Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Letter to a Dear Friend

*Below is a letter that I wrote to a good friend of mine, begging him to receive the Truth that I was presenting him from God's Holy Word, the Bible.*

Dear S___,

You know, we talk and argue but neither of us really get a word in edge-wise because we're thinking about the next thing we're going to say instead of listening to what the other person has to say. Therefore, I figured that it would be more efficient to communicate what I have to say with a letter.

My goal in writing this letter is to not really push my beliefs on you. That is done very well at other times when we have personal conversations. Now, if I do mention things that are my beliefs after my studies of the Bible, that should be understood as bound to happen.-Luke 6:45

Anyway, there are really three things that have to be done with people for them to see the Truth. They are:

1. John 6:44-"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."

Yes, you can show someone anything you want from the Bible, but it is not their own power that helps them to accept what they are learning as Truth. All humans are imperfect sinners, and because of that we are all separated from God. We cannot become true followers of God unless He brings us to Him. No amount of Scriptures will help someone to see the Truth without God helping them. It is exactly as Jesus says, "while seeing, they may see and not perceive, and while hearing, they may hear and not understand, otherwise they might return and be forgiven." (Mark 4:12) Again, as the Apostle Paul says, people in our days will be "always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."-2 Timothy 3:7

Unfortunately, you are one of those people, S___. You see and don't perceive. You hear and don't understand and you are always learning but not able to come to a knowledge of Truth. That makes me sad. I have shown you so many things that prove that what I am saying is the Truth. In fact, I am disheartened that you said that if ever I convince you that Jesus Christ isn't God, that you would become agnostic. This tells me that you don't really want to know the Truth. If that is the case, though, why would I continue coming to talk to you? The Bible says, "Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."-Matthew 7:6

I am "throwing [my] pearls before swine" by continuing to go back and go back to you when you have really no interest in what I have to say and no real intention to actually change your beliefs to synchronize with the what I am showing you the Bible teaches. Clearly, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 applies to you, which says, in part, "our gospel is those who are perishing [because] the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel." I am very sorry to apply that to you, but it is the truth.

2. Acts 16:14-"A woman named Lydia...was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul."

The next step is that God has to open your heart so you can accept the things that are being spoken with you. Remember, 2 Corinthians 4:3 says that the Truth is veiled. A veil, while not completely obstructing your vision, does skew it so that you cannot see clearly. This spiritual veil works the same way. You can see some of what the Bible is telling you, but the whole Truth cannot be seen through that veil. I want so badly to help remove that veil but God hasn't opened your heart. I cannot remove the veil for you, you have to do it yourself with God's help. You don't want to accept that help.

No matter how many times I come to you, you will not change. It reminds me of the man in Jesus' parable at Luke 16. Luke 16:31 says that "If [someone does] not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead." In this, if you don't listen to what the Bible has to say, even an angel could not convince you otherwise. Simply, the Lord hasn't opened your heart.

3. 1 Corinthians 12:3-"No one can say, 'Jesus is Lord,' except by the Holy Spirit."

Here is the last step. After God has drawn you to the Truth, then He has opened your heart, the holy spirit has some work to do. You cannot confess Jesus as Lord, in other words, be saved by putting faith in Jesus Christ death, unless your are moved to do this by God's spirit. How do we know this? Romans 10:9-10 says, "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."

This really sums up everything I have said. First, you have to believe with your heart. Then you can say Jesus is Lord. 1 Corinthians 12:3 lets us know that the spirit does this for us.

Acts 17:30 says, "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent."

Jehovah God has said that it is okay that you were ignorant of the Truth at one time. In fact, Paul even said, "Even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief." (1 Timothy 1:13) He then goes on to explain that God saved him anyway despite what he had done.

The same can be said for you, my friend. If you decide right now to soften your heart and let God draw you, the holy spirit will help you to be saved. You know what Jesus did for you, dying so that you might live. Accept that Truth. Do it now. Do not let Jeremiah 5:23 apply to you: "But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and departed." After I have shown you what I have shown you throughout the years, why do you refuse to believe what you have seen in your own Bible (and do not worry, every Scripture quoted here is from the New American Standard Bible)? Is it stubbornness? If it is then your future is guaranteed.

We are all sinners and need God's forgiveness

Acts 2:38-"Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." We are all sinners. Many people think that even after they are "saved by grace" by bringing Jesus into their hearts, that sinning is an inevitable part of life--and that is true.

