"Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).
There is a saying which emphasizes the difference between leading a horse to water and making him drink when he gets there. It is often repeated and is very true. The one task is simple and even a child can lay hold of the halter and lead the horse to the stream. But, once there, if the horse does not wish to drink, ten men could not make him do so.
As we distribute the Gospel in the printed page, we are well aware that the saying may be easily applied to what we are doing. It is our responsibility to lead lost souls to the water, but we cannot make them drink.
Remember how our Lord Jesus "stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst let him come unto Me, and drink" (John 7:37). Just as the water in a clear mountain stream brings life and refreshment to those who would otherwise die without it, Jesus is the giver of spiritual life and blessing to all who come to Him.
When we present the Gospel, we are making it clear that there are two things which every person needs: forgiveness and eternal life. The Gospel also makes it clear that these two things are only found in Jesus Christ: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
We need forgiveness because "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). When Jesus, the perfect sinless Son of God, died on Calvary's cross, He endured much more than just the physical agony of crucifixion. During those brutal hours Jesus became our substitute, suffering for our sin at the hands of almighty God. Because He "bare our sins in His own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24), God offers true forgiveness to all who seek it in Jesus Christ.
When a sinner turns to God, accepting by faith the perfect atoning work accomplished on their behalf by Jesus Christ, God can righteously forgive their every sin—past, present, and future. In fact, the cleansing is so complete that, in God's eyes, the sinner becomes a saint: "And such [all types of sinners] were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
But it doesn't stop there. When we are born again by faith in Jesus Christ, God gives us a new life—an eternal, spiritual life which enjoys fellowship with God now, and will enjoy it forever with Him in Heaven.
Have you received forgiveness and eternal life? The "water of life" is there for you, but have you taken it? We can simply point you to Christ, and pray that the Holy Spirit will cause you to turn to Him in repentance and faith today. "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17).
—Scattered Seed, adapted