A letter to a good friend
Hello my friend,
Don’t months and years speed quickly by? When I was a young man I could look back on school days, family birthdays, and special times away on holiday as though they were yesterday. Life’s challenges then were much different from what they are today.
Now, although I’m well past 70 years of age, my young adult days seem only a brief time back. Where have all the years gone? Time certainly flies!
No doubt it’s the same with you as with me – over the years some things become increasingly valuable and precious, and other things have little of the appeal they once did. Perhaps this indicates what we really consider to be of lasting worth, and what only has temporary meaning for us.
It’s interesting to look back over earlier priorities, dreams, ideas, ideals and goals. Perhaps it has been a maturing process and life’s inevitable changes and challenges that have caused me to alter quite a few of them.
The way we are made
Here’s something I think about, not simply for myself, but for others as well: There are two issues that we often shy away from, and yet can never entirely escape.
The way we are made means we have a conscience that cannot rest easily with some of our poor behaviour and actions in past years. We know we’ve missed the mark at times, and have a bit of guilt or shame over what we may have thought, said or done.
Also because of the way we are made, once in a while we think about the uncertainty of life and wonder what lies ahead for us. Who knows what is around the next corner? Probably, like me, there has been someone you know who has been injured, crippled, or even has died an untimely death.
When I was just a young man I was shocked when a youngster I had just been chatting with ran out onto the road in front of a passing car, and was fatally injured. It gave me quite a jolt, and I can tell you, made me think a lot more about heaven and actually facing God.
Is there a clear, sure answer?
It seems to me that not only is there an answer to these two issues, but the answer is the same for both. In fact there is one key that can immeasurably enhance all of life, past, present and future.
Mind you I can’t go along with some of the answers I’ve heard over the years. Perhaps I’ll mention one or two before sharing with you exactly how I see it.
1. Some say, ‘We’re only human’ to explain away some kind of sub-standard behaviour, and to pacify their conscience, I presume. This doesn’t work, and it would make life even worse if it really did do away with the restraints of conscience.
2. Someone told me not long ago that ‘We die like a dog and that’s the end of it.’ The idea behind this is that we can live how we like because we’ll never have to give account later of the way we live now. The trouble with this idea is that it’s not true, doesn’t work and leaves us all somewhat unconvinced.
3. Just to mention one other thing, there is a false idea that if we do more good than harm in life, and possibly go to church now and again, then everything will work out alright in the end. It is wrongly thought that if ‘I’m as good as the next man’ then somehow or other we’ll all get to heaven. In the meantime we can only struggle along through life as best we can.
Wouldn’t you like to know?
It is a pleasure to set out for you the simple facts of great Good News. It doesn’t start with what we have to do, but with what God has already done for us.
1. Because of His amazing love for us all, God sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross, and thus pay the penalty for our sinful wrong-doing. God is not only amazingly loving, but also pure and holy so something had to be done about our sin!
2. God’s first requirement for us is to be sorry enough for our sin that we ask His forgiveness for it all.
At the same time we need to seek His cleansing from every sin, determining with His help not to live selfishly, and thus sinfully, any more.
3. The next step is to choose to trust the Lord Jesus to take control of our lives and to be our Saviour. He wants to come into our lives in that kind of way, and what an amazing difference He makes when we allow Him to!
You can see that at the same time this is both very simple and really challenging. The Bible tells us to repent of our sins, have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and be saved. In other words, follow the three steps I’ve just given you, and you can be sure of heaven. What could be more important than that?
Another blessing in this is that when we follow these simple steps the Lord Jesus makes a wonderful change in our lives here and now.
So, as I indicated there is a way that past, present and future, we can find marvellous help. Our past can be forgiven, cleansed and forgotten, our future can be assured, and we can have wonderful help in the present, day by day. Jesus is the way, and He is the answer. Trust Him!
I do want to mention one more thing before ending this letter. When we trust in the Lord Jesus for salvation, He lets us know inside that our desire is granted. Wonderfully, He gives an inner peace, assurance, confidence that it is so.
So we have His word on it, and that inner witness which is His guarantee. The Bible teaches that God raised His one and only special Son Jesus from the dead, and welcomed Him to heaven, as a guarantee that He would do the same for us if we trust our lives and our future to Him.
Well, my friend, what else can I say but
‘Go for it, and Go for it now!’
I have enjoyed setting all this out for you, as clearly as I can. Please contact me if you have any other questions or if there is any way I can help you further.
[by John Beaumont]