Dear Friend...

Dear Friend,

I know this is a lengthy letter. This is the longest letter I have ever sent. If the topic wasn't so important, I wouldn't have sent a piece of such length.

This poem triggered the thought that I need to write this letter sooner rather than later.

My Friend
My friend I stand in judgment now, and feel that you’re to blame somehow. On earth I walked with you day by day, and never did you point the way.
You knew the Lord in truth and glory, but never did you tell me the story. My knowledge then was dim; you could have led me straight to Him.
Though we lived together on earth, you never told me of the second birth. And now I stand condemned this day, Because of what you failed to say.
You taught me many things, which are true; I called you friend and trusted you. Now I learn it’s too late, but you could have saved me from this fate.
We walked by day and talked by night, and yet you showed me not the light. You let me live and die, though you knew I’d never live on high.
Yes, I called you friend in life, and laughed with you through joy and strife and yet on coming to the end
 ...  I cannot call you my friend!          -Author, Unknown

"If you saw my house was on fire would you try to save me?
Just as you would attempt to save me from fire, I want to help save your soul from eternal torment.
Would you take a moment to allow me to?"


There has been numerous times where I wanted to make a clear presentation to you about the good news written in the Bible. I withheld speaking this important truth for a few reasons; I didn't want to make you feel uncomfortable and I was nervous and feared you would think less of me. I didn't want to seem pushy, and I thought timing might get better later…. I could go on with excuses, but as I reread this poem, I can't help but feel I didn't do right by you.

Many people have their own beliefs about God and His ways. God doesn't adapt His ways to conform to our beliefs any more than parents conform to their children's beliefs. Assumptions and wishful thinking are among the worst ways to conclude anything about God.
Let's take a look at what God has to tell those who make incorrect assumptions about Him…

Job 38:1-4 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me! Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding,"
Job Chapters 38 to 42 in the Bible are rich with verses that establish God's authority and gives people a better perspective of reality.

Job 40:1-4 Then the LORD said to Job, "Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it. Then Job answered the LORD and said, Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth."

It is vain for us to expect not to be held accountable for our sins or that they are insignificant in comparison to the sins of criminals who make the news.
God knows all of our sins
Matthew 10:26 "... for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known."

What are the wages of our sin?
Romans 6:23 for the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

If someone has the cure for cancer and keeps it to them self, the world would call them cruel. But humanity has a greater and more universal problem than cancer. It is sin. And sin is what makes God sentence people to hell for eternity. But unlike cancer, the remedy for sin is accessible to all and is a gift to all.

Many people think we get into heaven by being a good person. But how good is good enough? If someone were to compare us to repeat offenders in prison, we would compare favorably.
If our works were to be compared to Sister Theresa of Calcutta, we would fall far short.
The fact is, if being good is the criteria for making it into heaven, nobody can know before they die how much good is good enough to make it.
The following Bible verses make it clear that salvation is not earned by doing good works, but is a free gift of God.
Isaiah 64:6 ... all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment....
Ephesians 2:8-9 for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.

To break the law and stand before a judge you need to break only one law to be found guilty, suffer the penalty and be labeled a convict ... right?
It is the same with God's laws. Just because we don't regularly commit the worst sins, we are not innocent.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

We don't need to go too far down the list of the Ten Commandments to learn we are in trouble... “Thou shalt not use the Lord's name in vain”, “Honor your mother and father”, “Thou shalt not commit adultery/fornication”, “Thou shalt not steal” and the one about lying is universally convicting.
Our sin separates us from a perfect and Holy God. 

John 3:18 [Jesus speaking] "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 5:22-24 [Jesus speaking] "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


I began to read the Bible daily and in John 3:3. Jesus declares, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." 
How can you be born again if nobody told you that you needed to be born again? Don’t you want to find out what that means?

From birth, we focus on the physical. God commands us to have a spiritual birth (the second birth) and to begin focusing on spiritual and eternal matters.
Galatians 6:7-8 do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Some people make what often is referred to as the Good News of the Gospel trivial. Many think they know what it is, yet they can't explain it. Moreover they have not made it personal.
  
