A Sincere and Friendly Invitation

People shaking hands

 What is most important to you? 
What is the purpose of your life? 

Are you living for today or for eternity?

Are you really prepared to die today? 

I invite You…

Yesterday I sat at the bedside of a friend whom I’ll call John (all names have been changed).  I felt helpless.  John’s body was invaded with cancer in multiple organs and he was filled with pain.  I spoke but this friend was speechless.  I prayed but there was no response.  I was powerless to change the situation and knew that I could not reach his heart or bring conviction to his conscience under these circumstances.  Three hours after I left, John’s earthly life ended.  He departed to meet God in judgment—the God he had neglected in life.  There is no indication that he ever seriously considered God, showed a sincere interest in his soul, or thoughtfully pondered where he would spend eternity.  And now it is too late—it is forever too late.  All opportunity to change has vanished.

Could I have said something earlier, could anyone have said something or done something while John was living, maybe when he was a teenager or later in life, that could have changed his life, his death, and his eternity?  As I write these words, could John even now be lamenting that in his earthly life he never “fled from the wrath to come” (Matthew 3:7)?  Could he be begging for mercy, although the day of mercy has passed (Luke 16:23-26)?  Death ends all opportunity to make things right with God.  There is no “second chance”—regardless of the fanciful expectations of many.  But, my friend, that day is still available for you.  It is still “the acceptable time” and “the day of salvation” for you (2 Corinthians 6:2).  You should be deeply grateful that you are alive!

I not only remember John, but I think of others.  I think of Steve.  After eating lunch at work, he walked to his work area and a few minutes later, he collapsed and could not be revived.  Steve died of a diabetic heart attack before he could repent.  Steve was devoted to a false religion and sought to propagate its false teachings.  But Steve is now gone and also gone are all opportunities to change.

Sue also comes to my mind.  Because of disappointments in her life, Sue placed a hose to her car and took her life through carbon monoxide poisoning.  Could she have been reached if I had known her desperation?  Could something have been done or something said that would have given her hope in God?  Sadly, I think of Stan.  Late one night, he lost control of his car, suffered a tragic wreck, and died when the car was consumed in flames.  Stan lived a wild and careless life, but could he have been reached before that fateful night?  There was also Tom.  He died a languishing death in the hospital from cirrhosis of the liver.  When I saw him, he was too far beyond reason to thoughtfully consider the message of Christ.  Soon he breathed his last and was gone.

There was also Mike.  I remember sending him a Christian message in the mail, only to discover that he died of a heart attack a day or two before it reached his house.  Could Mike have been reached earlier in his life?  There was a young man named Chris.  This teenager went swimming, dove into the water, hit his head, and never saw the light of day again.  I was a poll bearer at this bleak funeral.  Could Chris have been reached if someone had only taken an interest (I myself also was lost at this time of my life)?

These and other people come to my mind as I think of people who died unprepared to meet God.  The Lord clearly warns, “It is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).  We don’t know when our final day will be—but that day will certainly come for each of us!

We know, of course, that God can reach a person in many ways and at different times of his life.  If these persons had shown a sincere interest and open heart, God surely would have arranged for the truth to touch their heart and the message of salvation would have done its faith-engendering work (Romans 1:16-32).  Through history, God has gone to great lengths to take saving truth to souls who were burdened by their sins and open to His message (see Acts 10:1-35; 16:9-40; 1 Timothy 1:12-17).

We must view this present message that you are reading in this light.  Perhaps you do not have the assurance that you will go to be with God when you die.  Maybe you are knowingly unprepared to go to heaven and believe you will go to hell.  Or possibly you think that God will weigh your good deed and your bad deeds and render a decision of your destiny by means of this heavenly scale.  Many of you are simply confused that do not know what will happen a moment after you die.  Surveys indicate also that vast numbers of people are really unconcerned about the future and just think, “whatever will be, will be.”

Dear friend, God is using this little message right now to reach into your heart with saving truth that you might have the opportunity to come to know Him and find full forgiveness of all of your sins.  You can have an assurance of your standing with God and know where you will go when you die.  As the title says, this message is “a sincere and friendly invitation” to consider the truth of God and take this opportunity to make sure of your destiny!  We offer this little message as an expression of love and concern to you.

