Dear Family and Friends,
Most people have seen the news lately. Unrest and conflict in the Middle East, hurricanes, Tsunamiís, 9/11 and more terrorist plots even as I write this.
Not long ago was the day that 10 airliners were supposed to be blown up crossing the Atlantic. The world is changing rapidly and many of things that we are watching on CNN are foretold in the Bible. Even the major news stations are asking if we are in the end times.
Over 300 prophecies foretold in the bible have come true and the only ones that havenít are the ones concerning the second coming of Jesus Christ. The odds of even 8 prophecies coming true would be the same as if you covered the state of Texas with quarters and then tried to find just one red one with a blindfold on. What are the odds that over 300 have come true? Astronomical.
The prophecies that needed to take place before the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ have ALL happened. Nothing else needs to happen before Jesus comes back for His church, prior to the Great Tribulation foretold in Isaiah, Ezekiel, Matthew, Revelation and more. It could happen at any moment that millions of believers vanish from the earth and are taken by Christ out of the world before the world plunges into 7 years of Tribulation.
This is a letter written because I care about you. I donít know your heart or where you stand on spiritual matters but as a Christian I need to be sure that you know the truth. God has given every person free will to believe in Him or not. No one will ever force you. You donít need to tell me if you do or do not. Christians love others with the love of Christ so I am praying that you will accept this letter from me as a gesture of His love. I will not bug you about this; I just need to know that you know. All I ask is that you read the entire letter. At the end itís your decision.
Are you a good person? Are you good enough to get into heaven? Most people say yes because they compare themselves to others around them and most of us are good compared to others. "I'm better than Hitler" or "I'm certainly good compared to _______". However being good doesnít guarantee you a spot in heaven. The bible is very specific when it says that getting into heaven is not based on works (meaning what we do or do not do).
The question of are you good enough to get into heaven can be answered by asking have you kept the Ten Commandments? Many of us donít remember what they all are so here goes:
1. You shall have no other gods before Me. Is God first in your life? Do you love God above everything and everyone else? We are also commanded to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. That means whether they are a friend or foe.
Have you loved God with all of your heart? Iím not judging you; Iím asking you to judge yourself. You and God are the only ones that know the answer to this question.
2. You shall not make for yourself any graven image. This means we shouldnít make a god to suit ourselves. I was guilty of this in the past. I made up a god who was all love and would never hurt anyone. My god would never send anyone to an awful place like hell, in fact, in my world, hell didn't really even exist. My god didnít mind a little sin here or there, like a white lie. Truth was, my god didnít exist except in my mind. Is your God the One revealed in Holy Scripture? If not, then you have made a god in your own image and scripture warns that no idolater will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Have you ever used Godís name in place of a 4-letter filth word? Even Hitlerís name was never used as a curse word. If you have ever used Godís name in this manner you are a blasphemer and will not enter the Kingdom of God.
4. Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. Most all of us ignore this commandment completely. Even though He has given us the gift of life we never ask what is required of us.
5. Honor your father and your mother. Have you always honored your parents in a way thatís pleasing to God? Ask Him to remind you of the sins of your youth. You may have forgotten them but He hasnít. Time does not erase sin.
6. You shall not murder. Jesus warned that if we get angry without cause we are in danger of judgment. If we hate our brother, God calls us a murderer. We can violate Godís law by attitude and intent, not just by the physical.
7. You shall not commit adultery. Jesus warned, ĎYou have heard that it was said to those of old, ĎYou shall not commit adultery.í But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart.í Remember that God has seen every thought you have ever had and every sin you have ever committed. The day will come when you have to face His Law, and we are told that the impure, fornicators and adulterers will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Punishment for transgression of this Commandment is the eternal death penalty.
8. You shall not steal. Have you ever taken anything that belonged to someone else? It does not matter the value, how small the item was, or how long ago it was. If so, you are a thief and will not enter Godís Kingdom.
9. You shall not bear false witness. Have you ever told a lie? Then you are a liar. Just one is all it takes. No matter how small or white it might be. The Bible warns that all liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire. You may not think that lying is a serious sin but God does.
10. You shall not covet. That means we shouldnít desire anything that belongs to another person. The covetous will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Who of us can say we are not guilty of breaking these Commandments? I know that I have broken them all at one time or another and many of them I could not count how many times I have broken them.
All of us have sinned, and just as with civil law, you donít have to break ten laws to be a lawbreaker, just one, so the Bible warns, ĎFor whoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.í
When we compare ourselves to the background of manís standard we look pretty clean. When we compare it to the pure righteousness of Godís standard Ė His Law, we can see ourselves in truth, that we are unclean in His sight. That Law is the holy standard by which humanity will be judged on Judgment Day.
This may sound strange, but the worst thing you could do at this point of time is to try and clean up your lifestyle. You realize you have sinned so from now on you will keep the Ten Commandments, do good deeds, say the right things and think only pure thoughts. But should a judge let a murderer go because he says he will now live a good life? No, heís in debt to justice and therefore must be punished.
The Law of God is merely a mirror Ė all a mirror does is show you the truth. If you see egg on your face, you donít try and wash yourself with the mirror. The mirrorís purpose is to send you to water for cleansing. Neither should you try and wash yourself with the mirror of Godís Law, thatís not its purpose.
