Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Letter To A Friend

My Dear Friend,

I don’t know why it sometimes takes a tragedy to express what needs to be said. But unfortunately that’s the way it is. What hampers us from conveying the most important thing anyone ever needs to hear? Are we selfish? Is it such a hard subject to share? So what is our excuse? There is none…so here goes.

The truth is, my friend, you’re dying and quickly on your way to hell. Not because of the terrible thing that has crept into your life, but because everyone who lives is at some stage of death. I’m dying, you’re dying, we are all dying and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Yes, death is inevitable. But does a soul really die? No, a soul continues to live throughout all eternity. The question is…where will your soul spend eternity, heaven or hell? Is the choice really that hard?

So you think you’re already going to heaven. What if you died today and met God face to face and He asked you, “Why should I let you into my heaven?” What would your answer be? I’m a good person. I help people. I go to church and I don’t really sin that much.

A recent survey shows over 94 percent of people believe in God and 89 percent of people believe in heaven, and 75 percent of those people think they will get to heaven. Few people, however, actually know how to get to heaven.

How do I get to heaven, you ask? Well I’m glad you asked, my friend, because I’m going to show you what the Bible says. It’s all a matter of FAITH. Each letter in the word FAITH stands for a different word.

F is for FORGIVENESS – Everyone needs God’s forgiveness. Why?
Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
We must realize that we are sinners and that we need forgiveness. We aren’t worthy of God’s grace.

A is for AVAILABLE – God’s forgiveness is available for all. How?
John 3:16 says “God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Yes, God’s forgiveness is available to all, but it’s not automatic. Why?
Matthew 7:21 says “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven.”  So why isn’t forgiveness automatic?

I is for IMPOSSIBLE – The Bible says it is impossible to get to heaven on our own. Why?
Ephesians 2:8 says “By GRACE you are saved through FAITH, and this is not from yourselves; it is the (free) GIFT from God.” So how can a sinful person have eternal life and enter heaven?

T is for TURN – Turn means to repent-change directions. Turn away from what; sin and self. Why?
Luke 13:3 says “Unless you repent, you will all perish as well!”
So when you turn AWAY from sin and self, you must turn TO Jesus Christ.
John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” So…how do we do this thing?
Romans 10:9-10 says “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation.”

What happens if a person repents of their sins and confesses Jesus Christ?

H is for HEAVEN – A place where we can live forever with God. How?
John 14:3 Jesus says “If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you can be also.” Eternal life begins with Jesus.

How can this be possible? How can I have God’s forgiveness, eternal life, and go to heaven? It starts with a simple prayer like this one.

Father, I know that I’m a sinner and that my sins have separated me from You. I ask You to forgive me of my sins. I want to turn away from my past life and turn toward You. Please help me to avoid sinning again. I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was raised from the dead, is alive and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me to obey You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Friend, if you do this easy thing you can have assurance of an abundant life here on earth with Jesus in charge of your life and the guarantee that you have a place saved for you in heaven. If you prayed the prayer, then welcome, you are a new member of Christ’s family. Then go tell somebody about it. They will be happy you did. I know I am.

Your friend,

Annette O’Hare