You are stranded in the desert with nothing to sustain you. Your water supply is gone, and it will only be a matter of hours before your weak body succumbs to the elements. Miraculously, another traveler approaches you and offers a cruse of water. But before you can raise it to your lips, he adds one drop of a strong poison to the water. If you drink the water, you will die; and if you refuse it, you will die. What would you do under the circumstances?

This is the fate of many lost people today, for they are famished and searching for truth. After years of wandering about from religion to religion, they have reached their wit’s end. Finally someone comes along and offers them the living water of the gospel. Eager to embrace its promise of eternal life, they raise the flask to their lips, only to have the other person accidentally pollute the water by adding a few drops of human works. Unaware of the poison, they gladly drink the water. Some perish, and others survive. Those who survive understand the gospel, but suffer from the effects of the tainted water. Those who perish trust their works to save them and are bound to an eternity in Hell. That which they trusted for life could only deliver death.

The message of works kills. It corrupts the gospel message by challenging the sufficiency of Christ’s payment on the cross, daring us to believe His death and shed blood were not enough to atone for our sins. The works message robs a believer of his assurance as it teaches he can never be certain of his salvation until he dies.

I cannot stress enough the need for clarity in presenting the gospel. This is a powerful, life-changing message which can make a difference on where a person spends eternity. It behooves us to make the message clear.

Think of five people you know who are unsaved and pray for their salvation right now. Then ask God to show you how to give them a cup of clear, pure water in Christ’s name.

Click here to learn how to give a clear, life-giving cup of water in Christ’s name.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.