The sight in the mirror is not a pretty one. But if you donít face it and acknowledge that you are unclean, then all that Ďdirtí will be presented on Judgment Day as evidence of your guilt, and then it will be too late to be cleansed.
Perhaps you think that God is good and will therefore overlook your sins. I thought that once. But if you were guilty of terrible crimes in a civil court and said to the judge, ĎJudge, I am guilty but I believe you are a good man and will therefore overlook my crimes,í the judge would probably respond by saying, ĎYou are right about one thing, I am a good judge and itís because of my goodness that Iím going to see that justice is done, that you are punished for your crimes.í The very thing that people are hoping will save them on Judgment Day, Godís goodness, will be the very thing that will condemn them. If God is good, He should punish murderers, liars, thieves, etc. and Hell will be their dreadful fate.
Take time to read what Jesus said about Hell in Mark 9:43 Ė 48. Iím afraid for you. Please look honestly into the mirror of the Law, and then seek the Ďwaterí that cleanses every sin. If you donít believe what Iím saying about the reality of Hell it means you think God is corrupt (that He hasnít the moral backbone to seek justice), that Jesus was a liar, that the Apostles were false witnesses, that Godís promises are nothing but prefabricated lies, and there is no greater insult to God than to call Him a liar. By doing so, you are adding to your transgressions. Imagine if you reject the Savior, die in your sins and find that what I have told you is the Gospel truth? Then it will be too late, you will be judged for your sins. If that happens, Iím free from your blood. I have told you the truth, but if you choose to ignore it your blood will be upon your own headÖyou have no one to blame but yourself.
Read the story in the bible of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19 Ė 31.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'
Does the fact that you have sinned against God scare you? It should. It did me. The Bible says His wrath abides on you, that you are an enemy of God in your mind through wicked works. But let fear work for your good in the same way that a fear of jumping out of a plane at great height would make you put on a parachute. Let your will to live open your heart to hear the Gospel of salvation.
I am not the only one who doesnít want you to end up in Hell. Although I am risking your rejection and anger by writing this to you that is nothing compared to the fact that God does not want you to end up in Hell either.
To make clear what an incredible thing He has done for you in the Gospel, letís look again to civil law. You are standing in front of a judge, guilty of a serious crime. All the evidence has been presented and there is no doubt about your guilt. The fine for your crime is $250,000, but you have no money, absolutely none. The judge is about to pass sentence, he lifts his gavel, when someone you donít even know steps in and pays the fine for you. The moment you accept that payment you are free to go. Justice has been served, the law has been satisfied and whatís more, the stranger who paid your fine showed how much he cares for you. His payment was evidence of his love for you.
Thatís what God did for you, in the person of Jesus Christ. You are guilty. He paid the fine 2,000 years ago. It is that simple. The Bible puts it this way: ĎHe was bruised for our iniquitiesÖChrist has redeemed us from the curse of the Law being made a curse for usÖGod commended His love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.í
It was no small thing for Jesus to die for us. The only thing that would satisfy the demands of Eternal Law was the suffering death of the sinless Son of God. What love God must have for you. He suffered unspeakable agony so that you wouldnít have to be punished for your sins. His sacrificial death and resurrection mean that you need no longer be in debt to the Law, and God can now grant you everlasting life if you obey Him Ė death no longer has a legal hold upon those that belong to Jesus Christ.
The story of the parachute: Two men were offered a parachute while seated in a plane. The first man was told it would improve his flight, but the second man was informed that he had to make a 25,000 foot jump. When the flight struck severe turbulence the first man took his parachute off because as far as he was concerned it didnít improve the flight, was uncomfortable and the other passengers were laughing at him. The second man clung tighter to his parachute. Each manís motive for putting the parachute on determined whether or not they would keep it on.
In the same way, the reason you should put on the Lord Jesus Christ shouldnít be to find peace, joy, true happiness, have your marriage healed or your problems solved, etc. (In other words, to have your flight improved), but it should be to escape the jump to come Ė because of the fact that you have to pass through the door of death. Then, when the flight gets bumpy (when problems come Ė and they will) you wonít fall away from the faith.
What should you do? Simply repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Donít put it off until tomorrow. Would you sell an eye for a million dollars? How about both for $20 million? No one in his right mind would do that. Your eyes are priceless to you, yet they are merely windows of your soul. Your life (your soul) is of such value that Jesus said that you should despise the value of your eye compared to it. He said that if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you for it is better to enter Heaven blind than to go to Hell seeing. In other words, of all the things that you should prioritize in your life, itís not your wealth, your vocation, etc. Itís your eternal salvation.
Think of someone who has committed adultery. His faithful spouse is more than willing to take him back so what is the attitude in which he should approach her? It should be one of tremendous humility, asking for forgiveness and determining in his heart never to even think of committing adultery again. Thatís how you should approach God. If you are not sure how to pray, read Psalm 51 and make it your prayer. Then put your faith in Jesus Christ in the same way you would put your faith in that parachute. You donít just Ďbelieveí it will benefit you, you actually trust yourself to it by putting it on.
Once you have made peace with God, read the bible daily, asking God to help you understand what you are reading and then obey what you read. Pray to Him to help you understand how He wants you to live your life. Find a church where you can be around other believers who will help you grow in your new faith.
I am praying that you make a decision for Jesus Christ. If you do, please let us know so we can welcome you into the family of Christ.
In His love, Kathe