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A Letter I wrote to my 92 year old Dad

Hi Daddy,

I'm glad to see that you made it to 92. Not many people get the see that age. I hope you make it to next year and are able to see 93. There is going to be one year that you will not see. Have you ever thought about that? Our lives here are not here forever. There is going to be that one day for everybody that we will not make it to. Some people believe that when you’re dead then you’re dead and that is it. That is not what Jesus said. The life we have now we are just living it in this body. The body will wear out and one day cease to function, but what about the 'you' that has occupied that body for all these years.
     Whenever I see someone buried I know that is just a body and the spirit man had left it the moment of death. The Bible tell us:
     John 11:25 says - Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
     John 5:24 says - Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
    John 3:16 says - “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
     Luke 23:43 says - And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
     Matthew 10:28 says - And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
     Hebrews 9:27 says - And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

These are just a few of the verses in the Bible and there are many more. I don’t know if you believe in the Bible or not. I don’t know if you know who Jesus is or why he is so important that every church talks about him. That is the reason for this Birthday letter to you. I am going to tell you.
      I know this is a very long letter. This is the longest letter I ever sent. It took me a long time to complete. This will take a while for you to read. But this isn't much longer than a chapter in your average book. If the topic wasn't so important I wouldn't have sent such a long letter. Initially I started to handwrite it, but I had to make so many revisions,  you are getting a letter I wrote on my computer.

This poem triggered the thought that I need to write this letter to you sooner rather than later. The poem is called “My Friend”

My friend I stand in judgment now, And feel that you’re to blame somehow.
On earth I walked with you day by day, And never did you point the way.
You knew the Lord in truth and glory, But never did you tell me the story.
My knowledge then was dim, You could have led me straight to Him.
Though we lived together on earth, You never told me of the second birth.
And now I stand condemned this day, Because of what you failed to say.
You taught me many things, that’s true, I called you friend and trusted you.
Now I learn it’s too late, But you could have saved me from this fate.
We walked by day and talked by night, And yet you showed me not the light.
You let me live and die, Though you knew I’d never live on high.
Yes, I called you friend in life, And laughed with you through joy and strife
And yet on coming to the end ...  I cannot call you my friend!
          -Author, Unknown

Over the years there were numerous times I wanted to make a clear presentation about the good news written in the Bible. But, I withheld speaking this important truth for a few reasons. I didn't want to make you feel uncomfortable, sometimes I was nervous and feared you would think less of me. I didn't want to come across as pushy. I thought timing might get better later in the day. I felt like you might be uncomfortable about me talking to you about this. I could go on with excuses, but as I reread this poem, I can't help but feel I didn't do right by you.

Since you are turning 92, I thought, this is good timing to reflect on this message and make this birthday the most meaningful one. Although this letter may not do a good job of communicating my love for you and my desire for your best interests, I hope you know that is in my heart.

There are verses in the Bible that give credibility to the above poem:
Luke 16:19-31 [Jesus speaking] "There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house-- for I have five brothers --so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'"

     I know we had a few conversations of a spiritual nature, but those were no substitute for a thorough presentation about God's love and plan for us, the eternal consequences of sin and the good news about how we can get right with God.
     I hope you know me well enough to know that I don't have a 'higher than thou' mindset. I too am a sinner in need of a savior, no more or less than anyone else. I don't deserve heaven. Although I was born with a sinful and selfish nature, that eventually changed after I asked God to help me. I could disclose the skeletons in my closet, but there is no need to do that. We all have deep dark things we try to forget or justify.

Do you know where you will spend eternity? Are you going to make it into heaven or is there a chance you might end up in hell?
    "... there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Luke 15:10
     God smiles on us when we genuinely want to learn about Him and His ways. Ignoring Him is not a good idea. Many people have their own beliefs about God and how to get right with Him. God doesn't adapt His ways to conform to our beliefs any more than parents conform to their children's beliefs. Assumptions and wishful thinking are among the worst ways to conclude anything about anyone, especially God. We need to learn what God says about Himself. God has not changed. Moreover He has the final say in everything. Let's take a look at what God has to tell those who make incorrect assumptions about Him.

