The Great Recession has led to great economic distress in our nation. Many financial companies had overextended themselves, and if they were left to handle the situation on their own, many would have gone bankrupt. The United States government felt that the bankruptcy of many such companies would cause more damage than it was worth, and so it began “bailing out” these corporations. Billions upon billions of dollars have been given to these companies to keep them functioning to this day.
One could argue whether such bailouts were really a good idea or not and whether it was really worth it for the American taxpayers. On the other hand, can we all not look back in our own lives and find times when we were “bailed out”? It is unlikely that we received millions or billions of dollars in our “bailouts” in life, but were we not relieved that thanks to someone’s intervention, we did not have to suffer the consequences of some of our actions?
That, essentially, is what a bailout does: it either provides a cushion to soften some dire consequences or it removes them altogether.
While we can understand and appreciate the value of bailouts in our physical lives, what about in our spiritual lives?
If we stop and think about it, the spiritual consequences of our actions are often dire. The Bible clearly reveals that we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10-23, Ephesians 2:1-3, Titus 3:3-5). The spiritual consequences of such sin is quite clear: death (Romans 6:23). On account of our sin, all of us deserve to suffer the consequence of eternal separation from God, the Author of Life, and eternal torment for our misdeeds (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9). On top of all this, there is nothing that we ourselves can do to “make up” for or atone for our sins. If God had left us on our own, our fate would have been far worse than mere bankruptcy!
Yet thanks be to God, for He has provided us with a “bailout!” In His great love for us, He sent His Son Jesus Christ to show us the way to live, to die on the cross for our sins, and to be raised in power on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-3, 1 John 2:6). Because of His sacrifice, we can be reconciled to God through His blood (Romans 5:6-11). He suffered the consequences of our sin so that we would not have to (2 Corinthians 5:20-21). We did nothing to deserve any of this, yet God freely accomplished it so that we could be saved (Ephesians 2:4-9, Titus 3:6-7).
As with all “bailouts,” however, there are terms that must be satisfied. These terms do not mean that we somehow “earn” the bailout, but if we do not meet the terms established, we will not obtain the benefit. God’s terms for the “bailout” involve our own death to sin (Romans 6:1-2) and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:22). We are to no longer live for ourselves; instead, we are to live to glorify God and to serve His purposes (Galatians 2:20). We begin our service by believing in Jesus, confessing His name, repenting of our sins, and being immersed in water for the remission of our sins (Romans 10:9-10, Acts 2:38).
You may not have obtained a billion dollars in the economic bailout, but God extends you a bailout offer of much greater value. Change your ways today, obey God, and be saved!
Ethan R. Longhenry