Bank Robbers and Street Preachers

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A certain man had embarked on a career of bank robbing. He had done this for many years, and he was beginning to grow weary of it. One day, after a successful heist, he was walking down the street, with his briefcase full of cash. He was wondering what he was missing in life, when he had all the money he could ever want.

At just that moment, he came around a corner, and there, in an open square, was a street preacher, proclaiming the gospel openly and clearly. The bank robber was at such a low point where he was willing to stop and listen, which he did. Of course, he found the message both compelling and convicting, and when the street preacher invited them to call upon the Lord, that is precisely what he did.

Afterwards, he went up and spoke to the man who had preached the gospel to him. “I am glad to have heard you,” he said, “but I just want to clarify something.”

“Sure,” said the preacher.

“You said that if I called upon the Lord, all my sins would be forgiven, is that right?”

“It certainly is,” said the preacher.

“And you said that this includes all sins, whether past, present or future. Is that right?”

“You heard me correctly,” the man said.

“Hypothetically speaking, would this include any sin? Even say, bank robbing?”

“Yes, it would,” said the preacher.

“Now,” said the bank robber, growing more pleased by the minute, “say that my briefcase here was full of money from some bank — again, hypothetically speaking — and suppose I accepted the free grace you have been talking about, and resolved that this meant I could keep the money also. I left here quite contented, and on the way home got hit by a truck and died. What then?”

“You’d go straight to hell,” said the preacher.

“But why?” said the astonished robber.

“Because grace is not bank money. You cannot seize it; it can only be given. And if it is given, it is all given.”

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