Death Sentence (KJV)
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 4
- Version: KJV
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A few years ago, a man who shot a police officer through the heart was put to death by lethal injection in my city. Outside the jail, eighty death penalty advocates and 140 anti-death penalty protesters demonstrated for and against the planned execution.
Persons on both sides of the capital punishment issue argue strongly for their points of view. Rarely do the arguments consider what the Bible says about the death penalty: “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man” (Genesis 9:6).
God did not give the death penalty as a deterrent, nor for revenge, nor to prevent the taking of additional lives. He intended it as a public demonstration that man is created in His own image and thus has great value above all the creatures of the earth (Genesis 1:26-28). He who purposely snuffs out the life of a fellow human being has committed such a terrible crime against Creator-God that he forfeits his own life.
The Bible describes another kind of death sentence that has threatened every human being born into this world: “By one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). Every one of us has followed Adam and Eve, the father and mother of the human race, in disobeying God—in SINNING. Our sin has brought the sentence of death upon ourselves: “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
The death to which God has sentenced us because of our sins includes physical death, but involves a far worse kind of death as well. It is eternal separation from God—described in the Bible as the lake of fire, outer darkness, intense thirst, weeping and gnashing of teeth, and torment (Matthew 8:12; Luke 16:22-24; Revelation 20:15).
Is there any escape from this sentence of death that hangs over us? The man I mentioned earlier told reporters just before his execution, “I’m trying to be the best that I can be.” Do you think that was good enough for God? Can our so-called good deeds, present and future, undo our bad deeds done in the past?
How many sins did Adam and Eve have to commit before God banished them from the Garden of Eden? Just one. Was Adam given a list of good deeds to do and a course of penance to carry out to get back into God’s favor? NO! There was absolutely nothing he could do to overcome the terrible results of his one sin of disobedience to God. And there is absolutely nothing we can do to gain God’s favor now that we have sinned.
So how can we escape from the death sentence? “What must I do to be saved?” Over 1,900 years ago a prison guard in the city of Philippi in Greece asked this question. He was not in jail for crimes he had done. But he came to realize that not only criminals but he himself was a sinner and needed to be saved. The apostle Paul answered his question, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
What makes the Lord Jesus Christ so special that we should believe on Him? He was God’s eternal Son—the Creator of the universe. God sent His Son down to this world where He lived a totally sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21). Nevertheless, the leaders of the people pronounced Him to be “guilty of death” and nailed Him to the cross. This was the greatest act of injustice in the history of the universe!
Why did God’s Son let them do it? Think about the answer: He went to the cross for you and me. “Christ died for our sins … and … rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4;
1 Peter 2:24).
Isn’t it wonderful! The Lord Jesus Christ took the sentence of death upon Himself that He might remove it from you and me. The prison guard who was told by the apostle Paul to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” did just that and rejoiced in his salvation (Acts 16:34).
Dear friend, come to Christ, confessing that you are a sinner who deserves to be banished from God for eternity. Then believe that when Christ died on the cross, He died for you. Place your entire faith and trust in His sufferings and death on the cross for your eternal salvation. If you do this, God will take you off His death row. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word and believeth on Him that sent Me hath everlasting life, and shall not come into [judgment], but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).
Do not delay; trust Christ as your Saviour today! “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6). “Behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
—Paul L. Canner