A Letter to Mr X
This chapter deals with some key issues about spiritual life. They are presented in the form of a letter addressed to Mr. X (who can be anybody), who used to be opposed to the Gospel and who does not want to turn to God. Thus, Mr. X is a normal modern man who does not understand what the Gospel and the key points of the New Testament are all about. This is why we should study these issues in more detail.
DEAR MR. X,
I know that you have been negative towards spiritual issues and talk about God. The things I have said and the thoughts I have shared have made no impact on you; you have remained negative and heedless. This is why I want to contact you one more time in a letter to perhaps better shed light on this area of life. I want to try to explain some key points about spiritual life. I hope that you have enough patience to read through this letter.
God loves you. You should know that God loves you, because ”God is love” (1 John 4:8) and He feels good will towards all people. Even though your attitude towards God is negative, or you have completely denied His existence, God still loves you and He has a good plan for you, as He does for all of us. He loves you in a way that is far greater than any human love.
If you do not believe me, please read the verses below, because they prove the will of God towards us and show you that He only wants what is best for us. This also applies to you even though your opinion of God in general is negative:
- (Luke 2:13,14) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
- (John 3:16,17) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
- (1 John 4:10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Everything is ready. You should know and understand that in His love God wants you to be saved and get to Heaven, as proven by John 3:16 above. That is His good plan for you and for all of us, because He wants ”all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim 2:4).
You should understand that the preconditions needed for you to get in to Heaven and to reach God are already prepared. The Gospel according to Luke teaches: ”Come; for all things are now ready.” (Luke 14:17), and this is good news. It means that you can receive eternal life as a gift and get connected with God regardless of how good or bad your life has been. I will not dwell on this further here; I will only include some verses from the Bible that teach us that Jesus is the way to God and that by turning to Him we can receive eternal life. I hope that you will take these verses seriously because they can determine how you will spend eternity:
- (John 14:1-6) Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.
5 Thomas said to him, Lord, we know not where you go; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
- (John 5:39,40) Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And you will not come to me, that you might have life.
Prejudice and biases. Prejudice, biases and lies can be the cause of a person's rejection of the love of God and the invitation to eternal life. It is because the person thinks they are cheap. What happens is what was described in the Acts of the Apostles when Paul’s own people rejected the Gospel's message and thus eternal life. I don't want this to happen to you:
- (Acts 13:45,46) But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spoke against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing you put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, see, we turn to the Gentiles.
People have prejudices and biases that can prevent them from turning to God and receiving eternal life. Things like disappointment caused by dogmatic Christianity, mistakes made by the church, confusion caused by the theory of evolution, and misery and evil in the world have caused many people to reject all discussions about God and eternal life. I used to be such a person: my attitude towards God was negative, and I justified it by pointing at the problems mentioned above. I also considered myself to be a very reasonable person when expressing these objections. I thought, "I'm much more sensible than those gullible people who believe in what the Bible says." Surely, many people think the same now.
However, I would like to draw your attention again to the points I have already mentioned: God loves us, He has prepared the way for us to enter Heaven. If there is Heaven and we can receive eternal life as a gift, then how unnecessary all those excuses were! Those problems are surely not worth losing the eternal life that we can receive as a gift. Nobody who uses such problems as an excuse to reject their invitation into the kingdom of Heaven is being wise.
Another observation about people who make such excuses is that you should consider whether or not they are being sincere, and whether they really wish to know the truth (or as Jesus said, ”seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” and ”Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein”, Matt 7:7 and Mark 10:15). If their attitude is dishonest and they do not even want to know the truth, naturally such people cannot know what the truth is. It is impossible. I hope that your attitude is not pre-conditioned in such a manner and that you want to find out the truth.
Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, has shown all disbelievers a simple and good route. If you take this route, you will find out the truth about whether you are an honest or a dishonest disbeliever and whether you really want to reach a place of faith and assurance. This royal route is shown by the following words: ”If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17). ”Every one that is of the truth hears my voice” (John 18:37). These words no doubt reveal a disbeliever…
I don’t mean to claim that there are no honest doubts but I do dare to claim that this is very, very rare. A clear sign of an honest disbeliever is that he wants to be released from his doubts and he is willing to try any route leading away from disbelief. If the disbeliever is not interested in this, then his/her doubt is only a mask that covers their selfishness.
It is true that our selfishness instinctively knows that it is highly dangerous for it to truly give yourself to Jesus and His words. We sense the pending shame. We fear the inevitable moment when we are forced to confess: “Jesus spoke the truth.” At that moment, we will be forced to say goodbye to sin and the world, abandon all our thoughts about great fame and nice success in the circles that define the direction. This is why our moral attitude is the following: Beware of getting into touch with Jesus! You will not cope any better than the Pharisees. (1)
Finally, I would like to remind you that God will accept you if you turn to Him. He will not reject you; Instead, He will welcome you as the father welcomed the prodigal son. You do not have to become better first: you can go to Him as you are. You shouldn’t dawdle because that could cost you your eternity:
- (Luke 15:17-20) And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you,
19 And am no more worthy to be called your son: make me as one of your hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
THE PRAYER OF SALVATION: Lord, Jesus, I turn to You. I confess that I have sinned against You and have not lived according to Your will. However, I want to turn away from my sins and follow You with all my heart. I also believe that my sins have been forgiven through Your atonement and I have received eternal life through You. I thank You for the salvation that You have given me. Amen.
1. Olav Valen-Sendstad: Ihminen kohtaa Jumalan (Ordet og troen), p. 30, 31
Heaven or hell? To which place are you going?
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life
Grap to eternal life!
Heaven or hell? To which place are you going?