Most people think nobody can know before they die whether they will be sent to heaven or hell; once you arrive at your eternal destiny it is too late to change course. One hundred years from now we will be dead, one million years from now our bodies will still be dead; but our spirits will be alive ... somewhere. What could possibly be more important than to know where you will spend all of eternity?

What I am communicating to you is not new or unique. This is the simple Gospel message that has been preached for 2000 years all over the world. This is the message people lived for and died for. This is the message that has been banned by many and promoted by few government officials. This is the message that stopped people in the midst of suicide and divorce. This is the message that converted people from all sorts of backgrounds: rich, poor, fools, wise, slaves, kings, queens, prostitutes, alcoholics, drug addicts, religious fanatics, atheists, but mostly common people.

1 Corinthians 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

The first few times I read the Bible, I couldn't understand it, as the above verse declares. We need to pray to God and ask Him to give us understanding. I encourage you to take a moment now to simply ask God for His help in understanding His words and His ways.

The Blood of Jesus
You probably watched Charlton Heston play Moses in the movie The 10 Commandments. In that movie there is a true scene where the streets are dark and quiet as the angel of death moves down the street killing all first born males in homes that do not have the blood of a lamb sprinkled on the door posts. That was the original Passover holiday of the Jewish people. The angel did not inquire about who lived there or about good deeds or bad deeds. He just looked for the blood of the lamb. Those with the blood of a lamb covering the door posts were passed over and got to live. Households with no blood covering suffered death.

Passover is another sign pointing to our Messiah (Savior), Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us, without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness [of sins]
John 14:6 "Jesus said ..., 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.'"

Sincerity of Faith
Most people are quite content with the belief system they were born into. Many people think God doesn't care what you believe, as long as you are devoted to your beliefs. Besides the obvious question about how committed is “committed enough”, we need to ask ourselves whether or not God really cares what people believe or practice.

Proverbs 16:25 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Many people think all religions are equal and that they all lead to the path to heaven. Those who are informed about the doctrines of the various religions know that is impossible, because they contradict each other. Religion is man's way of reaching God. Christianity is God's way of reaching man. Sounds like a play on words, but this illustrates the uniqueness of Christianity.

Many people wrestle with the age-old question: If God is good, why is there so much evil in this world? "Would you want God to have created you as a robot or as one with free will?"
With free will comes responsibility and consequences. The sin of humanity, not God, is the cause of evil.

We don't need to worry about evil going unpunished. God promises to right wrongs and take care of evil doers. But, my friend, it is more important for us to realize that God's original plan for us was that we would be in paradise with Him, forever. 
God didn't create us to force us to obey and love Him. He wants those who genuinely love, trust, and obey Him. God hates evil so much, that He paid the ultimate price to reconcile us to Him and take us away from all this evil and suffering. He does not want to condemn us. God wants us to accept His gift of eternal life.

God loves you so much that He didn't hold back His precious Son, but allowed Him to be a sacrificial Lamb, so that we could get back on track with His original plan for our lives (walking with Him for eternity).

Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Romans 10:9-13 if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

My Friend, I hope you pray the following prayer with deep sincerity. If you do, you too can have the confidence that you are in right standing with your Creator.

1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Salvation Prayer
Dear Father in heaven, I confess that I am a sinner and my sins have separated us. I want to be reconciled with you. I sincerely repent of all my sins and ask for your mercy and forgive me of my sins. I accept Jesus' crucified, His shed blood and resurrection as His payment for my sins. Now I ask for Your Holy Spirit to come into my heart to help me walk the path that leads to life. Thank You in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen!

Luke 15:10 "..., there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

Let's discuss this letter more. Feel free to mark this up and ask whatever you want.


With Love In Christ,
Tracy




















        
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2 comments:

  1. This is Awesome Tracy!!! I shudder to think of all the missed opportunities I have had to share the Good News with the lost. Thanks for the encouragement :)

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  2. Bless you, Tracy for having the courage to tell the truth. I've heard the poem before. It really does make a person think. I pray that God will give all of us the wisdom and courage to say what needs to be said when it needs to be said.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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I love it when we share and encourage one another!! Thank you for joining me on my journey.


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