"If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us...if we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us." (1 John 1:8, 10) "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) As I said, sinning is an inevitable part of life and many in Christianity, therefore, reason that we can sin as many times as we want to and still be in God's grace. What does the Bible say on this matter? "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?"-Romans 6:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8

In fact, Paul said in the book of Hebrews: "For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins." (Hebrews 10:26) If there are things that we do that are wrong after coming into the Truth and receiving the forgiveness God offers, we can lose our salvation. Are there things in your life that you are doing that you know are wrong? Ask yourself: "Why I am doing these things?" The Bible says, "Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."-Galatians 5:16

God promises us that if we keep walking by the holy spirit, you will not carry out your fleshly desires. If you do commit sins willingly, are you truly walking with God? Why isn't God's promise working with you? Remember, the Bible says that the spirit is what enables us to be saved through Christ's ransom. If you keep sinning after you have been saved you must ask if the holy spirit really helped you to attain to repentance in the first place. And if it didn't, then you don't have the Truth.

The end is coming. Praise God that it hasn't come yet. And why hasn't it come? 2 Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." You still have time. Use it. Find the Truth. Repent.

Your future with God; your future for accepting the Truth

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4) God originally created the earth with the plan for Adam and Eve to populate it and make it into a world-wide Garden of Eden. God told Adam and Eve that if they would obey him they would never die. His plan was for them to live on earth forever. We both remember that Satan the Devil thwarted that original purpose. (Genesis 1:28; 2:16-17; 3:1-5) God has said that his purposes never change. He wanted man to live in a paradise earth forever and he still wants man to live on a paradise earth forever. Isaiah 55:11 says, "So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it." One day humans will live on the earth forever. The wicked will be destroyed and the righteous will inherit it. "Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity...the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever."-Psalm 37:10-11, 29

"And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea."-Isaiah 11:6-9

"No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days...They will build houses and inhabit them; they will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They will not build and another inhabit, they will not plant and another eat; for as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of my people, and my chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands. They will not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they are the offspring of those blessed by the LORD, and their descendants with them. It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear."-Isaiah 65:20-24

The future will be, oh, so good for people who serve the true God, Jehovah. God wants all people to be there to partake of the wondrous benefits for serving him. Just think:

1. No one will be sick.-Isaiah 33:24
2. The lame, mute, blind and deaf will be healed.-Isaiah 35:5-6
3. There will be enough food for everyone.-Psalm 72:16; Revelation 7:16
4. Death will be abolished.-Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 21:4
5. The dead will be raised back to life.-Isaiah 26:19; John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15

You can be here, S___. All you have to do is learn about Jehovah God and Jesus Christ because, "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (John 17:3) Once you have come to know them you must obey them. "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36) Your everlasting life depends on this. If you don't do it, the consequences are much more horrifying.

Your future without God; your future for not accepting the Truth

Referring to those who heard the Truth over and over and over again and didn't accept it, Proverbs 1:22-30 says, "How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded and scoffers delight themselves in scoffing and fools hate knowledge? Turn to my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; and you neglected all my counsel and did not want my reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, when your dread comes like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but they will not find me, because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD. They would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof." This will have a major fulfillment at Armageddon.

Yes, in that day you will learn the true meaning of Hebrews 10:31: "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God." You will remember everything that we have talked about, all the chances that you were given to learn the Truth and accept it. One of the warnings that Jehovah gives in the book of Ezekiel is this: "And they shall know that I am Jehovah: I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them."-Ezekiel 6:10, American Standard Version

God's name is Yahweh (Jehovah). The Bible mentions that name 6,855 times in the Old Testament. Many modern Bibles have taken it out. We've had extensive conversations about that. You know it to be the Truth. One thing that you do not know that you should know is that taking God's name out was wrong. God put his name there for a reason and who are we to remove that? You will know, though, in the end, if you don't figure it out right now that God was telling the Truth when he said, "You shall have to know that I am [Yahweh]." (Ezekiel 6:7) Remember, S___, God says this over 60 times in the book of Ezekiel alone that you will know that He is Yahweh (Jehovah). There will be no denying it. I pray that you figure it out before it is to late.

I have done what I can

I have fulfilled my responsibility. "When I say to the wicked, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself." (Ezekiel 3:18-19) My job was to warn you about what God plans for the future. If I had not and you had died, I would have been responsible. Now, though, I am not responsible.

The outcome can be different for you, as the Bible says further in Ezekiel 3. "However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself."-Ezekiel 3:21

I know that you want the Truth because you search the Bible constantly. That is commendable. Now, I have opened the Truth up to you. I am sorry that I was so blunt with you but the Bible doesn't sugarcoat anything and neither should I. God would not want that of me. You are in my prayers, S___. Don't be afraid to take the next step. Have a Bible study with me. I ask for nothing more. The Bible says that we received the Truth free and now we should give the knowledge that we have to others for free. (Matthew 10:8) Listen to the Bible's clear exhortation: "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come' And let the one who hears say, 'Come' and let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost."-Revelation 22:17
God is speaking to you, listen. "Your ears will hear a word behind you, " 'This is the way, walk in it.' "-Isaiah 30:21

Shawn L____