The reason why I address you in this manner is because over the years, on multiple occasions, I’ve come to see the importance—the extreme importance—of inviting each person to consider the most vital matter in his or her life.  If your neighbor’s house caught on fire and became engulfed in deadly flames, wouldn’t you run to his door and try to arouse his awareness of his disastrous condition?  Wouldn’t you plead with him to escape with his life and rescue his family as well?  If you loved him, you would even risk your own life to save him!

Likewise, we see a need to awake others to their perilous spiritual condition while there is yet time and opportunity to escape and find refuge in our loving and merciful God through Jesus Christ, His Son.  It is true that many will consider us alarmists, religious fanatics, or Christian extremists, but none of this should surprise or deter us.  True love—a deep, sincere, and genuine love for the present and eternal welfare of others—will impel us to reach out to others while the opportunity is present.  Not only is there the motivation of love, but a fear and reverence for God will likewise drive us to share the way of escape with all who will hear and read our message of deliverance!  “Knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:11).

Neither you nor I can be coerced to take an interest in God or spiritual things.  We can’t be forced to take the time necessary to examine the Bible or consider the claims of Jesus Christ.  You can’t even be forced to read this little message with an open mind, a receptive heart, and a sensitive conscience.  This must arise from each person’s own heart.  Jesus said that those who have “an honest and good heart” will receive His word and “hold it fast” to bring fruitfulness (Luke 8:15).  This is why we invite you to read and consider this brief message.

Why should you be interested right now in where you will spend eternity?  There are several good reasons:

You do not know when you will die.

God says, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).  Consider Debbie, a woman with whom I worked.  I recall that on Friday evening she called out, “I’ll see you on Monday!”  The next day, she was found dead on her floor, having suffered a heart attack.  Would Debbie have considered the state of her soul if she had been faced more clearly with the message of God?  How many other Debbies are there—people who think they will consider God next week, next month, or next year—but have no further opportunity!  We all must die—whether tomorrow, next week, next month, or years from now.  We just don’t know when that moment will be!

You do not know what condition you will be in tomorrow.

Even if you do not die tomorrow, we never know whether we will have the opportunity to escape from our sins and the wrath of God in the future.  The Bible warns, “You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow” (James 4:14).  You may suffer a terrible accident and be physically or mentally incapacitated.  You may simply lose interest in spiritual things in the future and never make the effort to learn about God and His Word.  Those who put off considering Jesus Christ and their need of forgiveness until they are in old age generally never do honestly give serious thought later in life.  Surveys indicate that some 90% of those who claim to be Christians came to Christ before they reached the age of twenty.  Few are willing to change later in life.  Time has a way of solidifying false beliefs, petrifying our wills, dampening our spiritual interests, and making deep and significant spiritual change nearly impossible.  As someone has remarked, “As you live, so shall you die!”  Do not count on tomorrow to get right with God.

You do not know when Christ Jesus will return in judgment.

Although people assume that the world will continue as it has been forever, God tells us that one day His patience will be exhausted and He will send Jesus Christ to this earth in dreadful, fiery  judgment (2 Peter 3:3-13).  The Bible says, “The day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.  While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3).  If God says that those in sin will not escape, we know this is true.

If you are unprepared to meet God because of unforgiven sin, we have this warning: “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).  This is a dreadful prospect, thus it is important to prepare now, while we have the opportunity!  Jesus warned, “You also must be ready, for the Son of Man [Jesus] is coming at an hour when you do not think He will” (Matthew 24:44).  His coming will be a surprise and a shock!  It is important to be prepared right now!

You have the amazing opportunity to know the most wonderful, lovely, loving, merciful, wise, and good God—far beyond our imagination.

God our holy Creator is incredible!  He possesses a character and nature beyond our comprehension—eternal in nature, infinite in wisdom and power, possessing absolute holiness, filled with mercy and love.  This is the sovereign God who created you for a purpose—to know Him, love Him, and glorify Him (John 17:3; Mark 12:28-30; 1 Peter 4:11).

In some religions, there is the false belief that one must hunt for God, try to appease God with rituals and formulas, and seek to persuade God to receive a person and open the door to an eternity of bliss.  Furthermore, some religions leave one with uncertainty about the future and a general confusion about spiritual reality.  God is elusive, capricious, and unholy.  The Bible presents the truth of God’s Word (John 17:17), a truth that informs us of God’s gracious initiative to reach down to us and make Himself known in Christ Jesus, His beloved Son.  God’s Word reveals His willingness to reconcile us to Himself, receive us as His children, forgive us of our sins, and permit us to know—truly know—God Himself, in all of His grace, wonder, and blessedness!

