In this neck of the woods, auctions are popular. Consignments, livestock, estates, garage sale stuff, etc. Sometimes you have to buy a whole box of stuff just to get what you want. A few of weeks ago there were a couple of Bibles in a pile of junk at an auction. When it came time for the pile, the auctioneer added a few more boxes to the pile until it was just about 4 feet tall. There was nothing in there that I needed. NOTHING! But, there were a couple of Bibles in there. No one bid on the pile. No one. Not even for a quarter. Now, there were some nice dishes, toys, other books, knick-knacks, and other various sundries. Right before the auctioneer ended bidding, I bid a quarter. Sold, immediately. I cannot see a Bible go into the trash, we can use it or give it away. The children and I started going through the boxes more carefully to see if there was anything else in there we wanted. There was nothing else useful to us. We took the Bibles and started hauling boxes to the dumpster.
A gentleman came up and asked, "Are you really just going to throw all that away?"
I answered, "Unless you or someone else wants it. Help yourself or it's going to the dumpster."
He seemed puzzled, "Why did you buy it then?"
I explained, "Well, I didn't want the Bibles thrown away, and the rest of the stuff is useless to me. Please, help yourself if there is something you would like, or would you like a Bible?"
"No, I just wondered why you bought all of this if you are going to throw most of it away."
"The Bibles were in there. I had to buy it all to get what was useful to me."
This conservation came back to me this morning as a missed opportunity to share the Good News with this gentleman. Jesus died for all, although not all will be saved. He paid the price for everyone, but not everyone will be taken home with him. Now, the junk in the box didn't have a choice whether to end up in the dumpster or be taken home, but you do.