In 1829 two men, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Porter, were convicted of mail robbery and sentenced to death by hanging. Three weeks before the time for Mr. Wilson’s execution, he was pardoned by the President. Mr. Wilson refused the pardon and chose to die. A fool you say? Well, maybe so. The United States Supreme Court handed down a decision on the case that stated:
“A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete without acceptance. It may then be rejected by the person to who it is tendered, and if it is rejected, we have discovered no power in this court to force it upon him.”
Mr. Wilson was a fool you say… well, maybe so. Many folks believe this to be the case, however, many of these same folks reject God’s pardon each day.
God has signed man’s pardon for sin with a cross and the death of His Son. God must punish sin because He is just and righteous. However, He did that through His Son on the cross of Calvary. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
Was Mr. Wilson a fool? If he was then what are we when we continue in sin and reject our Lord’s pardon of grace? How would you feel if you were Mr. Wilson and the messenger with the pardon was late in arriving to present it to the executioner? There are still millions who have not had an opportunity to accept or reject because they have never heard.
Will you not hurry with the Good News of pardon to those who will be condemned?