I know a lot of people our age who are conceiving babies or have conceived in just the past few years. You bore a healthy boy whom I have enjoyed being around. He is a bright young lad. Boys grow into men and men are appointed by God to be the leaders of families (I Corinthians 11:3). We used to talk quite a bit and I'm glad we have established a relationship far enough to the point where I can talk to you about serious issues and have you take me seriously.
I want to kindly catch you up on where I am in my life right now and what has transpired in the last two years or so. I went to Las Vegas two years ago to find a job, among other reasons I'm sure you can figure out. I was out there for seven months and to say the least, the trip was a waste of time, and money. I only worked three of those months, I did all sorts of drugs, I got tied up with some less than respectable people. I told people that I learned a lot out there, but the truth is that I really didn't learn a lot at all. When I reflect on my tenure in Vegas, what really comes to mind is what happens when your values and priorities are not what they ought to be. You really do get what you put in, and the people that you hang around really do have a profound effect on what you think, how you act, and what you care about. These facts haven't really hit home with me until recently and I haven't /acted/ on these facts until just recently.
"/What does it profit, my brethren, if though a man say he has faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled; and you do not give them those things which are needful to the body;] what does it profit? Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, Yea, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works/" (James 2:14-18).
How many times have you seen people talk about improving themselves, but they don't make any changes in their lives first? Results come when we act on our thoughts and it can be tough to take those actions when we don't put ourselves in the proper environment.
I have always believed in Jesus and thought beyond a reasonable doubt that I was going to heaven. I can't remember the statistics, but I think that most of the U.S. population believes it is going to heaven. However, I knew that I was doing things that the Lord would not approve of and upon further study of the Bible I really started to feel convicted in my heart.
I was sitting at a friend's house smokin' a blunt as usual one afternoon and I was thinking about what I had accomplished in the last month. I asked myself if I was growing in any way, shape, or form, other than physically. The answer I came up with was "no." It bothered me that I insisted upon myself every day that I go hang out with friends and smoke weed. But at the same time I would do the same thing every day, inexorably. For a long time leading up to that particular afternoon, I found myself having that same afternoon. I was getting tired of not going anywhere with my life and got tired of feeling guilty for doing the things that I called "my routine."
So one day I just didn't do my routine. I got out. I spent some time to myself and did some "soul searching." I decided to finally obey God and try to do what He says instead of resisting Him. I think what most of us lack, especially the whacked out spoiled kids of our generation, is the realization of what is really going to happen to us when we die if we don't obey God. Some will say that the Bible was written by men to control them. These folks didn't study the Bible before making claims like this.
I have been reading the Bible and studying regularly for the past six months or so, and I have learned a lot. Did you know that the Bible was written over the course of 1600 years by 39 different people on three different continents and contains no contradictions historically, geographically, or theologically? This is amazing if you think about it. And we know that the Scriptures have not been altered, I'm sure you have heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls. They have been dated to be 200 years before the time of Christ. The Dead Sea Scrolls have a copy of Isaiah, (the book between Song of Solomon and Jeremiah in the Bible) It is nearly identical to the Isaiah we have in our Bibles today. I can tell you that you would be hard up to find a book written by men that doesn't have at least one or two contradictions in it.
Books, like the Muslim's book, the Koran, have several contradictions in them and the Koran was written by only one man. The Koran claims that the covenant made with Abraham did not cover all nations (Koran 2:125). But the Bible says: "/... and in thee shall all the nations of earth be blessed./" (Genesis 12:3). Muhammad said he believed in that which was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Jesus (Koran 2:136). He said that he made no difference between any of them (Koran 2:286). Since he has stated that he believes what was revealed to Jesus he ought to have believed Jesus when He said: "/I am the Son of God/" (Mark 14:61 ,62 ; John 14:1 ,2 ; 4:25 ,26 ; Matthew 27:43 ). But Muslims don't believe that Jesus is the Son of God. These are just a few of the problems in the Koran. The book of Mormon, another book that claims to be inspired by God also contains contradictions to the Bible as well as historical inaccuracies.