    Job 40:1-4 Then the LORD said to Job, "Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it. Then Job answered the LORD and said, Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth."
    1 Corinthians 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

     Because of the above Bible verse it would be good for you to now pray this short prayer: Father in Heaven, please have Your Holy Spirit give me understanding of Your Bible verses and to increase my faith in You. Thank You.

     It is vain for us to expect not to be held accountable for our sins or that they are insignificant in comparison to the sins of criminals who make the news. People are not God's standard for righteousness ... Jesus is.
God knows all our sins
Matthew 10:26 "... for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known."

What are the wages of our sin?
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death [hell]; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Dilemma #1
We don't need to go too far down the list of the Ten Commandments to learn we are guilty of sin. For example: Thou shall not use the Lord's name in vain. Honor your mother and father. Thou shall not commit adultery/fornication. Thou shall not steal. Thou shall not lie. Sin separates us from a perfect and Holy God. Lying to God about our innocence is not an option to get into heaven.
If someone has the cure for cancer and keeps it to them self, the world would call them cruel. But humanity has a greater and more universal problem than cancer. It is sin. Sin is what keeps us out of God's sinless heaven and condemns us to sinful hell. And more people are ending up in hell than heaven:
Matthew 7: 13-14 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction [hell], and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life [heaven], and there are few who find it."
Many people think we get into heaven by being a good person. But how good is good enough? If someone were to compare us to repeat offenders in prison, we would compare favorably. But if our works were to be compared to Sister Theresa of Calcutta, we would fall far short. And is Sister Theresa good enough to stand before a perfect and Holy God and proudly state I am so good that I deserve heaven for eternity? At what point does God say, "You did enough, you no longer need to worry about your eternal destiny?" The fact is, if being good is the criteria for making it into heaven, nobody can know before they die how much good is good enough to make it. The following Bible verses make it clear that salvation is not earned by doing good works, but is a free gift of God.
    Isaiah 64:6 ... all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment....
    Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
    To break the law and stand before a judge you need to break only one law to be found guilty, suffer the penalty and be labeled a convict ... right? It is the same with God's laws. Just because we don't regularly commit the worst sins, we are not innocent.

    Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
If you stand before a judge who knows you, you get a pass [assuming he/she doesn't disqualify himself]. He/she will not judge you and convict you. It is the same with Jesus. He is our Judge and He passes on condemning His own.
    John 5:22-24 [Jesus speaking] "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
     Christians who are so in name only (not by practice) and unbelievers have something in common. They both have a secret fear that the Bible might be true. Today with easy access to Bibles and people who are willing to share their knowledge of the Bible, there is no excuse before God to not perform your due diligence to investigate this issue. It is safer to believe the Bible than not to. If the Bible is wrong, Christians lose nothing. If the Bible is right, those who do not obey it, lose everything.
     Luke 12:48 [Jesus speaking] "... From everyone who has been given much, much will be required ..."
     Some people believe that upon physical death, their soul simply ceases to exist. This is a minority opinion and is only an opinion. It is not supported on a solid basis. It contradicts what the souls of most people tell them. Moreover it contradicts the words of the only One Who came back from the dead to tell us about it. If souls simply cease to exist upon death of the body, then life is meaningless and our emotions are a pathetic waste of energy. But life is not meaningless! God has a divine purpose for each of us. With logic, reason and a little faith, eternal life is a more plausible conclusion.

     Dilemma #2
    Thirty-five years ago I realized that I didn't know where I was going to spend eternity. Because life is short and eternity is long, there is nothing more important than making sure we get it into heaven. I then realized that if this is true, then God must have established a way for us to know before we die where we will spend eternity. It is not wise to let our eternal destiny be left to blind chance. I began to try to figure it out on my own, but couldn't. So I prayed to God that He would show me what I need to do in order to secure my place in heaven ... before I die.
     I began to read the Bible and became extremely nervous when I got to John 3:3. There Jesus declares, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." I immediately knew I was in serious trouble. I was not born again because nobody told me I needed to be born again. I didn't know what it was, but knew I needed to find out.
     I learned everyone is born physically alive, but spiritually dead. From birth we are selfish and focus on the physical. God commands us to have a spiritual birth (the second birth) and to begin focusing on spiritual and eternal matters.
    Galatians 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

The Good News
Some people trivialize what often is referred to as the Good News of the Gospel. Many think they know what it is, yet they can't explain it. Moreover they have not personalized it.
Most people think nobody can know before they die whether they will be sent to heaven or hell. I thought the same until I realized that is far too important of a matter to be left to chance. Once you arrive at your eternal destiny it is too late to change course. One hundred years from now we will be dead. One million years from now our bodies will still be dead, but our spirits will be alive ... somewhere! What could possibly be more important, than to know where you will spend all of eternity? God is too loving to keep that a secret until it's too late to change course.

