I’ll let you read it for yourself.
How thankful we are that when the Lord Jesus said, “I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish” He meant precisely that. (John 10:28)
Freely come drink, words the soul to thrill. O, with what joy they my heart do fill. For when He said ‘whosoever will,’ Jesus included me. (Hymn by Johnson Oatman)
–And fifth, for the rest of your life, thank Him for accepting someone like you–someone who deserved hell (yes, you do!), someone who brings nothing to qualify for heaven–into His eternal family. Thank Him for loving you!
Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God! (I John 3:1)