Why am I telling you these things? Do they matter? People like me and you, who weren't taught about the Bible from the git, have gone through life trying to find answers and live life by our own understanding. We generally view the Bible as something good, but since we haven't grasped the importance and the magnificence of it, as we grew up we cast it aside. No one has been able to prove the Bible wrong. It has the highest of moral standards, it is correct on every issue it addresses, all of the historical accounts in it match up with what archaeologists have discovered, etc. In books like Job, which is one of the oldest in the Bible, there are verses that talk about how the earth is round and how it just floats in space.
"/He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing. He binds up the water in His thick clouds, yet the clouds are not broken under it. He covers the face of His throne, and spreads His cloud over it. He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, at the boundary of light and darkness/" (Job 26:7-10).
Of course you know that other religions and popular science in ancient times have suggested things such as the world being flat, the god Atlas holding up the earth, and the Hindus believed that the earth was on the back of a giant turtle. The Bible has always been right because God Himself gave the words in it.
Again, why am I telling you these things? I want to urge you to consider the Bible as a manual for living as I have these past few months. I have proven to myself, just as anyone can, beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Bible is true and we can believe every word, including the promises of salvation and everlasting life in paradise. I want to partake in these things and I want you to be saved as well. At this very moment in time or whenever you start to consider this, I ask you to totally disregard anything you have ever seen another alleged Christian do or say because it should have no bearing on your servitude toward Christ. We are all required to do what's right regardless of what others around us are doing. Although he was a Hindu, I believe Ghandi said it right when he said, "you must be the example you wish to see in others."
The Bible is one hundred percent truth and we need to turn toward it to make our lives better and have our souls saved and be cleansed of wrong doing toward God. I don't know about you, but for a long time I always thought of God as being a Super Cop in the clouds waiting around with his radar gun of soul damning justice. This is not so. God wants everyone to be saved and He will never go back on his promise to do that for us if we turn to Him in repentance.
"/But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord God, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?/" (Ezekiel 18:21-23).
At this point some ask why they have to live up to Gods laws, but if you read the laws of God, they promote peace, wisdom, happiness, and safety. Isn't this what we all want? But again, how many people act on these things and make changes in their lives to make these happen? An attitude that makes one content with life can be found when he adopts the principles of God.
All too often you find people wanting more and more and more and they are never satisfied. This is no way to live. Besides, this has all been done to the fullest extent anyways and it has been proven that you cannot find purpose, or happiness for that matter if you simply indulge yourself. In the book of Ecclesiastes (the book between Proverbs and Song of Solomon in the Bible) King Solomon is the richest and wisest man ever and he decides to undergo every indulgence to the fullest. Since he is a very rich king he is able to do this. By the end of the book he has been famous, built a bunch of things, tried to just have pleasure all the time, he did every indulgence known to man and never found happiness. He found that true happiness and fulfillment comes from serving the Lord.
"/Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all/" (Ecclesiastes 12:13.
I know that this is true because since I have stopped chasing my desires and started to get more oriented with the things of God I feel a purpose and a contentedness that I never felt before. I want everyone to know God because now I realize what is at stake if we don't and I know that life is better if we let God in. I invite you as someone I care about to humble yourself and come out of the world. It is much better over here. :-)
I know how hard it is to set aside those worldly things that we love so much but at the same time hurt us. I don't know what it is about us humans we just do things like that.
"/He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe
is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten
Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world,
and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For
everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest
his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that
his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God/" (John
Another thing to consider is your son. I know that you want the best for him,
but action needs to be taken to ensure he is brought up to be a good man. Look
at what happened to us because we were never properly disciplined for the things
we did. (I can say this because I was a bad kid too.) Like me, you had a lot
of problems and caused a lot of despair and destruction to come upon yourselves
and your parents because you weren't brought up with wisdom in the home. Young
boys are a lot better off if they are brought up with wisdom instead of being
given whatever they vainly ask for. "/The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but
a child left to himself brings shame to his mother/" (Proverbs 29:15
Like I said before it is a lot better over here. I want you to be happy and I want your children to be happy. I hope you will ask some questions about the Bible soon and come to see how beautiful and refreshing God's words are and how much He really cares about us.
By Joshua Visga
Return to the General Articles page
Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /