IF WE NEVER MEET AGAIN...
It's very possible that our paths may never cross again...
I'm glad we had the opportunity to meet, but I realize that in this fast-paced world we may never see each other again. Still, I'm eager to share a discovery with you that has made a lasting difference in my life. What you have here in your hands sums it up.
Discovering our purpose for being here
Life was intended to be much more than just working to stay ahead of bills, living for weekends, and marking time between birth and death. Life was meant to be a very satisfying experience, not just an existence.
In fact, according to a very special book called the Bible, the purpose of life originally included friendship with God Himself in a perfect world of love and trust. It was possible because "God created [mankind] in His own image."1
He shared with them qualities like His own--intelligence, conscience, personality, speech, the ability to choose. The things that still give our lives meaning today.
Despite a great start, there came a time when the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, chose to go against one of God's instructions to them. The consequences were immediate. Their disobedience--what the Bible calls sin--broke their once-close relationship with Him.2 Even worse, sin's eventual result was physical death. Death opened the door to sin's final outcome, eternal death--separation forever from God.
From their day to ours human history can be summed up this way: "Although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God....The wages of sin is death."3
We have all followed in the footsteps of our forefathers. Disobedience. Deceit. Lies. Using others. Loving money. No time for God in our lives. No wonder our lives offend God...we offend our friends, even though they're sinners like us!
Restoring a broken relationship
As hopeless as it sounds, when mankind ruined things God had a solution. His plan: Have someone who had never done wrong take the place of everyone who had done wrong--that's all of us! An innocent substitute for guilty wrongdoers.
Two thousand years ago the plan went into action. Jesus Christ, God's Son, became one of us. In His 33-year lifetime as the unique God-Man, He fulfilled every requirement and expectation God ever had for us. He never once sinned against His Father or those around Him. In other words, Jesus qualified as the perfect substitute for all the rest of us.
His death on a cross was not the tragic end of the world's greatest teacher; it only appeared to be "just" another cruel Roman execution. Actually, in dying Jesus carried through with His desire to take the eternal death penalty for us all.
The Bible puts it this way: "God shows His love for us in that while we were all sinners, Christ died for us....that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Christ...suffered once for [our] sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God". 4
Because He is the one and only God-Man, Jesus' suffering equaled the eternal judgment in hell that we all would otherwise experience. That's how much He wanted to restore God's original purpose for us.
Jesus' resurrection from the dead three days after His burial (5) proved that, in paying the death penalty for us, He had also conquered death, not only for Himself, but for all those who believe in Him. That means those who trust God to forgive their sins will also share in Jesus' resurrection life forever in Heaven. 6
There's more. Those who admit that their sins caused Jesus' death and trust God to save them from sin's judgment receive eternal, spiritual life the moment they believe. Jesus put it this way, "I have come that they [who trust in Me] may have life, and have it abundantly." 7
That's the restoration of the lost original relationship and more!
Making a personal choice
Those are the basic facts of my most important discovery. Even if we never see each other again, I still want you to experience God's purpose for you. God offers you forgiveness and eternal life, but it's your decision. What will you choose--to prepare for eternity your own way or by taking God's way?
If you want to accept God's offer of eternal life, you can put your choice into words like these:
Dear God, I admit I have sinned against you many times in my life. I'm convinced that Jesus died in my place and took the judgment that I deserved for my sins. I accept your offer of forgiveness. I want the new life Jesus promises to those who believe in Him. Thank you for letting me find out how to know You!
Quotations from the Bible:
1 Genesis 1:27
2 Genesis 3
3 Romans 1:21, 3:23, 6:23,
4 Romans 5:8, John 3:16-17, I Peter 3:18
5 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
6 John 14:1-3
7 John 10:10.