How we get sin removed from our record
Unlike cancer, the cure for sin is accessible to all and is free! Most people already know these three very important facts:
1.  Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
2.  Jesus shed His blood when He was crucified.
3.  Jesus suffered this painful death voluntarily for us (He did not have to do this for Himself--He is sinless).
     Therefore if we could make it into heaven on our own by doing good things or by some religious exercises, then Jesus was a fool … He suffered voluntarily for nothing. But Jesus is no fool! He paid the greatest price anyone paid for anything and that is for our souls so we could make it into heaven! Now you can understand why God is angry at those who ignore this costly gift He is offering to us for free. (Think of how you would feel toward someone who rejected your most costly possession.)
So how can we transition from insecurity to eternal security? We do this by telling God:
1.) I acknowledge that I am a sinner and my sin separates me from You.
2.) I truly repent of my sins and ask You to forgive me of my sins.
3.) I confess Jesus is Lord and that You raised Him from the dead. I receive Jesus' shed blood and resurrection as His payment for my sins.
4.) I ask for your Holy Spirit to come into my heart to help me walk the straight and narrow path that leads to life.
Soon after I prayed that prayer, I read: Matthew 10:28 "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Once I knew I was in right standing with God, this verse brought me more peace than anything I ever experienced.
     What I am communicating to you is not new or unique. This is the simple Gospel message that has been preached for 2000 years all over the world. This is the message people lived for and died for. This is the message that has been banned by many government officials and promoted by a few government officials. This is the message that stopped people in the midst of suicide and divorce. This is the message that put families together and tore them apart. This is the message that converted people from all sorts of backgrounds: rich, poor, fools, wise, slaves, kings, queens, prostitutes, alcoholics, drug addicts, religious fanatics, atheists, but mostly common people.

The significance of the blood of Jesus
You might remember watching Charlton Heston play Moses in the movie The 10 Commandments. In that movie there is a true scene where the streets are dark and quiet as the angel of death moves down the street killing all first born males in homes that do not have the blood of a lamb sprinkled on the door posts. That was the original Passover holiday of the Jewish people. The angel did not inquire about who lived there or about good deeds or bad deeds. He just looked for the blood of the lamb. Those with the blood of a lamb covering the door posts were passed over and got to live. Households with no blood covering suffered death.
Passover is another sign pointing to our Messiah (Savior), Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us, without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness [of sins], Hebrews 9:22. Just as the blood of an innocent lamb protected Jews from physical death in Egypt, so too the blood of Jesus (the innocent and sinless Lamb of God) protects us from spiritual death. When we stand at the Great White Throne Judgment God gives a pass to those who have the blood of Jesus covering their sins. He doesn't see their misdeeds, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ covering them. That is HUGE!
Hebrews 13:12 And so Jesus also suffered ... to make the people holy through his own blood.
Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, … Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
John 14:6 "Jesus said ..., 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.'"
John 3:18 [Jesus speaking] "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Sincerity of Faith
Most people are quite complacent with the belief system they were born into. Many people think God doesn't care what you believe, as long as you are devout to your beliefs. Besides the obvious question about how 'devout' is 'devout enough,' we need to ask if God really doesn't care what people believe or practice.
Proverbs 16:25 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
The news media occasionally reports on people who have enough faith to stand before a speeding train and believe with all their heart that mind over matter will prevail and they will not be hurt. And many more people believe if they strap a bomb onto themselves and kill Jews or infidels, they will receive 70 virgins in heaven. Their devotion to their faith is unquestioned, but reality sets in upon impact. The Bible is clear that God requires us to learn about Him, His ways and practice the right things.
Many people think all religions are equal and that they all lead to the path to heaven. Those who are informed about the doctrines of the various religions know that is impossible, because they contradict each other. Religion is man's way of reaching God. Christianity is God's way of reaching man. Sounds like a play on words, but this a very important point about the uniqueness of the God of the Bible.

