Mansur, the Generous, was the greatest king of his time and very rich. His kingdom was large and his glory great. He was known for his generous gifts. He was a righteous king who loved truth and justice. He watched over his subjects and constantly asked about their welfare. His citizens praised his way of life.
One day the king decided that it was time to tour his kingdom to understand the condition of his people. He sought to know if-they were happy and leading a good life or if they were unhappy. He wished to listen to their problems and to free them from their oppressors. Many of his ministers and servants went with him on the journey. They travelled from city to city until they finally arrived at a town close to the border of the kingdom.
When the people of the town heard that King Mansur and his servants were coming, they turned out to offer him their greetings and to show their loyalty. They knew he had come to ask about the condition of his people. Therefore, they brought a small boy to him saying: “Here is an orphan; his father and mother died during the last famine.” The king felt sorrow for the orphan and ordered a change of clothes be given to him. Then he took the orphan to his palace to live as one of his own children.
In the palace the king showed much kindness to the orphan, who came to be known as Denier of Good. He learned to be obedient to the king’s commands and sincere in his love for the king. But when the boy grew older, he forgot the kindness of his master and hid the evil of his heart from the king. Denier of Good waited for the opportunity to run away from the king and to do harm to him and his kingdom.
While the boy was plotting this bad action, there came to Mansur’s kingdom the evil ruler, “The Enemy of Righteousness”, with the purpose of fighting against Mansur. He was the strongest of Mansur’s enemies and knew what Denier of Good was determined to do. He, therefore, sent Denier of Good a letter, asking him to leave Mansur’s army and to join his. He promised Denier of Good a large reward and high position if he would betray Mansur.
When Denier of Good had read the letter, he gladly accepted the suggestion of the evil ruler. That night he fled from the palace of Mansur and joined the army of the Enemy of Righteousness. When Mansur heard of his betrayal, he was very sad. Still, he loved the boy and hoped for his return from the enemy’s camp before the end of the war. Mansur knew well that he would be victorious in the struggle. He, therefore, sent a letter, tenderly asking the boy to return. The king promised to pardon him for the great wrong that he had done, if he would return.
Denier of Good showed no respect for the king’s letter. He threw it on the ground and trampled on it. Mansur then resolved to send some of the great men of his kingdom as messengers to advise Denier of Good to return. This advice was rejected by Denier of Good. At last Mansur’s dear son, “The Prince of Life, the Saviour”, spoke to his father. “O my father, if you will allow me, I myself am ready to go to Denier of Good. I will even risk my life, for I count him as my brother and I love him. Perhaps he will be ashamed when he sees me coming and will return with me.” His father said: “Go, my son. Tell him that, if he does not come back with you this time, I shall send no more messengers to him. Tell him that this is our only invitation.”
In spite of the pleas of the Prince, Denier of Good continued in his rejection and refused to return. He thought within his heart that Mansur could not conquer the Enemy of Righteousness. However, Denier of Good thought, “If we lose, I will remind the king that he is generous. He will forgive me and surely restore me to my former place.”
The war between Mansur and Enemy of Righteousness continued for a long time. At last, Mansur’s troops captured the Enemy and his followers. Among the captives was Denier of Good. All the captives were put in prison to be judged by the king.
Eventually, Denier of Good stood before the king to be judged. He confessed his sin to the king and said, “You are right, sir; I deserve punishment since I have betrayed you. I have not listened to your advice nor honoured your letter, your messengers, or even your son. But I know that you are very merciful. Therefore, excuse me and remember that I served you many years before I joined the army of your enemies. If you do not forgive me because of your generosity, please do so because of the service I gave you during those long years.”
When the nobles of the court heard these words, they scolded him for his boldness. Then the king answered him: “O Denier of Good, you have returned to me because you were forced to return. You have confessed your fault after the time passed. You have repented when repentance is too late. I have been patient with your rebellion during this long period and tender heart toward you. Because you are aware of my kindness, your guilt is so much the greater. I sent messengers to you. I even sent my dear son to you. Yet, you showed no respect for my messengers; even the pleas of my son you ignored. You remained rebellious, hating me without cause.”
“When you were a young orphan, I took you into my palace and brought you up as one of my children. You have no right to ask for reward. What I have done for you was out of kindness. Now you deserve only severe punishment for your wrong way of life.”
