Outgoing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has stirred up quite a hornet's nest. On his way out of office, he decided to pardon about 200 convicted criminals, including a handful of murderers. Needless to say, it hasn't gone over well with everyone. Now a Mississippi judge has blocked the release of 21 of those inmates.
This turn of events provides an interesting comparison to the pardon God has made available to every single human being. A major difference is that no one will be able to block the eternal release of those who accept God's pardon. "If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:36)
Jesus died for all sinners. God provided a pardon for everyone. In order to receive the pardon, a sinner must accept it. Compare that to our American court system. In a 1915 court case, (Burdick v. United States), the Supreme Court of the United States held that "the pardoned man must accept the pardon. If a pardon is rejected, it cannot be forced upon its subject." Likewise, God does not force anyone to accept His pardon. "Whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life." (Revelation 22:17) The worst decision a person could ever make is to reject God's free pardon of his sins.