YOU'VE WON A MILLION DOLLARS!
The following parable compares those who have a false, presumpteous belief that they are going to heaven with those who trust and love the Lord of the kingdom.
Two neighboring homes nestled in the hills of a remote country village. The men who lived in these homes were casual acquaintances, but since they had such different interests, they never really became close friends.
One day in the mail, both men, Mr. Faith, and Mr. Presumption, receive a startling notice. "You have won ONE MILLION DOLLARS," it read. Wow! That was great news, especially since they both had meager incomes and had no way to become wealthy on their own. They had not entered a sweepstakes, or purchased a lottery ticket. They were just selected to receive this million dollars, not because of anything they had done.
Now, Mr. Presumption was quite elated by the news, and believed it with all his heart. He was going to get a million dollars! He set the notice down and didn't even bother to read the entire letter. He got a can of beer out of the refrigerator. He hummed a little ditty, as he cheerily went over and turned on the T.V. set. Life was great. He was going to get a million dollars!
The days flew by in ease and pleasure seeking for Mr. Presumption, and he lived life rather recklessly. He misplaced the notice, but that didn't matter. He just knew he'd receive a million dollars! That knowledge tended to make him more careless about how he spent his money and time. After all, someday soon, he'd receive his million dollars!
Mr. Faith, on the other hand, took a different approach. He was very much in awe at such a generous offer of ONE MILLION DOLLARS. How could this be? Who would do such a thing for him? And why? He knew he didn't deserve it.
So he read the letter over, and studied every word very carefully. He wanted to make sure it was genuine. He read it again and again. Some of the words were quite small, and he had to put some effort into deciphering them. But he just had to know the details.
What he found out was, this million dollar offer actually came from an extremely wealthy king of an exotic out-of-this-world country. This country was known for being a paradise of beauty and peace, and was off limits to all but those with a personal invitation. This million-dollar offer that he had received was actually for the purpose of preparing him to inherit a portion of this kingdom as a prince.
There was more than just a million dollars in the offer. That was just the down payment, so to speak. The kingdom offered freedom from crime, sorrow, sickness and death. The best part of the whole offer was the king was immediately extending his friendship and all the benefits of being connected to the marvelous resources of his kingdom to all those who accepted his offer.
As Mr. Faith pondered the depths of this amazing offer, he experienced an incredible feeling of appreciation and admiration for such a generous and unselfish king. He was drawn to want to know him better. Fortunately, the king had made provision for a personal relationship to begin immediately.
A communication device was supplied, which the man accessed with a bit of apprehension. But the moment he heard the voice of the king, all fears subsided, and the rich, welcoming voice of acceptance and love made him know that this offer was indeed genuine. The king assured him that he was accepted into the kingdom plan, and told him that he would receive further instructions as time went on.
That first call was the beginning of many. Soon, a beautiful book from the king was delivered to his door. The king told him that this book would help him to get to know all about the kingdom, and about the character of the king himself.
Mr. Faith was so appreciative of this book, he determined to read it every day. The book was so deep and full of significance, that Mr. Faith found himself memorizing portions of it that he found particularly helpful and encouraging.
The long-distance calls became more and more frequent. In fact, the communication device supplied by the king was always connected, and was thought activated, so it was very convenient.
Every day Mr. Faith found that his appreciation for the king was increasing. He knew that he would receive his million dollars at the time the king deemed best, but for the present, he was thoroughly enjoying the benefits of his relationship with the king. Encouraging packages would arrive frequently that Mr. Faith found very helpful. He was happier than he had ever been in his life!
Mr. Faith read in the king's book that this offer was available to every person in the world. The king wanted as many as possible to take advantage of this offer, because the world and everything in it would be destroyed at some unknown time in the near future. The king wanted all those who had accepted the offer to become his agents, and to encourage others to accept the offer too.
Upon reading that, Mr. Faith quickly went to visit his neighbor Mr. Presumption. He earnestly told him of the Million Dollar Offer. Mr. Presumption laughed, and replied with a haughty voice, "I know all about that offer. I'm in. I'm getting it too!"
Mr. Faith was rather surprised, because he had not realized that Mr. Presumption had accepted the king's offer. So Mr. Faith asked him, "Do you know the king?"
"The king?!" Mr. Presumption, exclaimed, "I don't really care about the king. All I know is I'm getting a million dollars!"
Mr. Faith asked him how he could be so sure. "Well, I get flyers in the mail all the time assuring me that it's true," Mr. Presumption replied.
"Could I take a look at one of those flyers?" Mr. Faith queried.
"Sure," Mr. Presumption handed him a slick, gaudy handbill splashed with color and bold words declaring that the million dollars was sure to come. Mr. Faith inspected it closely, and noticed something. The return address was not the king's paradise at all, but a counterfeit address.
The king had warned him about this scheme. The king's enemy was trying to take advantage of the king's generous offer to get supporters for his guerrilla rebellion. The king's enemy didn't have a million dollars to offer at all. He just wanted gullible people to believe that they could cash in on the king's offer while they were really fighting against the king. Only those who carelessly refused to read the king's entire offer could be duped by such a scam.
Mr. Faith looked with dismay into Mr. Presumption's eyes as he earnestly endeavored to explain the trick to him. Mr. Presumption snorted with disgust, and put up his hands to stop any more discussion. He clearly did not want to hear another word. He was convinced that he would receive the million dollars, and he didn't want anyone to convince him otherwise. He opened the door, and gestured for Mr. Faith to leave immediately.
Sadly, Mr. Faith turned toward home. He accessed his communication with the king, and shared with him his failure to convince Mr. Presumption. The king also shared his sorrow. In fact, the king's heartbreak was so intense that Mr. Faith realized, as never before how much the king loved each person on the earth. How could Mr. Presumption be so sure? He didn't know the king. He didn't even know what the million-dollar offer was all about. Yet, he was sure he was going to get it. How sad!
And so I ask you, my friend, how have you responded to the King's million-dollar offer? I'm sure you realize that this is a parable, and the million-dollar offer represents eternal life. It is absolutely amazing how many people sincerely believe that they will live forever, but don't have any idea why they believe it to be true. They have heard about heaven, or just have a "feeling" that it's true, but have never bothered to check out the actual offer.
Could it be that they are mistaking presumptuous belief for genuine faith, and will be sorely disappointed? Don't let this happen to you! Check out the million-dollar offer for yourself!
Heaven is much BIGGER than a million dollars. If we would like to receive eternal life, we need to find out the details! We must read the fine print of God's contractual promise of eternal life - the Word of God.
May God's blessings be with you as you pursue your heavenly goal!