Time Tested
I am a skeptic and do not make hasty irrational decisions. It has been over 35 years since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. That was, by far, the most important and best decision I ever made. Most born-again Christians feel the same way.

Why so much suffering and evil
Many people wrestle with the age-old question: If God is good, why is there so much evil in this world? But when people are asked, "Would you want God to have created you as a robot or as one with free will?" They consistently respond, "Free will." As you know, with free will comes responsibility and consequences. The sin of humanity (not God) is the cause of evil and suffering.
     Adam and Eve only knew good when God created them. They learned evil only upon eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16--3:24). Now all generations suffer the consequences of knowing and choosing evil.
     Daddy , we don't need to worry about evil going unpunished. God promised to right wrongs and reward us for our sufferings (the sufferings are temporary and the rewards are everlasting). He will also take care of unrepentant sinners and prevent them from causing us anymore problems.
     God hates evil so much, that He paid the ultimate price to reconcile us to Him and take us away from all this evil and suffering. He does not want to condemn us. God wants us to accept His free offer of eternal life. It is important for us to realize that God is all loving and all powerful and that He will bring about His original plan for us (eternity in paradise with Him, forever and ever!).

Jesus' salvation is not a cheap gift to be disregarded
     God has emotions too. We all heard the saying, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." If you stand before a judge who loves you and you return that love, that judge will forgive you or pay your penalty and let you go free. But if this Judge learns His love for you is scorned, watch out!
     Jesus willingly dying on the cross in payment for your sins, was the absolute highest price anyone ever paid for anything! And ... that was for the salvation of your soul! What can you offer to God in payment for your sins? Can you think of anything more precious than an only born child? But children are tainted with sin and are in need of a Savior just like you do. Jesus is sinless, thus only He is eligible to be our Savior. To reject this ultimate sacrifice, brings His fury.
     But God loves you so much that He didn't hold back His precious Son, but allowed Him to be our sacrificial Lamb, so that we could get back on track with His original plan for our lives (paradise with Him for eternity).
      Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
      Romans 10:9-13 That 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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
     People won't sell both their eyes for $1 billion dollars. The value of the quality of their  life on earth is worth at least that much to them. Yet so many people will not invest the time and energy needed to insure their eternal life is spent in heaven. God wants you to make the right choice and to lift you up above the masses who are ignoring Him and rejecting Him.

Daddy , I hope you pray the following prayer with deep sincerity. If you do, you too can have the confidence that you are in right standing with your Creator and will make it into heaven.
John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Prayer to get right with God
     Dear Father in heaven, I confess that I am a sinner and my sins have separated us. I want to be reconciled to You. I ask You to bring my sins to remembrance so that I may repent of them and come clean. I sincerely repent of my sins and ask for Your mercy to forgive me of my sins. I accept Jesus' crucifixion, His shed blood and resurrection as His payment for my sins. Now I ask for Your Holy Spirit to come into my heart to guide my thoughts and actions. Thank You in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen!

    "... there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."  Luke 15:10
Let's discuss this letter anytime. Feel free to mark this up and ask whatever you want. You can call me at home (770) xxx-xxxx or my cell (404) xxx-xxxx
With the love of Christ,
Your Son 

Jesus is our way into heaven



An update:

My Dad had a heart attack April 2014
He survived but was in the hospital for two weeks. I went to his bedside and told him I hoped that he would make a complete recovery, but what if he had another heart attack and didn't survive next time. Have you thought about that one day you will die. Are you ready to go to Heaven or are you going to Hell. Let's be sure, it is not too late to make a decision.
He didn't want to hear about it and I found out he never read the letters I sent to him, not because he couldn't read but because he was not interested. I came back to the hospital the next day and told him this is the most important decision he would ever make in his entire life, but if you want me to keep my mouth shut and not say any more about it then let me know. He let me know that he doesn't want to hear about it. I continued my visit but did not say any more about the Lord. After he left the hospital he went into a nursing home.
Three weeks later I got a call early in the morning from my sister that my Dad had died.
He is now spending eternity in Hell. Don't let this happen to you.

Jesus is our way into heaven







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