The Great Debt

Outline: Intro with story of officer left in charge of treasury, "borrowed," then gambled hoping to pay back. In despair he figured up the debt and wrote "The debt is too great; who can pay it?" Intended to shoot himself. The King came by as he slept, saw the note and signed his name to it in answer to the question. Application.

Script Number:319
Language:English
Theme:Forgiveness; Saviour of Sinful Men; Jesus, Our Substitute; Debt/payment for sin; Punishment for guilt
Audience:Catholic; General
Style:Monolog
Genre:Allegory
Sophistication:General
Purpose:Evangelism
Bible Quotation:Direct
Status:Approved

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Script Text

My friend, I want to tell you a story. There was once a king who used to disguise himself. He did this to find out the welfare of his people. The king had a dear friend whose son was an officer in the army. He placed the officer in command of a fort and in charge of its treasury. The officer spent his money foolishly and quickly and went into debt. In order to pay his debts, he stole from the treasury. He intended to return the money quickly. To do this he started gambling, but his debts became greater.

One day the officer learned his accounts were to be checked. He became worried that his debts would be discovered. He knew he would be dismissed and disgraced. He decided to estimate the amount of his debt. Then he would shoot himself. He wrote out the amount of his debt. Underneath he wrote: "The debt is too great; who can pay it?"

He sat there looking at his debt in sorrow. It was late and he was so tired he fell asleep. After midnight the king, disguised as an army officer, entered the fort. He began to look around. He saw a light in a room and went to investigate. He found the officer asleep at his desk. The king saw what the officer had been doing. He read the words, "The debt is too great; who can pay it?" Immediately the king understood what had happened. He knew the officer had done wrong and deserved to be put in prison. But he was compassionate and decided to help him, so the king signed his own name underneath the debt. Doing this, the king himself paid the debt. After a while the officer woke up. He was about to shoot himself when he saw the king's signature. He exclaimed, "What is that? The king was here! He must have come while I was asleep. This is his signature. That means he is going to pay my debt. He is not going to punish me. My debt is paid!"

The next day the king sent the money to pay the debt. Then when the accounts were checked everything was correct. The officer was free from the results of his wrongdoing.

We are like the officer. We have sinned. God says our sins must be paid for. Our debt to God is far greater than the debt of the officer. We try many ways to pay the debt. We rely on our good works. But no amount of good works can wipe out our debt to God. The Bible says (God's Book says) that even our best actions are filthy through and through. How then can the debt be paid?

God created man to have fellowship with Himself. This fellowship was broken because of man's sin. This sin of man had to be punished. Because of sin, every man deserves the punishment of death and hell. God loves man, but He hates sin. God made a way for man to be free from the punishment of sin. He sent Jesus Christ to take the punishment for man's sin. In this way He made the payment for us, so that we could escape our punishment.

"Christ Himself carried our sins in His body to the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness."

Will you believe God has paid your debt for your sin? Will you accept God's way for your salvation? God's Word says, "You must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." Listen! This is the hour to receive God's salvation. Today is the day to be saved. Just as the officer admitted his hopeless condition and accepted the free gift of the king, so must we do. Confess your sin to God and your helplessness, and accept His free gift of salvation. Turn from your ways of sin and follow Jesus.

I Peter 2:24