On the corner of Park Row and Beekman Street, New York City, where Horace Greeley’s Statue now stands, stood a man offering $20 gold pieces for $1 each. All day he kept up loudly announcing his wares, but of the thousands that passed him, most paid no attention and others either laughed or scowled at him.
About 15 minutes before six o’clock, when he was about to quit, a woman timidly approached him and, after carefully investigating the gold piece, by biting it and testing its sound by throwing it on the pavement, she reluctantly paid the dollar and pocketed the golden double eagle. Ten minutes later, just as the man was about to go home, the woman reappeared accompanied by two friends and between them they purchased the rest of the man’s stock, worth $160, for $8 in bills.
The next and for several following mornings, the street was crowded for blocks with the same woman in the lead waiting for the vender of gold coins, but he never appeared again.
This story is known to be true and Horace Greeley is responsible for the incident in demonstration of his theory that most poverty is due to the fact that the general public refuses to believe even in the face of overwhelming evidence.
Jesus said in Mark 9:23, “All things are possible for one who believes.” Here Jesus is putting an extremely high value on belief. He is not saying that if you believe enough you’ll get that Maserati you’ve always wanted. He is saying, “if you believe in me completely, you will then trust in me completely, and nothing can stop my plans for you.
In this way, salvation is tied to our belief in Jesus Christ. This time we go to John 3:18-19 where we read, “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and the people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”
We are condemned when we fail to trust in the only Son of God. Our unbelief has condemned us because we can’t grasp onto something in which we cannot believe. Our unbelief has caused us to place our faith on lesser things and none of these things can save us from the wrath to come.
Today, God is in every heart offering them something that, to many, seems too good to be true. They laugh and scoff at him as He offers them eternal life because the devil has convinced them that their salvation can only come by their own efforts. Though they see the prize as they walk by, their unbelief causes them to miss out on what Christ is offering.
Jesus said, “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the Word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” (John 12:48). Those who laugh and scoff because of their unbelief will pay a great price for their skepticism. The time is coming. It’s 15 minutes before six o’clock. What are you going to do with the blessings that Christ is offering? Are you going to believe in the golden opportunity He is promising you or are you going to simply pass by in unbelief?
Your God is calling out to you and He is offering much more in return for all that He is asking of us. Trust in Him. Accept what He is offering you. Let God help you in your unbelief so that you might be with Him forever in glory. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, forgive our unbelief and help us to realize that all you are offering us is real. Lead us to a greater understanding of the glory that awaits and shield us from the devil’s whispers that cause us to look for other ways to attain what only You can give. Amen.