Although most people entirely overlook God’s wondrous plan and purpose, you have the blessed privilege of knowing personally your Creator who wants to be your Heavenly Father.  Although you have been like all of us in sinning against God in thought, word, attitude, and deed, God can forgive you so that you can offer Him the praise and glory He deserves!  He offers you mercy in forgiveness now so that you may live for Him!  He can remove the barrier of sin that separates you from an intimate relationship with Him and reconcile you to Him through Christ Jesus (Isaiah 59:2; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21).

You have the blessed privilege of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God and your Savior.

Jesus is no mere historical character, no mere teacher of wise sayings, no mere martyr for a righteous cause.  In reality, Jesus Christ pre-existed creation (John 1:1-4; Colossians 1:16-17), He made the universe (Hebrews 1:1-3), He came to this earth for the purpose of dying for us (1 Timothy 1:15; Romans 5:6-11), He was resurrected from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), and He is able to forgive you today through His sacrificial death on the cross (1 John 4:9-10, 14).  You can know Him personally, intimately, and savingly if you humble yourself to come to Him now.  Jesus Himself says that eternal life consists of personally knowing Him and God, His Father (John 17:3).  You have the incredible privilege of knowing the Lord Jesus who longs to save you and have you in His presence through all eternity!  How would anyone in his right mind neglect such a priceless gift and incredible blessing!

You can receive the blessings of God’s eternal Kingdom.

Jesus gave a story (a parable) and said that the Kingdom of heaven was like a treasure hidden in a field.  A man found it and was so filled with joy that he sold all that he owned and bought that field in order to have the priceless treasure (Matthew 13:44).  He gave another story of a merchant who was seeking fine pearls.  He found a pearl of great value and went out and sold everything he had so that he might purchase that wonderful fortune (vv. 45-46).  This shows that God’s Kingdom or royal realm is so desirable that it should be our life’s priority!

Is God’s Kingdom desirable enough to you that you are willing to leave everything behind—all of your sin, your pleasures, your plans, your hobbies, anything that would hinder you from Christ and His will?  Are you willing to pay any price, make any sacrifice, give up any possession, forsake any person, or turn from any treasure to receive the priceless blessings of God’s eternal Kingdom?  We are to seek first God’s kingdom or reign because it is a priceless treasure (Matthew 6:33)!  You have this privilege today!  Beware of overlooking this incredible gift!

You have the privilege of being one of the very few who will be saved from sin, death, and hell.

Jesus said that many are on the broad way that leads to destruction, but only a few are willing to walk the narrow way that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14).  He said that few are willing to enter the door of salvation and we should “struggle” to enter now, while there is time (Luke 13:23-30).  He also said, “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).  The Lord stated that only a few are part of the “little flock” of His followers who would partake of God’s eternal kingdom (Luke 12:32).

Vast numbers of people deceive themselves into thinking that nearly everyone will “go to heaven” when they die.  One false teaching is called universalism, a doctrine that claims that no one will go to hell, no one will be separated from God, and no one need fear His coming judgment.  Others vainly assume that most people will go to God when they die and only a very few—such as Hitler, Stalin, Judas, or Pilate—will be consigned to hell.  This is a vain and disastrous lie that Satan uses to dull the senses of millions.  As Jesus said, “many”—the great majority of people—are on the broad way of life that leads to eternal destruction, everlasting punishment, and the lake of fire.  On the other hand, only the “few” are on the narrow way that leads to eternal life, everlasting joy and peace, and the eternal Kingdom (Matthew 7:13-14).

Further, some people like to boast that they are part of the millions who belong to this religion or that religion.  Jesus revealed that religion, per se, can’t save a single person.  In fact, most religions turn people away from God’s way, or pervert God’s will, or deny His truth, or fail to give Christ His rightful place of supremacy.  Christ did not come to establish a religious institution, ecclesiastical organization, or church denomination.  The Bible says that Jesus is “the Savior of the body”—the body of true believers (Ephesians 5:23).  God’s Word says that Jesus purchased His true followers or disciples “with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).  While you yet have opportunity, you can become part of the very few who belong to Christ’s body or God’s family who will escape God’s coming wrath and righteous judgment and enter His glorious Kingdom!

You have the opportunity of devoting your entire life to God.

