I am writing to you again, because in my last letter I mentioned that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most important thing to learn in this life. You might be wondering why I would take the time to write such a letter when I probably will sound like a crackpot to you and you may never speak to me again as a result. Well, quite simply, I have to write, I want to write, I love to write about Jesus and I enjoy telling you (and others) about him.
Let’s start at the beginning and I will try to keep this as short and to the point as possible. First, we exist, I think you’ll agree with me there. Second, the Universe exists, again, no argument. There isn’t much argument between Religion and Science on that score, unless you want to go argue with Hindus and Buddhists. They believe this is all some sort of Cosmic “Dream” of their God or something. Let’s not go there. Let’s keep to a strictly Western point of view, which, in actuality, arises from Greek and Asian influences. The “Fertile Crescent” is considered the birthplace of Civilization and this is the area where Greek and Jewish ancestors came from as well.
So, Moses wrote down some pretty amazing things in the first five books of our Bible (the Jewish Torah is roughly equivalent to our Old Testament, or Pentateuch which means “Five Writings”). He said that God created all this. Could that be so I wondered? I was skeptical and unconvinced the entire first half of my life. In fact, up until the time I was 23, I didn’t even believe in a “God.” But then, I got sober. I realized even then there was no power on earth that could get me and keep me sober, I was too much addicted to drugs and alcohol. But, I was desperate, and in my most desperate moment, I said a prayer, and I gave my life to “God.” Not just any God, the God of the Bible, that was the only one I had heard about at the time, even if it was only a handful of times (and I had never read the Bible either).
So, in spite of the fact I had no idea what I was doing, or who I was really talking to, I did pray that prayer and commit my life to God. In return, I told him all I wanted to do was to learn my lessons each day. I figure if there’s one thing that this life is about, we are definitely supposed to learn! That’s as clear as I could think back then, that was in 1982, and it would have been Dec. 31, the last day of the year, it was my last night in Drug Rehab, and I was headed back out on the streets the following day and I was terrified. For some reason, when we are faced with desperate circumstances, we often will turn and seek help from the divine. I did, and I’m here to tell you – it’s real!
Nothing much happened at the time, but you may have guessed, I never did go back and use drugs or alcohol again. It’s been over 30 years now, no drugs, not even a single drink or pill or toke, or toot, or bong hit or anything! The strongest pain medication I’ve taken in all that time has been Tylenol, or Advil, I just am too afraid to take anything stronger. Now, fast forward 12 years. I was going through Divorce, and again I was desperate. My life had been wonderful, but somehow my marriage – to a woman I met in the Recovery Program – had fallen apart. We were done, and my heart was aching and I felt like I had been run over by a Mac truck! Someone suggested I go to a Church to attend a Divorce Recovery Group that was meeting there.
I went, because I had been to many churches to attend AA meetings and I knew they were “Safe” places, though I still had no idea who God was. The point is though – that HE KNEW ME! He is faithful. Remember, I had given my life to him and was ready and willing to learn my lessons each day. He guided me gently to himself, so I could learn about him and know him. I was not raised with any “Church” background at all, I knew nothing of Jesus Christ or the church. The only time I went to Church as a kid was about 5 times with my Aunt when she came up visiting from Mexico. We would go to the big Catholic Church up the street, and all I remember about it was it was big and there were lots of people there.
So, God guided me back, this time to a Baptist Church, where I met folks who believed in Jesus Christ, and his finished work on the Cross at Calvary. I started to hear that message, and I started to attend that Church, and sometime in the early part of 1995, I got down on my knees and prayed for Jesus to forgive me of my sins and lead me and guide me for the rest of my life. How was it so easy you ask? Quite simply, my whole life since that day I decided to pray that first prayer in that Drug Rehab program has been one long answered prayer. He has drawn me to him, increased my knowledge of him and therefore my trust and faith in him. He has made it easy for me to get to know and love his Son, Jesus, and for Jesus to become the center of my life.
One of the parables in the Bible talks about a man who finds a pearl of great value, and he goes and sells everything to possess it, that is who Jesus is to me. There is no denying who he is, or what he’s done. A person who has met Jesus like I have, cannot be “Un-convinced” or persuaded somehow that what he believed at some point in his life was a delusion or some such. God has displayed the power of the risen Savior Jesus Christ in my life, and there is nothing to do but worship him! Let’s put it another way, I delight to worship him because he saved me. Why did he save me? I have no clue! I can’t help telling others about him though, that he is the greatest treasure in the world, and that you would love him too, if you knew him.
