A Life as an Outlaw
Billy the Kid, the infamous outlaw, is said to have killed at least 15 people. He believed his actions were justified, but the law thought otherwise. Billy the Kid was a thief and an unforgiving murderer and the law wanted him to answer for his actions. On July 14, 1881 (aged 21), his way of life caught up to him and he was gunned down by Sherriff Pat Garrett.
It seems that a lot of people believe they are related to someone famous or infamous, nowadays. Genealogy has become a huge fascination with people wanting to know who they are related to and where they came from. Surprisingly, did you know you are related to the outlaw Billy the Kid? It says in Acts 17:26, “From one man (Adam) He [God] made all the nations that they should inhabit the whole earth…” And being from Adam you are born into sin – Romans 5:12, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” You are in the same category as Billy the kid, an outlaw and a sinner.
Are you really a sinner?
Have you ever lied? (A University of Massachusetts study asserts that the average person lies four times per day while God says that all liars will have their place in the lake of fire.) Have you stolen even something small or looked at a person with lust? Used God’s name in an empty way? Been extremely angry with someone? (In God’s eyes, this is the same as murder.) If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then you are in the same category as Billy the Kid – a law breaker and a sinner. And these sins will stop you from entering Heaven. This is based on God’s Holy Standard – the Ten Commandments, and the above was only five of the ten. James 2:10 says that if you have broken just one of the commandments, you are guilty of all. In Romans 6:23, it states that the payment for our sin is death, an eternal separation from Him, in Hell. Hell is an unpleasant word, but a very real place. In the Bible, Jesus talks more about Hell than He does Heaven. This should be a very real indicator that our predicament is serious and we should be careful how we move forward.
Are you ready for some good news? Romans 5:17 says, “The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God’s wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.” This is what Jesus did for us over 2000 years ago – A sinless savior came down from Heaven, in human form, to be our sacrifice, and to give us a second chance. He died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins (I Peter 2:24) and rose up on the third day to show that He is God. This is the highest form of love (John 3:16). Your only requirement is to turn away from your old life (sin) and turn toward God (Acts 3:19). This is repentance and it is mandatory for entrance into Heaven.
God’s Grace, Your Choice
It is because God is merciful that we have this amazing opportunity, through His unfailing love. We have clearly sinned and not lived according to His righteous standard. Even so, God has provided unmerited divine assistance. This is grace. Think of where you stand before our Holy God. Do not choose to be like Billy the Kid and let your “way of life” separate you from God. We, ultimately, know that we have a God and we have not met His Holy Standard. He has pursued you with an everlasting love and is ready and waiting for you to repent and turn toward Him. How will you move forward?
Know that God loves you (John 3:16). Humble yourself. Repent of your sins (Acts 3:19). Put your faith in Jesus Christ alone to save you, and become His follower.
This encounter was not by chance, but ordained by our Holy God.
Stephen John Spivey