It may be true that a few people have sincerely turned to Christ during their middle years, their older years, or their final years of life and God has mercifully saved them.  On the other hand, if you are young in age, you have the opportunity of giving all of your life to God and His service.  Some would be willing to give all they have for this wondrous privilege!  Wouldn’t it be so regretful to spend your whole life to please yourself, then only have the tail end to love and serve your dear Savior!

If you are young, you can avoid a life of sin, many wasted years, immoral and compromised behavior, destructive habits, and much heartache by living a pure, holy, devoted life now by serving our glorious Lord and Savior all of your life.  The psalmist cried out in regret to God, “Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions” (Psalm 25:7).  In contrast, Solomon wisely said, “Remember . . . your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come. . .” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).  Maybe you have heard the following song that makes this point:

Wasted Years

 Wasted years, wasted years, oh, how foolish,
As you walk on in darkness and fear,
Turn around, turn around, God is calling,
He’s calling you from a life of wasted years.

As you wandered along on life’s pathways,
Have you lived without love, a life of fear,
Have you searched for life’s great hidden meaning,
Or is your life filled with long, wasted years?

Wasted years, wasted years, oh, how foolish,
As you walk on in darkness and fear,
Turn around, turn around, God is calling,
He’s calling you from a life of wasted years.

(Sung by Walt Mills)

Turn from the wasted years of your past.  Be like Timothy, who knew the Scriptures from his youth (2 Timothy 3:15), who committed his life to Christ as a young man (Acts 16:1-2), who zealously served the Lord with his time (Philippians 2:19-22), and who was able to be a worthy example to others (1 Timothy 4:12; 6:11-14).  If you are yet young, you can give your entire life to work diligently for the God who loves you!  I do not regret any of the time I served the Lord from age fifteen, and especially age twenty-two.  I only wish I had lived an even more sacrificial, more devoted, and more faithful life as a young person!

You have the opportunity of putting God first and foremost.

God must not be minimized, His will must not be avoided, His word must not be rejected, His work must not be neglected, His truth must not be compromised.  Jesus must become everything to you (Colossians 1:18; 3:1-4, 11).  He must be the very reason for your living.  As Paul affirmed, “To live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21).  Has Christ become your life (Colossians 3:4)?  Christ Jesus added, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).  We are to love God with all (not some, part of, or even much) of our heart, soul, mind, and strength—with all our being  (Mark 12:28-30).

Most people who profess to be Christians actually give a small portion of their life, interest, time, devotion, money, and commitment to God.  In reality, Jesus must take priority over your plans, your job, your family, your spouse, your possessions, your money, your hobbies, your pastimes, your education, your preferences, your very life (Matthew 10:37-38; 1 John 2:15-17).  Christ declared, “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal” (John 12:25).  We must “hate” or have a lesser love for anyone or anything that keeps us from the Lord God and His will for our life (cf. Luke 14:26)!  Those who are apathetic in their devotion will be rejected by the Lord (Revelation 3:15-16).

Jesus asks us these penetrating questions: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?  For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37).  It would be the height of folly to devote your life to money, to pleasure, to material things, to a boyfriend or girlfriend, to sports, to education, or to a nationalistic ideology while you give secondary consideration to the most vital, important, and crucial thing in life—your relationship with God!  It would be spiritual insanity to live for this world that will one day be destroyed in the flames while neglecting the most important issue of life—how you can be forgiven of your sins and enter into a living relationship with God that will last forever!  Now—in the present time—you have the opportunity of surrendering everything to the living God and living to serve Jesus Christ.

You have the opportune time to rid yourself of all the gods you have collected during your lifetime.

God told His people, Israel, that He hated idolatry—the worship of false gods.  Notice these strong words: “The graven images of their [the pagan] gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, or you will be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the LORD your God.  You shall not bring an abomination into your house, and like it come under the ban; you shall utterly detest it and you shall utterly abhor it, for it is something banned” (Deuteronomy 7:25-26).  God says that His people were to “utterly detest” and “utterly abhor” these false gods that were an “abomination” to Him.

Scripture says that “God hates” idolatry (Deuteronomy 16:22; Jeremiah 44:4).  He warns against false gods by saying, “Do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger” (Jeremiah 25:6; cf. Isaiah 65:3). So serious was the worship and service of false gods, that the Lord God commanded, “You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim [female deities] with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place” (Deuteronomy 12:3).  God’s anger burned against any rival to His place of supremacy and rightful worship, for “the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24; cf. 5:9; 6:15; Hebrews 12:29).  He will have no competitors!

