Beware the False "Free Gift" That "Costs You Everything"
Beware of the popular so-called “free gift” that costs you everything. Real salvation is the free gift that costs you nothing (Because Jesus Christ already paid the FULL price)! If salvation were to cost you anything, anything at all, even the teeniest tiniest slightest amount, then that would mean that Jesus did not pay the full price and of course we know that He did! We know that His sacrificial work is complete.
But we are not just talking about subtle tiny costs here. It is commonly claimed today that “salvation is the free gift that costs you everything”. But how so? How can a free gift cost anything let alone everything? This popular saying may sound nice, religious and even somewhat holy, but it's simply not true. In fact this contradictory statement is entirely self-defeating and immediately collapses in upon itself before the words have barely left the mouth of the speaker. Even though many people who make this claim may mean well and may have the best of intentions, that doesn't change the fact that it's a glaring self-evident LIE! And there is no hidden mystery here waiting to somehow be discovered or revealed because God never makes contradictory statements.
For something to truly be free it cannot come with any cost whatsoever, so a gift cannot cost anything. There's no way around it. For something that is supposedly free to cost anything, anything at all, no matter how slight, would entirely defeat the alleged freeness of that thing and that thing would not be a gift. The Bible makes it abundantly clear in many places in Scripture that salvation, specifically forgiveness of sins and eternal life, is a free gift that God gave to mankind. (See Eph 2:8-9, Rom 6:23, John 3:15-16, Gal 2:20, etc.) Man obtains this gift from God by believing, which means placing his or her faith in (trust in and reliance upon) Christ for forgiveness and eternal life.
The freeness and gift-aspect of grace is a foundational essence of the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which would not be good news at all if salvation depended even in the smallest way upon our performance, our alleged inherent “worthiness”, our merit, our repentance of sin or our good works. This is because we as human beings are flawed and imperfect, fallen and therefore entirely unable to meet any divine standards. Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead in sinless perfection. We have no hope of such perfection.
As bold as this statement may sound and as much as I may be attacked for saying it, it doesn't change the fact that Salvation is the Free Gift That Costs You NOTHING. Jesus already paid everything and there is nothing left for you or I to contribute.
If you haven't done so already, I encourage you today to admit that you are a sinner (a sinner just like me and every other human being) and that you cannot possibly save yourself by your own good works or by being a good person, and therefore realize that you need Jesus to save you. Place your faith (trust) in Him right now today and at that moment you will be forgiven for all of your sins past, present and future, and heaven will be your eternal home. That is the wonderful promise and assurance that God has given to all mankind, to all who would place their trust in His Son Jesus Christ. This is His marvelous and irrevocable guarantee.
False Teachers Claim That People Must Make Sacrifices in Order to Become a Christian
As good and healthy as it is to repentant of one's sins, and for some people critically important to their health, nevertheless the idea of telling someone who is at a pretty low point in their life that they must give up most or all of the things in life that they really enjoy and think are fun (such as smoking, drinking / drunkenness, drug use, carousing / sleeping around, gambling, ... whatever) is requiring a HUGE price for that person to pay for salvation. Yes, I know the price is being generated from their clouded perspective on life. Yes, I know that what they are being asked to give up will ultimately help them, but nevertheless it's still a cost and a irrefutable sacrifice that they are being required to pay for a salvation, which is supposed to be a gift that is totally free of charge! No matter how you slice this or dice this, this equates to people being required to pay a price for salvation. That is a heresy and makes Jesus look like a bait-and-switch salesman who promises something is free, but in reality, it actually comes with a cost. See the problem? Jesus is the complete sacrifice for our sins, yet heretical teachers require potential converts to Christ to pay an additional sacrifice! It's so bad that these teachers claim that without this additional sacrifice, there is no way for that person to be saved. This damnable bunch includes Ray Comfort, John MacArthur and many others.
I know. I know. Those are some pretty serious sins I mentioned and it certainly would absolutely be best for someone to be done with any of that prior to becoming a Christian. But regardless, the job of a Christian is to be a fisher of men not a cleaner of men. Yet there are countless professing Christians who think it is their express job to clean the fish before they catch them. No, that's God's job and that's also putting the cart before the horse.
Come As You Are
One of the basic promises within the Gospel is to “come as you are” right here, right now and to be saved through placing your trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Obviously God will take it from there and people will change as they are responsive to God's leading and to the teachings of the Bible. Hopefully they will study the written Word and obey the commands of Christ. Nevertheless, there is no fine print or prerequisites in the Gospel where any change in lifestyle or change in behavior is required before someone can become saved and there is no requirement that someone must perform sufficiently to stay saved. There is no command for people to first clean up their lives in order to be “worthy” of Christ or maintain there lives in such as way as to remain "worthy". This kind of nonsense has been added by man made religion posing as Christianity. And to be clear, no one is worthy of salvation no matter how much they have cleaned up their life. Merit rests 100% in Christ alone an 0% in people.
And just imagine the utter confusion and inner conflicts that the average unbeliever must endure upon hearing such a confusing “gospel” presentation of an alleged “free gift” that “costs you everything”. What?! Talk about a convoluted and conflicted message! Such is not the message of Eph 2:8-9, or the whosoever of John 3:16, or of the many other salvation verses that use the word whosoever or its English equivalent.
Pretty much the only type of person that such an erroneous message appeals to are people who have already hit rock bottom, people who are tired of their sins and are ready to change and want to change. And then sadly as prey for the predators, these dear souls fall into a heretical strain of anti-Christianity thinking they are among real Christians. Some continue on in a search for truth and escape while others never do.
Nowhere in the Bible do we see even a single verse that says, “whosoever repents of their sins” shall be saved, let alone “whosoever repents of their assorted personal sins”. No. It's just not there. This doesn't mean that repentance of sins prior to salvation isn't an excellent idea. It is! But it's just not there as part of the Gospel as a requirement of salvation. What is there however is just the simple run-of-the-mill plain-as-day whosoever, which means nothing more than any human being from any walk of life who places their trust in Christ shall be saved. And the wonderful thing is, in order for the “whosoever” to trust Jesus, they must first stop trusting in themselves (their good works) or in their false religion (e.g. Catholicism) to save them. Hence true salvation-repentance is already accomplished when true faith (trust in Christ) is present. So there should be no fear that someone who has placed genuine trust in Christ might have failed to repent towards God. They have repented. The two go hand-in-hand. They are inseparable.
More: Eternal Life is a FREE Gift