- Format: Folded Gospel Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5" x 5.5"
- Pages: 4
- Versions: KJV, NKJV
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The full text of this gospel tract is shown below in the KJV version. (It is also available in NKJV. Select the one you want to order using the “Version” buttons above.)
After weeks of testimony and days of deliberation, the end is finally near. Silence sweeps the courtroom: it’s time to read the verdict. The defendant, attorneys, spectators, reporters—and the whole nation—breathlessly anticipate the outcome of this sensational trial. “NOT GUILTY.” A collective gasp reverberates from one end of the country to the other: how could someone who so many people thought was guilty be declared “not guilty”?
We’ve all witnessed this scene play out many times. From the comfort of our homes, it seems easy to know who is guilty and who is not. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if the accused would simply plead “guilty” and allow everyone to avoid the time and expense of a trial? But have you ever thought about what you would do if the tables were turned? What if you were accused of a crime? What if you were on trial?
A Serious Offense
Most of us are so quick to defend ourselves against the slightest accusation; would we be willing to plead “guilty” to a serious offense? For most of us, this is merely a hypothetical question—or is it? Do you realize that all of us have been charged with an offense worse than a misdemeanor or felony? The Bible tells us that “all have sinned” and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 3:23; 6:23). You may want to dismiss these charges, or argue that you’re “not guilty,” but remember that God, the righteous Judge, sees and knows everything—our actions and our thoughts.
The Righteous Judge
The Bible tells us about a courtroom scene which will take place in a coming day. God, the righteous Judge, will open His books of evidence and hold a trial for each person who stands before Him (Revelation 20:11-15). Here’s the harsh reality of God’s courtroom: no charges are ever dropped, and no defendant is ever acquitted. That’s right: everyone who stands before God on that day will be declared “guilty” and condemned to the Lake of Fire for eternity.
We have all broken God’s law in one way or another—and God keeps track of those offenses. How many sins do you think are recorded in God’s books for you? It’s probably more than you think, especially when you consider that “the thought of foolishness is sin” and “to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (Proverbs 24:9; James 4:17). Even if you only sin once per day, it really adds up! My point is that none of us have any hope of standing before God and convincing Him that we’re totally innocent. What can we do? Is there a way out?
The Best Lawyer
Yes, thank God, there is! Jesus Christ wants to be your “lawyer.” Because He is the Son of God—fully God and fully man—He stands in a unique position to intercede for us with His Father. Also, because He is totally sinless, and because He suffered the penalty of sin—in our place—on Calvary’s cross, He has satisfied the righteous demands of both the law and the Judge.
How can we receive a full pardon from God? If we plead “guilty,” fully acknowledging our sinfulness to God, and put our trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sin, God will declare us “not guilty”! We will be “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). When we believe that Jesus Christ died for us and rose again, His righteousness becomes our righteousness, our sins are all washed away, and we stand before God fully justified—not guilty!
How Do You Plead?
How about you? Have you humbly accepted God’s offer of salvation through Jesus Christ? I urge you to turn to God before it’s too late, before you leave this world in your sin and face Him as the righteous Judge. If you refuse Jesus in this life, there is no way of escape.
“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Romans 5:8,9).
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