The Debt is Paid
Zusammenfassung: Uses illustration of the man in debt put in prison; king's son asks that he might pay the debt and free the man. Applies the spiritual parallel. Intended for Muslims, but useful in other situations.
|Thema:||Grace and Mercy; Salvation; Faith, trust, believe in Jesus; Debt / payment for sin; Gospel, Good News; Children of God|
|Genre:||Messages and Fiction|
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"Sir, will you kindly tell me what you think I must do to enter Paradise?"
The nobleman, whose name was Sir Ahmed, spoke this question thoughtfully, and his friend replied: "Your excellency, perhaps I can best answer you by a story.
"Suppose that I myself am in prison because of a great debt which I could never hope to pay. One day the king's son comes to the king and says, `Father, my friend is in prison for debt. Can you not pardon him?'
"The king replies, `My son, I too love this man, and do not want him to be in prison, but I cannot pardon him. If I did so, I would be wronging all the people. I must treat all alike.'
"But the son answers, `Father, will you let me pay his debt so that he may be set free?'
"The king answers, `Yes, my son, I will let you pay the debt. If he will accept it, he shall be free.'
"The prince goes at once to the proper office and pays the debt, and receives the receipt. Then he comes to me in my prison and tells me that I am free. He shows me the proof, the receipt. What is my response? Will I haughtily reply `No, I cannot receive it; I will not be obligated to anyone?' Ah no, I cannot say this, for I am already a debtor. Nor can I hurt the prince who is my friend.
"Nor shall I say mournfully, `Oh no, I cannot believe this; it is too good to be true!' Without faith in my heart there would be no liberty! (Even in my own house I would be a prisoner, afraid to go outside the door lest a policeman would catch me and return me to prison. )
"Or will I, instead, fall at the prince's feet and thank him, and say to him, `I have nothing to give in return, but I shall try by my life to show my gratitude.' Then I would rush out of the prison, shouting, `I am free!'
"Nor would I return to my own poor hovel to live, but instead, the king's son takes me to his father, the king, and says, `Father, may this man be as your son? I have paid his debt.' The king agrees, and says to me, `I receive you. You shall go in and out as a son.'
"This is the story of the Gospel. God is the King, and Jesus Christ His Son paid my debt. I believe it and now I am free. I am a child of God. It is the joy and purpose of my life to do all that I can for His honor in order to show my gratitude for what He has done for me. And what He has done for me, He has done for all who have sinned. All may be pardoned. All who receive the pardon may be set free. And, Sir Ahmed," the friend continued, "it is by this pardon that you, too, may be assured of an entrance into heaven (Paradise). Jesus Christ paid the debt for you."