But, and this is a huge but, you must pray that God will illuminate you with the special knowledge that Jesus is his Son, that he really is who he said he is. Because, intellectually, even the demons know who Jesus is, but they would never bow down and worship him nor would they follow him. You must be willing to not only give up your old life and serve Jesus, you must be willing to do whatever he tells you to do. Not to worry though on that score either, since for the most part, Jesus is a gentle and kind leader who takes us gently and changes us slowly to be more like him. He patiently points out to us our faults (which in my case are many) and helps us change old habits into new ones.
He teaches us and illuminates us with his Word (the Bible) and I think you will find it to be the single most amazing book in all of history and in all the world! I cannot stop reading it. I read it every single day, and I have read some passages literally thousands of times, and each and every time it’s like reading it for the first time! There is nothing else like it in all the world. I’m also here to tell you that your life needn’t be a shambles like mine was in order for you to turn and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, you just have to be willing to accept that there really is a Creator God, and that he created the Universe and all that is in it, including us, for fellowship and worship with him. That’s in reality what it means when the Bible says that “We are created in his image.” We are like him in the sense that we can have relationship with him. We can also learn and grow and change and adapt, those are all good things too, qualities he’s given us so that we are not merely robots if you will, rather we have a choice whether or not to serve him and love him.
Choice describes our ability quite well since in reality, a God capable of building a Universe as large and complex as ours is, certainly has dominion over all of it – since he exists outside of it. He must exist outside it, he cannot be part of it, otherwise he would have created himself. But, obviously also, he can be inside of it, and he can become like us, that’s what Jesus did. He became one of us to show us how to live and to teach us to follow him and be more like him. And so that we would love him and want to be with him forever in Heaven, instead of suffering eternal agony and anguish in Hell. God didn’t want to send us to Hell, but it’s a real place, and it exists because of sin.
Sin is a very interesting concept in itself. In part, the Bible deals with our sin because we must be taught about why we are the way we are. God gave us the Law to teach us about sin, how we “Naturally” tend towards our own self-interests, and will make for ourselves little gods (idolatry) and worship and serve those rather than worshiping the creator God himself. The reasons we do this are simple: We like to be in charge. If we make for ourselves false gods, then we can shape those gods in our image and make them do what we want, rather than us doing what God wants us to do. To me, sin always boils down to that simple essence: Who’s in charge? Sin is rebellion against God. Satan rebelled, and he took a large quantity of angels with him who we believe became demons. Those demons serve Satan as minions out there in our world deceiving people all the time into thinking they are just fine without God.
The entire job of demons these days, you might say, is to keep folks blissfully ignorant of the truth. The truth is, this Universe was created, and so were we, and this Universe is doomed, and so are we. It will all end at some point, and the only question then will be – did we make the choice to follow the creator God of the Universe and serve him – in the person of his Son Jesus Christ , or did we serve ourselves and our own appetites and miss out on the greatest treasure of all?
I said I would keep this short, and I believe I have. At least I’ve not bored you with useless details. I’ve given you the essence of the gospel message, without even talking about why Jesus had to suffer and die at Calvary, and why God glorified him by raising him on the third day to sit at his right hand and rule victoriously with him forever. My whole goal in life today is to make it to the end of this life serving Jesus as best I can, so that I too can sit with Jesus and his father in Heaven. There is no higher goal today for me than to dream about sitting at his feet and hearing his voice.
So, in summary, why do I believe? The “Evidence” I’ve given you may be enough to tell you why I believe intellectually, but as I said above, even the demons believe in Jesus – they know who he is. However, I think the real answer is more than that, it has to do with the fact that Jesus chose me. He answered the cry of my heart with a touch of his spirit. He awakened in me something beautiful, something that before that was dead, not alive, not awakened yet in my soul. He brought me to life and beauty and wholeness and holiness, things I had never dreamed nor imagined before in my life. You too can have his touch in your life.
May the God of all creation bless you this day. May he open your eyes and heart and bring the knowledge of truth into your soul.