What IF one of your family members, diagnosed with a deadly disease, personally wrote this letter out of LOVE for you?
"i'm dying! What if i don't make it through today? What IF tonight GOD says, 'That was your last breath -- your time on earth is over -- come UP to your real home!'
The IFs in life is the WHY to this letter -- because IF (by GOD's design) i don't make it through tonight, i want you to know that i love you. i don't want any loose strings left untied, any words that need to be said, left UNsaid. IF i were to leave this physical world because GOD has called me to the REAL world where He is -- then i must say what is MOST important in my heart.
Forgive me for trying to make you into a person other than who you are; for not being more forbearing and more accepting of our differences as potential gifts for each other; for not praying more often and more fervently for you... i do LOVE you!
Forgive me for not being more tenderhearted and more understanding towards you; for my lack of patience with the small stuff; for my selfishness... i LOVE you SO much!
Forgive me for putting on you my personal expectations of how a CHRISTian ought to act; for not being more easy-going and lighthearted with you; for being SO "wordy" rather than just being a listener... i SO LOVE you!
Forgive me for not acting more on the deep concern i felt for you; for not making the time to just be with you -- to just listen with the ears of my heart to your unspoken words... i LOVE you very much!
Forgive me for not having the answers to your doubts; for not being more empathetic... i LOVE you SO!
i am dying! And so are you. Who will leave this earthly life first, only GOD knows. But i have been impacted by this sense of urgency because of the deaths of dear friends -- and of my own impending one. DEATH is ALL the time stalking ALL of us, 24/7 -- whether we know the exact time or circumstance... each day is a gift -- or NOT.
Are you prepared? Is your "house" in order? Is your conscience clear? Are you prepared to meet the Righteous and Holy JUDGE -- our ALLmighty Maker -- face to face?
i know you believe different -- for our lifestyles demonstrate what we truly believe in our innermost hearts. But i hope you'll keep an open mind that you could be wrong in your beliefs. i hope that you will be transparently honest as your inner heart is laid bare as you examine these words...
TRULY, we've ALL sinned. We have ALL done something our conscience plainly told us was wrong. Whatever that wrong may be -- don't whitewash it by calling it a "mistake" or "character defect" or "weakness" or "he/she/devil made me do it" -- call IT what "it" IS -- SIN: doing what is not right according to GOD.
IF you've taken ANYthing that's not yours -- that is stealing... which makes you a thief. (Exodus 20)
IF you've told lies -- even "white" lies -- that makes you a liar. (Exodus 20)
JESUS said, "whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:28)
ALL the above are sins against a thrice-holy GOD; and whether we've just broken one or ten of GOD's 613 commandments -- we are guilty and deserve punishment: eternal separation from GOD forever...which is hell.
But it really is "easy" to escape punishment and enter into heaven -- ONLY because it cost GOD SO very much to be LOVE and yet still be the JUST and holy GOD that He is... so GOD the Creator Himself, died for His creation... for sinners like you... for sinners like me.
GOD gave GOD -- so that we may be saved from paying the penalty of our sin-debts -- which is HELL: eternal separation from GOD... forever separated from His love, His goodness, His mercy, His light, His blessings, His joy, His glory, His paradise, His heaven!
And if we think our own merits or good works are enough to enter into GOD's Kingdom -- consider Mother Teresa who did so much or the virgin Mary, the mother GOD chose for JESUS -- even they needed to be delivered from eternal death by the blood of the SON of GOD. And consider this -- if we even have one unforgiven sin -- even that one sin will shut the gates of heaven, but will open wide the mouth of hell to swallow up the unforgiven sinner into everlasting death.
But consider GOD's incomprehensible mercy and amazing grace -- even if you (or i) were the ONLY sinner in the whole universe, GOD would STILL give GOD -- His Son CHRIST JESUS -- to save you (or me) from hell. And it's not at all because of any "good" in us or in any "good" works we've done. It's because GOD SO LOVED His creation and SO HATES sin that HE died to make things right!
GOD in His righteous wisdom gave us the freedom to choose our destiny -- heaven with Him... or hell with satan and all his demons; and 'the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.' (Rev 21:8)
i've bared my heart to you because of the UNpayable amount of debt that JESUS paid for to set me free! And because i want to share with you the experience of having eternal life NOW -- and the REALITY of the JOY of my hope in CHRIST, the incredible PEACE He brings, the SUPERnatural confidence that bolsters me during difficult times.
You may or may not know of my personal sins -- but believe me when i say, "i've been made NEW!" But i am a changed person today only because CHRIST JESUS is the LORD of my life. i was as black as black can be! Yet it was the LORD JESUS who made me CLEAN on the inside and who is continually giving me the SUPERnatural POWER to live clean on the outside -- as i press on, one day at a time, to be-ing the person He has already destined me to be.
Don't we all want PEACE and JOY -- happily (blessed) ever after... in REALITY? The "happily ever after" will NEVER -- no, never ever -- NEVER happen on earth in anyone's lifetime. BUT when we receive JESUS as our Savior (Redeemer of all our sin-debts), as our LORD (Master, Ruler, King of our lives) -- He gives us eternal life (knowing GOD the Father and the GOD the Son -- CHRIST JESUS -- now... right NOW and forever). We are made new -- born again -- by the Holy SPIRIT of GOD... made children of GOD, so that NOW and forEVER we may call GOD -- ALLmighty Creator of the Universe -- our Father in TRUTH... in REALITY!
"FIVE MINUTES AFTER DEATH" -- by Pastor Adrian Rogers
Dear one -- CHOOSE today -- for tomorrow is not guaranteed. Ask GOD in all sincerity: 'GOD in Heaven -- have mercy on me! i am a sinner, too. i believe Your Son JESUS died for all my sins. Thank you, JESUS, for dying on the cross for me. i believe in Your resurrection -- You defeated death! Save me from the penalty of my sins. Cleanse my heart; renew my mind; change me from the inside -- be the LORD of my life -- today and forEVERmore! Amen.'
Heavenly FATHER -- in the faithful Name of Your Son, CHRIST JESUS -- AMEN!" \o/