You may wonder what God’s opposition to idolatry means to you and me.  As we read through the Bible, we learn that God not only condemns graven images and statues of Buddha, images of Hindu gods and goddesses, images of angels, and images of the Virgin Mary or Joseph, but He opposes something more fundamental and widespread and deceptive.  God says that we must abstain from worshiping, serving, and giving our ultimate allegiance to anything or anyone—other than Him, the true and living God!

One person may make the TV her god, another may make a football or baseball team his god, while another may make education his god.  Someone may make a boyfriend or girlfriend a god, another may make a luxurious home or fine furnishings or a bank account his god, while someone else may have a sports car or SUV, a boat, or a motorcycle as his god.  We can make our children, clothes, music, travel, or games idolatrous objects of devotion!  Probably money is a favorite god of most people, but Jesus warned, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and wealth” (Matthew 6:24).  Can you name one or a half dozen of the “gods” that occupy your heart and devotion?  Do you realize that you must renounce and turn from these in order to love and live for God?

Jesus solemnly warned, “You shall worship the LORD your God, and serve Him only” (Matthew 4:10).  God commands, “Flee from idolatry” (1 Corinthians 10:14).  He says, “Guard yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).  When one comes to God through Jesus Christ for salvation, he must renounce all of these idolatrous compromises in his life.  This is what happens when one repents and is born again of God: “You turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9).  God now gives you the wondrous opportunity to forsake all sin and all idolatry in your life, casting your false “gods” away, and make a fresh start of total, absolute, and uncompromising allegiance to Him through Jesus Christ!

You can wisely prepare for everlasting life now.

Many people prepare for their profession with lengthy education of twelve, sixteen, or more years.  Others labor tirelessly building up their business.  Still others are willing to invest thirty years of their life paying off a high mortgage in order to own a luxurious home. Think also of well-known athletes who practice their sport dozens of hours a week for many years, perfecting their skills to make a name for themselves.  Think also of the millions of fans who devote hundreds of hours a year reading the sports page, talking to friends about the games, and attending sporting events.

These earthly passions consume the interest of millions, but their spiritual life is weak or dead.  Paul observes, “She who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives” (1 Timothy 5:6, ESV).  After he searched for pleasure in many different vain pursuits, Solomon lamented, “I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:11).  And it was Jesus who declared, “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15, ESV).  Of athletes, Paul said that “they then do it [exercise strenuously] to receive a perishable wreath [an earthly reward], but we [Christians] an imperishable [in heaven]” (1 Corinthians 9:25).

Why is it that those who are wildly and exuberantly loyal to football or baseball teams are called “fans,” whereas those who are passionately in love with Jesus and devote themselves unceasingly to His kingdom are called “fanatics”—or extremists, zealots, fundamentalists, radicals, or worse!  When Christ returns in flaming fire to destroy those who do not know Him (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9) and to receive those who believe and follow Him (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18), it will be clear to all the world what kind of life we should have lived.  At that time, it will be evident that living for this world, for the riches of this earth, for the pleasures of life, was utterly foolish—whereas living earnestly for God, for the ways of God, for careful obedience to His will, and for sharing of the saving message of Jesus Christ was the wisest, most rational, and most blessed way we could have used our few years on earth!  A life in sin, a life of earthly pleasure, a life without God is a wasted and foolish existence!

Throughout Scripture, we are urged to live for the life to come and not become engrossed in this world (cf. 2 Timothy 2:3-4).  Paul said, “Bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 5:8).  Paul said, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).  He also referred “to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life” (Romans 2:7).

Paul goes on to say, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win” (1 Corinthians 9:24).  The apostle succinctly says, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2).  To the world, this command is foolish, radical, and useless, but to God, this is the only sane and wise way to live.  The Hebrew writer also encourages us by saying, “Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith” (12:1-2).

These and a hundred other encouragements are found in God’s Word to show the folly of living for this world—its riches and rewards, its fun, its pride and pleasures.  That same Word reveals the wisdom of serving the Lord with all of our heart now so that we will be among the few chosen for eternal life in the coming Kingdom of God (cf. Matthew 7:13-14; 25:31-46).

You have the present moment to be forgiven of your sins.

