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How many of you have ever received a free flight through frequent flyer miles? I know I have. But what about meals, hotels, or even entire vacations?
It turns out there’s a very specialized group of people who regularly do. These “air miles millionaires” collect frequent flyer miles not just by flying hundreds of thousands of miles per year, but also by using airline rewards credit cards, or taking advantage of specialized third-party promotions available only to the highest class of airline loyalty program members. They then exchange these miles for dream vacations, access to first-class lounges, or free upgrades on flights around the world — living an elite lifestyle most of us could never afford.
When I heard about this, all I could think was: aren’t you glad the kingdom of God isn’t a loyalty program? In fact, it’s the exact opposite! Salvation is a gift freely given. It is immediately available to those who turn to Jesus Christ and put their trust in his saving power to redeem and transform their life.
The Bible makes it very clear just how simple it is: “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Salvation is just that simple, and nowhere is this more apparent than on the cross itself, when one of the criminals crucified alongside Jesus asked him, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42), to which Christ replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
This is the beauty of God’s kingdom — the career criminal who accepted Christ’s grace in his last minutes alive is no less “saved” than the career believer who accepted Christ’s grace as a young person. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known Jesus or not — what matters is that you can enter his kingdom by his grace alone. There are no “miles,” no “loyalty programs,” and no special membership requirements: just grace.
And the truly incredible part? That grace is free each and every day, to each and every one of us. Now that’s a deal worth believing in!
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.