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- Format: Folded Tract
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 4
- Version: KJV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the KJV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
Who is the one you thank?
Every year in November we celebrate Thanksgiving. We gather together with family and friends to enjoy food and companionship and to consider everything for which we are grateful.
But giving thanks implies there is someone to be thanked. Who do you show gratitude to when you sit down to dinner?
The Bible says that you are to give your thanks to God—“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).
Why thank God?
Why should you be grateful to God? First, because He created you—“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).
Also because God provides you with everything you need to survive, from the air you breathe to the food you eat. The Bible says, “In every thing give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for “Every good gift … cometh down from the Father …” (James 1:17).
But above all you should thank God for His sacrifice for you—His Son Jesus, who came into our world to save you. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Why do you have to be saved?
Why must you be saved? And what are you supposed to be saved from?
In the beginning God created a perfect world in which people could live. All He required of them was to follow one simple command, but the first man and woman decided they knew better than God, and they disobeyed Him. Each of us has inherited the consequences of this disobedience: an imperfect world and an imperfect human nature which causes us to rebel (sin) against God.
Because you are made in God’s image, and “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24), you have a spirit that will survive when your physical body dies. But where will your spirit go? To heaven?
“… your Father … in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48), and since God is perfect, He cannot allow your spirit to join Him in heaven because of your sinful nature. Even people we consider “good” are corrupt in God’s eyes: “There is none righteous, no, not one … For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10, 23).
Furthermore, there is a penalty for your sin—“the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). “Death” means hell, which is a place of eternal separation from God. It is described as full of torment and fire (Matthew 25:41, Mark 9:45, Luke 16:28).
So you need to be saved because your sin keeps you from heaven, and you can never do enough good on your own to be acceptable to God. Only one person is perfect and qualified to take your punishment for you, and that is Jesus Christ.
As it says in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “… Christ died for our sins … was buried, and … rose again the third day.” Today He lives in heaven, ready to intercede with the Father on your behalf so that one day you may join Him. However, your salvation is not automatic.
What must happen before you can be saved?
First, you have to realize that you are a sinner who has not lived your life in a way that pleases God. A quick glance at the Ten Commandments will confirm that everyone has told a lie or taken the Lord’s name in vain or not honored their parents, etc., at some point in their lives. To us this may not seem so bad, but God’s standard is perfection, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).
Next, turning away from those things that offend God, you must turn toward Jesus. You need to accept that Jesus’ death on the cross paid for your sins, ask God for forgiveness, and trust Him to save you.
If you do this sincerely, God will transform your rebellious nature: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). You will see life through God’s perspective and come to understand His plan for you.
This does not mean that you’ll immediately stop sinning. You’ll always fall short of God’s ideal throughout your life on earth and must continually ask for His forgiveness—“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us …” (1 John 1:9). However, as you go forward in your walk with Christ, learning about Him and growing closer to Him, the power of God’s Holy Spirit will help you to sin less.
So when you give thanks this fall, it should be to the God who created you and provided a way for you to enjoy eternity with Him in heaven.