So the king ordered the severest punishment for Denier of Good. Thus, the life of Denier of Good ended under the saddest conditions.
Dear friend, is it possible that what happened to Denier of Good may happen to you? Do you not know that you are nothing apart from God? Do you realise why God created you and placed you in a high position in His creation? It was so that you might love and serve Him as He has commanded in His precious Holy Bible. He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”1
Yes, it is God who helps you from day to day, giving you life and health. It is He who supplies you with food, clothing and your other needs. He has always been kind and good to you, even more gracious to you than Mansur was to Denier of Good. Then what right would you have to claim that God should reward you for what you consider to be your good works and service to Him? In giving you everything that you have, has He not also given you strength and ability to do those good works that you have done?
But what have you done? Look into your heart and you will see that you have forgotten your Lord’s kindness and have rebelled against Him. You will see that you have joined yourself to the army of His enemy, Satan, and have walked on the path of evil. Look into your heart and you will see how you, too, are like Denier of Good.
Yet, in spite of your sin, God does not cease to love you or to be merciful to you. He is ready to forgive your sins. Do you not hear Him many times calling you to repentance, as Mansur called Denier of Good to forsake the enemy? Do you not hear His voice in your conscience and from the lips of His faithful messengers, the prophets? But, instead of listening and coming back to Him, your heart becomes more rebellious. Your actions are more disobedient, and-is it not true – you live as one who neither trusts in God nor fears the Day of Judgment? Can it be that you are like Denier of Good? Do you falsely assure yourself that God is merciful and forgiving, that He will certainly have mercy upon you on the Judgment Day? Do you think that He will allow you to enter Paradise without any judgment against you?
You are still departing from the right path! True, God is merciful and forgiving, but He is also strong to punish. Why do you trust His mercy and not fear the severity of His justice and wrath? He says in His Holy Book: “Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished.”2 His faithful apostle has said: “Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked.”3 Indeed, according to your knowledge of the mercy of God, so will be your responsibility. If you have rebelled against Him, so your punishment will be increased.
Denier of Good knew that Mansur was merciful. Yet, that knowledge alone did him no good. In fact, it was the cause of his destruction. Satan knows that God is forgiving and merciful, but this knowledge has not saved him.
Dear friend, grieve not if I ask these questions, for they are meant only to help you. Do you wish to follow Satan or to follow God? Have you decided to appear before God on the Last Day with empty excuses like those of Denier of Good? Do you hope for a heavenly reward in exchange for a life of rebellion? Far better it is, my friend, to repent today and return to God before the opportunity passes. Surrender your heart to Him entirely and trust in Him. Remember, He loves you and wishes to free you from the power and punishment of sin.
Have you doubts whether God will receive you? Consider how much He loves you! After sending many prophets, He finally sent His Word, who is also called the Messiah, His Son. The Messiah came to change you from an enemy of God to a friend of God. His precious Holy Book says that God has sent the Messiah to find you and to bring you back safely to Him. He faced death for you, as the son of the king did. He actually died for your sins. He has taken upon Himself the death that you should have died because of your sins. He now offers you life from God. Therefore, it is He, Jesus the Messiah, that we speak of in this story as “Prince of Life, the Saviour.” His resurrection from the dead is God’s seal upon Him that He is your life and salvation.
How great is God’s love, and how hard those hearts who do not feel it! Let us all take with joy and faith the loving invitation to return to the place of peace. Jesus the Messiah invites us, saying: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”4 And again: “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”5 Let us not refuse God’s salvation. For, as the Holy Book says: “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”6 And again: “How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?”7 Therefore, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart.”8
Let us give to God and His eternal Word of Mercy all praise, glory and thanksgiving. Amen.
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Holy Bible, Book of Matthew 22:37; Book of Deuteronomy 6:5, New International Version ↩
Holy Bible, Book of Exodus 34:7, NIV ↩
Holy Bible, Book of Galatians 6:7, NIV ↩
Holy Bible, Book of John 14:6, (NIV ↩
Holy Bible, Book of John 6:37, NIV ↩
Holy Bible, Book of Hebrews 10:31, NIV ↩
Holy Bible, Book of Hebrews 2:3, NIV ↩
Holy Bible, Book of Psalms 95:7, NIV ↩