A hopeful letter...
I’ve decided to write this letter as a way to share with you something I truly trust in.
If you were to trust in something, like a parachute for example, you would be sure to do a few things carefully. When getting onto an airplane imagine the flight attendant greeted you and told you that once the plane reaches 30,000 feet everyone on board would be required to jump out, so find your parachute and put it on. The first thing you would do is go to your seat, find the parachute and put it on, right? Now if you truly believed the flight attendant you would have followed the directions exactly in putting on the parachute, and you would leave it on for the rest of your flight because you know there is a jump to come later.
What if you didn’t believe the attendant? Well you might not put the parachute on at all! Or, maybe you would put it on, but take it off later reasoning in your head that you wouldn’t have to jump? By now you might have imagined what would happen if you jumped from an airplane from 30,000 feet without a parachute. You’d fall straight down and then go splat! But if you had the parachute on you would land safely on the ground, unharmed.
Now imagine this illustration of the parachute and airplane flight are representing your life. Think of it like this... the airplane flight is your life and the fact is everyone dies, one day. So the jump at 30,000 feet represents when you die. And imagine that the flight attendant is God, warning you that you would certainly die, one day, but if you put the parachute on you will live. Do you know what the parachute represents? Its Jesus, and if you trusted God you would “put Jesus on” in the same way you would trust a parachute.
I think a good many of you have heard about Jesus. He is the Son of God. He is Perfect. And He Died and came back to life for the payment of your sins, right? A lot of people have heard that before. In fact, many people have been baptized in Jesus name, or asked Jesus into their heart, or have worked in Jesus name. But according to the bible those things will not save you. Here is our problem...Since the fall of mankind (Adam and Eve’s first disobeying of God) each person is born in a sinful state. Each person has disobeyed God. This is something we can not deny. To think that you have obeyed God is to say you are a “good person” in Gods eyes. Think about this. Gods standard of Goodness is the Ten Commandments, which is the moral law in the bible. Ask yourself the following...about 4 of the Ten Commandments.
1) You shall not take God’s name in vain. (Have you ever used God’s holy Name as a cuss word or to show disgust?)
2) You shall not steal. (Have you ever stolen anything? — the value of the item is irrelevant.) (pens and pencils count)
3)You shall not murder. (God considers hatred to be as murder. Have you ever hated anyone?)
4)You shall not commit adultery. (“Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart” — Matthew 5:27-28 ; this also includes sex before marriage).
I’ve broken each of these and I have not met anyone else who has not. The Bible says that God will punish all murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, adulterers, etc. He will even judge our words and thoughts. On Judgment Day, will you be found to be guilty or innocent of breaking His commandments?
This isn’t easy to think about because there are certain absolutes in life that we can not escape.
ONE, is that we all have sinned. The bible even says this. (Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”)
TWO, is that God set punishment for sin. (Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our lord.”) this last verse says “WAGES”. Wages are what we earn so what this means is that we earn death by our sin. And the verse says “GIFT” of eternal life. A Gift is something you can’t earn and God will give the GIFT of eternal life, but only through Jesus.
THREE, there is only one way to escape the Punishment for our sin. (John 14:6 “JESUS answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through ME.") now look back at the bold words in that last verse. JESUS is speaking, He says “NO ONE” meaning all people and then “except through ME” Jesus has said many times and this is one of them, that HE is the only way. Not Baptism, or doing good things.
The bible calls “doing good things” and “baptism” and even “obeying the commandments” WORKS. I could give you a whole list of verses from the bible that all say works will not save you. To save time, here is my favorite: (Romans 3:20 “because by the WORKS of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”) This means WORKS will not “make you right” in Gods sight.
I hope that the picture I’m trying to create is becoming clear to you. All that the bible teaches is that we’re all guilty before God and nothing we do can help us or save us from His wrath. God knows we are helpless in this situation so yes He did pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus lived perfectly so that his death, His blood would be worthy as the payment of our sins. But Jesus did come back to life and conquered death. We deserve death for our disobedience to God. Don’t think for a minute that your good deeds out weigh the bad deeds you’ve done. Can you imagine standing before a human judge trying to reason with him in this way. Imagine you were caught driving the wrong way down a one way street, and its the first time you ever did that. So you tell the judge about all the years you’ve been driving that you’ve mostly gone the right way down one way streets. But only this one time you slipped up, should he just let you go? Well maybe a human judge will just let you slip on this one, but God is the perfect judge and He won’t let anyone slip by. The bible says God is Just. And He is a Just Judge who will make sure all who have sinned, which is disobeying His Commands, are punished. God promised to punish all who disobey Him and if He didn’t keep his promise He would be a liar, but that would never be!
Do you remember my airplane story and jumping at 30,000 feet? What if your time was up now? What if you jumped right now? What if you stood in Judgement before God today, will you be innocent or guilty? Will you Go to Heaven or Hell?
If your honest with yourself you’d answer hell. If your honest with yourself you’d admit to guilt before God. So if you are being honest read on....if your trusting in Baptism or Works or anything read on.
God appointed to man to Die once and then the judgement. No one lives on earth forever, everyone takes their jump, one day.
Do you see how you look in Gods eyes. God is sooo... perfect and right, which is righteous, that He is light. In your current condition you look black with sin and are evil by comparison. In fact, you are separated from God because He is so Holy and Righteous but you are sinful. The only way to be right with God is not earned by Works, following His commandments from now on, or asking Jesus into your heart, or accepting Jesus. Who are we to accept Jesus as if we decide if He is Good enough. And nowhere in the bible does it say to ask Jesus into your heart.
God Himself made a way where His justice and His goodness could meet. We broke the Law, but He became a man to pay the fine. Jesus suffered and died on the cross to satisfy the Law. God can forgive us and grant us the gift of everlasting life!
The Bible says, “For by grace are you saved through faith , and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” You cannot earn a gift.
Jesus was here on Earth. His first command was and is to Repent. Turn from your sins and do them no more. You must be righteous to enter heaven and you can not earn your own righteousness. You must trust in Jesus and the Righteousness of Jesus will be credited to you. Instead of your sin God will see the Righteousness of His Own Son Jesus Christ.
When Jesus said to “believe” on Him, He was saying we should have faith in Him, in the same way you would trust a parachute to save you when you jump from a plane. You don’t merely believe in the parachute - you put it on.
Please don’t “jump” without Jesus. If you die in your sins there is no second chance. God will give you justice, and you will end up in Hell forever. Any troubles you have at present are dwarfed by the trouble you are in with your Creator. His wrath abides upon you ( John 3:36 ).
God doesn’t want you to go to Hell. Neither do you want to go there, so confess your sins to God right now, put your trust in Jesus to save you, and you will pass from death to life.
Then read the Bible daily and obey what you read. (See John 14:21 ). Your obedience to God is the proof of your love. Have faith in God, He will never fail you.
Say something like this to God (it’s not the prayer that saves you, but your trust in Jesus alone):
“Dear God, today I turn away from all of my sins (name them). This day I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He is the only way for me to be saved. He is ‘The way, the truth, and the life.’ Please forgive me, change my heart, and grant me Your gift of everlasting life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
If you decided to trust in Jesus, let me know. We can talk about it, and I will be glad.
I’m not asking you to believe me. But believe the scriptures in the bible. If sometime in the past you made a decision for God but did not become obedient to Him there is a good chance you were not saved.