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George Wilson Must Die

Grace Condemnation Pardon

Source: U.S. Supreme Court Case File United States v. Wilson, 32 U.S. 7 Pet. 150 (1833)

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2019-05-19

Scripture: John 3:16 ; Colossians 2:14

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

George Wilson was a career criminal who, in the 1830s, was indicted on six counts of obstructing and robbing the U.S. mail, including threatening a carrier with bodily harm, and violent assault (wounding a carrier).  The violent assault carried a penalty of death. Rising public petition against the death penalty prompted then president, Andrew Jackson, to issue a pardon for the assault conviction. 

Amazingly, Wilson declined the pardon. “And now, to-wit, this 21 October, 1830, the defendant, George Wilson, being in person before the court, was asked by the court … whether he wished in any manner to avail himself of the pardon referred to, and the said defendant answered in person that … he did not wish in any manner to avail himself, in order to avoid sentence in this particular case, of the pardon referred to.”

The district court was not sure how to handle the complexities of the case, and eventually the matter was referred to the U.S. Supreme Court which later ruled that, “A pardon is an act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual on whom it is bestowed from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed. … 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 whom it is tendered, and if it be rejected, we have discovered no power in a court to force it on him. It may be supposed that no being condemned to death would reject a pardon, but the rule must be the same in capital cases and in misdemeanors.”

Further, Chief Justice John Marshall purportedly pronounced that the value of a pardon “must be determined by the receiver … It has no value apart from that which the receiver gives it . . . therefore, George Wilson must die."  He was subsequently executed for his crime.

APPLICATION

Who in their right mind would reject an opportunity to be pardoned? We would assume, as the Supreme Court did, that no person "condemned to death would reject a pardon." Yet, the Bible tells us that "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life' (John 3:16).  

In Christ, God has offered a pardon to everyone of us. Nevertheless, a pardon "has no value apart from that which the receiver gives it."

How many in our world allow day after day to pass without receiving God's pardon? Sadly, George Wilson didn't have to be condemned and neither do you!

God has, "canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross" (Colossians 2:14, NLT).

 

Sliding Away

Condemnation Deceived/Deception False Hope

Source: BEYOND ALL LIMITS, pp. 19-20

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-05-08

Scripture: Matthew 7:22

Author: Dr. Bill Bright and Dr. James O. Davis
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ILLUSTRATION

In their book BEYOND ALL LIMITS, Bill Bright and James O. Davis recount a story from famed English explorer, William Edward Perry, who mapped out most of the Southern Polar Cap:

“On one particular expedition, Perry and his crew were preparing to hike to another unfamiliar location. On the eve of their departure, they studied the stars and determined their exact coordinates. As the sun rose, they began a hard, lengthy journey north to this unmapped region. They marched through he ice and snow all day long with the freezing air burning their lungs.

As the sun set, they made camp, totally exhausted from their trip. After their evening meal, Perry studied the stars again to determine their exact coordinates. He was stunned to learn that even though he and his crew had journeyed north all day, they were now farther south than when they began that morning. After struggling to solve this problem, they discovered that although they had traveled north, they were on a giant ice sheet that was floating south faster than they were walking north. Although they were going in the right direction, they were sliding away and did not even know it.”

William R. "Bill" Bright (1921 –2003) was an American evangelist and the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ.

Dr. James O. Davis is founder of Cutting Edge International and the Co-Founder of Billion Soul Network.

APPLICATION

"'Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS'" (Matthew 7:22-23, NASB).

Kill Them All

Evangelism Condemnation Grace

Source: "Albigensian Crusade" in Encyclopaedia Britanica

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-05-08

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

The Albigensian Crusade (1209–29) was called by Pope Innocent III against the Cathari, a dualist religious movement in southern France that the Roman Catholic Church had branded heretical. When the crusaders captured the city of Béziers in the heart of the Cathar territory, they inquired how they should sort out the orthodox Catholics who still lived there from the heretic Cathari. The reply came in the form of a decree from a papal representative who said, "Kill them all. God will know his own." Consequently, tens of thousands of people--men, women and children--were all massacred in the name of religious zealotry.

APPLICATION

No doubt, God will sort all things out in the end. No question about that. But ours is not to hasten God's judgment. Ours is to spread the message of His love and grace so that when judgment does come, many more will be counted among His own.

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him" (John 3:17).

Living Man Declared Legally Dead

Law (of God) Death Condemnation

Contributed By: TC Buthe | Date Posted: 2013-10-19

Scripture: John 10:10 ; Matthew 23:27

Author: The BBC/Illustration Exchange
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Burnt Popcorn

God's Judgment Condemnation New Birth

Contributed By: Ed Newton | Date Posted: 2013-05-08

Scripture: Matthew 25:31

Author: Ed Newton
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Dead in Trespasses & Sins

Sin God's Judgment Condemnation

Contributed By: Paul Flannery | Date Posted: 2013-02-21

Author: Paul Flannery
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The Curse Of Remembering

Sin Condemnation Forgiveness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-02-16

Scripture: Hebrew 10:17

Author: Joshua Harris
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Hedging on Hell

Hell Death Condemnation

Contributed By: Darin Freeson | Date Posted: 2012-06-16

Scripture: Daniel 12:2 ; Matthew 5:22

Author: John Ankerberg and John Weldon
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Playing Ollamalitzli

Condemnation Eternal Life Priorities

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2012-05-01

Scripture: Matthew 16:26

Author: Larry Lewis
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Casting Stones At Weiner

Politics Judging Condemnation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-06-08

Scripture: John 8:7

Author: Illustration Exchange
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