My Dearest Friend,
One might ask what compelled me to write yet another evangelistic piece. What could I possibly say that hasn’t been said before? Of what contribution would this short piece be to the sea of apologetic works out there?
But I intend this less a systematic defense than a plea to my friends. For though my unceasing anguish cannot possibly compare to that which plagued the great apostle Paul, I have tasted a hint of it.
This then is an entreaty, an exhortation. I want you to know I entreat in love. Why am I so adamant in desiring that we share the same worldview? Not out of a sense of self-righteousness, or of obligatory mandate, but out of a sincere desire that you would be able to see the beauty in the truth of the universe, that you would be able to rejoice with me in the presence of the glory of its Creator, and to have everlasting joy at that. Escape from hell? Yes! I wish that for you! But I wish for life!
What do I plead for you then? Like the apostles, I too pray that you would give ear to the message I proclaim to you, and believe. For it is the truth I speak, yet it falls on deaf ears. I tell you not a story of morals or a crutch for your psyche, for that is not the purpose of this great Faith. I present to you a Fact, but more than a fact; eternal consequences hinge on this Truth! You may call me judgmental or arrogant, but are these tears not real? You may call me blind, but by what standard? I was blind, but now I see.
Were a cure for cancer to appear, what rational man would not jump at the opportunity to suffer its prescription? And yet a cure for an ailment that is far more insidious than cancer is freely made available to men, but men would not avail themselves to its administration.
You may not feel you need saving. You may not even wish to be saved. But I beg that you would listen with an open heart, that you would surrender your prejudice and your pride regarding the notions of religion. And though the message will most certainly offend your senses, so would the needle before the injection of a life-saving drug. For man is plagued by the blindness of self-deception, of believing himself independent of his Maker, self-reliant in this harsh world. And man does take pride in it.
But man is mortal, and sooner or later, he knows not when, he shall come face to face with the reality that exists outside of his control. There is not one man today who will not experience Death, that final gate before he arrives at the Great Beyond. To some, death is a pleasant rest from the curse of toil. To others, death is a sweet relief from a journey of suffering. But Death is also the end of Life. It is the end of all the things you hold dear, the end of all the objects of your love. It is the threshold in front of which all the things you held on to in this life is left behind. And all that is left is a Judgment by the Creator of the universe.
You may not believe in hell. You may not wish to believe in it. But my friend, your disbelief does not change its reality! For a sick man cannot heal himself no matter how adamantly he claims he is well. For it is the will of the Creator, in his mercy, to reveal to us through his Word that all have sinned and fall short of His glory, and to warn us of His impending judgment.
You do not feel deserving of judgment. But he who judges is not man but God. He is Holy. He is just. And as much as you try to serve your fellow man, the charge of rebelling against God in your disbelief cannot go unanswered. An offense against an infinite Sovereign, with infinite dignity and of infinite worth—what type of restitution would such a transgression demand if not likewise infinite?
You may not believe in the Scriptures, though the Bible claims absolute authority over it. You find one thousand and one excuses why it must be flawed. You try to exonerate yourself, you try to thwart Reason. And were a thousand and one evidences presented to you, you would still find cause to resist. But the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. It sits in judgment of the heart of man, and not man of it.
In the end, you do not believe because you do not want to believe. You want to be your own judge. You do not wish your self-control to be infringed upon. You want to create your own kind of freedom and your own happiness. We are taught that the individual is sovereign, and any attempt to limit his freedom is a grievous sin. But we did not create the world, nor establish the laws of the heavens. And we did not establish the law residing in man’s hearts. And so I grieve. O that you would return to He who is sustaining your life even at this moment! For the Almighty has offered amnesty. While we were still enemies of God, He has reconciled us by the death, the substitutionary atonement of His Son. Further, by his righteous life, we shall be able to enjoy the reward that he has earned. Those who beg for pardon have become coheirs of the Christ’s inheritance. Those who receive his mercy are adopted as children of God. This is the Good News! Alas, even the Good News offends people who do not wish to be constrained by it.
You may not care for the truth. But it exists. God has planted eternity in the heart of man! Do you not look for meaning in your life, if only a self-defined one? How much more is that meaning when established by a Divine hand!
I can only look to the Spirit to awaken the souls of men. O, that He may be merciful, and that you may come to drink from the Living Water that will never leave you thirsty again.
Lovingly, in Christ,
A sinner saved by grace