A man was preaching in a public square one day when someone in the crowd shouted: "Tell us something about the Stars and Stripes!" As passers-by heard the challenge, the crowd quickly gathered around as the preacher turned to face the scoffer, saying: "Tell you something about the Stars and Stripes? I will, and with pleasure, for we read about
the Stars and Stripes in the Bible."
Turning first to Daniel 12:3, he read of some who "shall shine as the stars for ever and ever."
Then referring to Luke 12:47, he spoke of others who "shall be beaten with many stripes" of judgment.
Reader, how do you stand with regard to the stars and stripes of the Bible? Will it be your happy lot to shine as the stars in the glory of God? Or will the many stripes, the wages of sin, be your portion in eternity?
Perhaps your reply is that you do not know, or that you do not see how that question can possibly be answered until the great Judgment Day. Well, my friend, the question can be more easily answered than many suppose. The Word of God is clear as to the present and eternal blessing of those who as wretched sinners place their soul's confidence in Christ and His atoning blood. If you, unworthy and sinful though you be, have gone to the Saviour for the salvation which He died to bring to sinners—if you have looked in faith to the uplifted Substitute, Jesus Christ crucified—then it is certain as God's Word can make it, that you will be one of the ransomed host, shining as the stars forever.
But, if Christ is nothing but a name to you, if you have never experienced the reality of His free forgiveness nor the cleansing power of His precious blood, then upon you the many stripes of His wrath must assuredly fall.
"Stripes," we are told, "are prepared for the back of fools" (Proverbs 19:29). Who is so great a fool as the person who deliberately refuses or neglects to avail himself of the free offer of mercy and pardon of God?
The wages of sin must always be paid. For every offense, a stripe must fall. But those who have fled to the Saviour for refuge know that the stripes due to them have already fallen on the Lord Jesus Christ. They can say, "With His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).
Reader, the choice is yours—either "stars" or "stripes." Be wise. Repent of your sins and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your own Substitute. Then you will gratefully say:
"Jesus died to set me free, Jesus died on Calvary; Not a blessing that I know, But to Jesus Christ I owe."