None of us can imagine the horror of sin and dying in sin!  Jesus warned, “Unless you believe that I am He [the Son of God and Savior], you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).  The essence of sin is disobedience to the living God and Creator and failure to glorify Him (Romans 3:23).  It is the capital crime of forgetting or neglecting Almighty God, the Lord of heaven and earth.  Sin is not merely pridefully denying or questioning the existence of God, but living as though He did not really matter.

Each of us has sinned in thought, word, attitude, and deed.  We have failed to do what we should have done and we have done what we should not have done.  Sadly, “each of us has turned to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6).  We have lived our life in a careless way, daring to make ourselves the final judge of our own behavior.  In one sense, we are like the one described in Revelation 18:5: “Her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.”  Our sins also are many and they prevent our fellowship with a holy God.  That’s right!  Each of us is guilty of sin, and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

In short, we are guilty before a great and holy God, the Judge of the whole earth.  Paul says that “you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Romans 2:5).  It is not until we can see the magnitude of our personal sins that we will be motivated to do anything about them!  If you come to see that you—as well as the rest of us—are guilty of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of sins in your lifetime, that you will see the unique opportunity you have right now to flee to Jesus Christ “who rescues us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

You can do nothing to deserve or be worthy of God’s forgiveness or be received by Him.  He will only give these spiritual blessings as the gift of His grace.  Jesus Christ died on the cross, shedding His blood, to pay the price for your sins (1 Corinthians 15:3; Romans 3:24-26; 5:6-11).  “By the grace of God He might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9).  He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).  Your sins can be forgiven through Him alone.  Muhammad, Confucius, Buddha, Bahaullah, the Dalai Lama, Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, Ellen G. White, the Pope of Rome, the Patriarch of Orthodoxy, and every other human spiritual leader, teacher, priest, guru, and religious founder cannot rescue one single soul.  They can’t forgive one single sin, much less the trillions of sins of which the world is guilty.  God forgives through Jesus Christ alone!  We must humbly come to Him by repenting of our sins, believing and trusting Christ, confessing Him as Lord and Savior, and expressing our heartfelt faith, repentance, and commitment by being immersed (baptized) into Christ and His body (John 3:14-18, 36; 5:24; Acts 2:38-41; 3:19; 20:21; Romans 3:23-24; 5:1; 6:3-11; Colossians 2:11-13; Galatians 3:26-27).

My friend, as you read these words, you are not dead—you are still physically alive!  You have the amazing opportunity to respond to God and His will.  Right now, you have the present time to learn what you need to know to escape from sin, to be forgiven of your wrongs, to repent and forsake your sins, and to come to God for complete cleansing and forgiveness.  You can turn from your mere physical life and receive spiritual, eternal life with God.

You need more than a physical birth—you need a spiritual birth to enter God’s family and His Kingdom.  Jesus declared, “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. . . . Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:3,5).  Do you see that?  If you fail to experience a new birth, a spiritual birth, a birth from God, you simply cannot enter God’s eternal kingdom!  No one is guaranteed another moment of time.  You only have the present—and even this is hanging precariously by a mere thread of life (cf. Luke 12:16-21).

Jesus challenges each of us: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s shall save it” (Mark 8:34-35).  Paul expresses the perspective that we all should have: “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).  Now is the time to repent and come to God for His gracious forgiveness in Christ!

I Invite You…

This little message began with an invitation.  We refer to “the sincere and friendly invitation” we offered at the beginning.  Probably there are a lot of things you don’t understand about God, about sin, and about the ways of Jesus Christ.  You need to find the answers to the basic issues of life, to find the truth in a world of lies and deception, and to find the solution to life’s enigmas!  I invite you to read other articles on the True Discipleship website.  You will be able to see how we can come to know Jesus personally and prepare right now to meet God in the coming awesome Great Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-15).  You will be able to see how one can receive eternal life in God’s eternal Kingdom.  You will learn how you can be prepared to die and how you can have fellowship with a loving and holy God right now.

This may be the most important message that you will ever read!  In reality, God is the one calling you; will He chose you to belong to Him (Matthew 22:14)?  This is why we invite and even earnestly plead with you to consider the state of your soul.  Now is the time to prepare to meet God. 

The Clock of Life

The clock of life is wound but once And no man has the power To tell just when the hands will stop At late or early hour.

Now is the only time you own Live, love, toil with a will Place no faith in tomorrow The hands may then be still.

(Anonymous)

 

Richard Hollerman

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