The Colonel's Mistake [Tract]

The Colonel's Mistake
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#41576
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Full Color Gospel Tract
Verse Ref.:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
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Full Text of

The Colonel’s Mistake

During the Spanish-American War, Theodore Roosevelt, who loved his troops, was very concerned when some of them got sick. Hearing that Clara Barton (who devoted herself to nursing the wounded soldiers) had received a supply of special food for the sick under her care, Colonel Roosevelt asked to buy some for the sick men of his regiment.

His request was refused. The colonel was very disturbed. He cared for his men, and he was willing to pay for the supplies out of his own pocket.

“How can I get these things?” he asked. “I must have proper food for my sick men!”

“Just ask for them, Colonel,” said the surgeon in charge of the Red Cross headquarters.

“Oh,” said Roosevelt, his face breaking into a smile, “that’s the way, is it? Then I do ask for them.” And he got them at once.

People seem to expect to receive eternal salvation in exchange for something that they can offer to God. One brings an earnest prayer; a second brings a vow or promise to turn over a new leaf; a third brings a resolution to live a better and purer life; a fourth thinks that before he can receive salvation, he must produce some evidence of his sincerity in the shape of an improvement of his conduct; a fifth imagines that he can obtain it by agreeing to an orthodox creed and following certain religious practices.

Now the truth is that God’s salvation can be received only as a free gift. Why should there be any difficulty in understanding this? The words of Scripture are very plain:

“I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely” (Revelation 21:6).

“The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Pride rebels against these terms. It would rather pay at least something. But God is too great to sell His blessing. No one can merit even a partial salvation, however long they might try. God is prepared to meet the sinner with His hands full of the richest blessings, if only the sinner will come with empty hands to receive it as a gift. Will you?

“By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5).

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).