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Tuesday, June 3, 2008 from

The US Marine and His Coins

In late May, 2008 a complaint was received by the Multi-National Force West in Iraq that a US Marine was distributing a Bible coin with Arabic inscriptions to the locals. (1)

We don’t know the Marine’s name nor do we want to debate the wisdom of distributing a coin with a Bible message on it while on duty.

But beyond debating the ethics of an individual Marine distributing a Bible coin, have you considered what has happened to the message on the single coin distributed by one individual?

The complaint about the one coin precipitated such global interest, the important words on the coin no longer could be contained inside the pockets of a few residents in Falluja.

Probably every major media outlet in the world has communicated the message on the coin to millions of people who have now read what was on both sides of the coin.

A simple ‘English language’ Google search about that one coin produced hundreds of results. The story is everywhere but guess what else is everywhere? The message on the coin. Many would have read such a message for the first time in their lives.

One side read:

“Where will you spend eternity?”

Rarely do you see such a question on the news.

It’s is a very personal question designed to make the reader answer the question as an individual. It’s not the royal ‘we’ question – where will we all spend eternity. No, it is much more personal than that. Where will you spend eternity?

Yes, it’s a pointed and sharp question but is there anything wrong with asking such a question – especially when it pertains to such a significant matter?

Those who are prepared to meet their God aren’t offended by the question. When they are asked the question, they simply smile and say: “Thanks to Jesus Christ, I will spend my eternity in Heaven.” Those who are going to Heaven are not offended by the question. The matter is all settled. Their sins are forgiven and Christ is their Saviour.

Those who aren’t ready to die find the question unsettling and unnerving – perhaps even offensive.

What was on the other side of that notorious coin? A clear statement regarding the love of the true God and the simple terms of salvation for perishing sinners.

This is the beautiful Bible verse that was carried around the world by major media outlets last week for millions of viewers to read:

“For God so loved the world
That He gave His only begotten Son
That whosoever believeth in Him
Should not perish
But have everlasting life.”

John 3:16

No, the media didn’t just make a passing reference to the verse by giving out the Bible address of John 3:16. The majority of media outlets clearly displayed the verse in its entirety.

Whoever the enemies of the verse might have been, they were definitely upstaged. If someone wanted to squash the verse and stamp it out, they sure failed.

Do you know there are many people already in Heaven who are there because they understood the significance of those 25 words in our English language? And there are many who are not there yet but are looking forward to spending eternity in Heaven because John 3:16 means something very personal to them.

What does the Bible verse mean to you? Are they just 25 religious words – or are they precious words to you?

Oh, by the way – the question on the coin: ‘where will you spend eternity?’ is actually a poorly worded question. Eternity can not be ‘spent’. You can spend your vacation in Hawaii. Quickly the days will fly by and your little trip will be over.

Eternity is eternal – forever. Heaven and Hell are the only two destinations. Which will you choose?


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