The Answer is Right Here

Dear Timmy,

I know this is a long letter, but please, take the time to read it. I believe it will help you.

As we left your mom's house that Saturday afternoon, my husband said, "your friend has AIDS". The thought hadn't occurred to me, but we stopped nearby and prayed for you. That night, Vicky confirmed. My heart has ached for you ever since. I slept very little that night. The Lord had me up praying for you often that night. Timmy, I know things probably seem hopeless right now. But I want you to know that there can be Hope in your life, a life filled with purpose. Whenever we pass through the valleys in life, Jesus Christ wants us to call on him for comfort. You see, He loves you Timmy. He loves you regardless of what you've done in your life, I know this first hand. A crisis without God is intolerable, but with God, it is manageable. You can live victoriously through this disease with Jesus Christ carrying you all the way.

You see, Timmy, we are all born in sin. The Bible says, "For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God." We all have to make a decision in our lives where we choose to go when we cease to exist here on earth. Since there is no sin in Heaven, we have to be forgiven of our sins before we die. The Bible says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord." Jesus wants us to choose to live with him eternally. But it's our choice to make. When we make that choice, and ask him to come in to our hearts, he leads us and guides us the rest of our lives. You see, he died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (He led a perfect life and was the only one who could), and to purchase a place in heaven for us, which he offers as a free those who will accept Him.

Some say that He didn't rise from the dead. We know that he did for there is much evidence attaining to this fact. One such piece of evidence is the fact that all but one of His disciples were eventually put to death for their refusal to cease from preaching the Gospel.

Consider this scenario...this guy that you've traveled with for three years, tells you that He is going to be put to death, but that he would rise again on the third day and then ascend to heaven, in full view of others. Then, just as He said, He is arrested, and sentenced to die on the cross. Three days after His death, He doesn't rise from the dead, but instead stays dead forever. Would you then go out to the nations preaching His gospel, even after the authorities threatened to put you to death if you didn't stop? NO WAY! Yet that's exactly what they did, they continued to spread the Gospel, even unto death (most of which where extremely violent deaths - beheaded). One was exiled to the Isle of Patmos, where God gave him the book of `Revelation'.

The fact that there are volumes of historical documents reporting the historical life of Jesus (that have nothing to do with the Bible) shows us that He indeed existed, but to prove that He is "The Messiah", we need only to look at the Old Testament (The Jewish Scriptures). Jesus was prophesied in the Old Testament over 2000 times. The first prophecy was 4000 years before His birth, in the first book of the Bible... Genesis 3:15 (He would be born of a virgin).

Other examples are: Isaiah 53:4-6, 12 (would suffer for us), Isaiah 35:5,6 (would work miracles), Psalm 69:8 (would be rejected by the Jews), Psalm 41:9 (would be betrayed by a friend), Zechariah 11:12 (would be sold for 30 pieces of silver), Isaiah 50:6 (would be beaten, scourged [skin shredded from beatings with leather straps holding shards of glass and clay chips, 39 times] and spit upon), Psalm 22:16 (would be nailed to a cross), Psalm 22:18 (the soldiers would cast lots for His clothes), Isaiah 53:12 (His death), Exodus 12:46 (not a bone was broken [tradition had the soldiers always break the legs of those on the cross so they could no longer push themselves up to breathe, and would then suffocate - but Jesus' legs were not broken]), Psalm 16:19 (His resurrection).

These prophecies were fulfilled in Galatians 4:4, Matthew 20:28, Matthew 11:4-6, John 1:11, John 13:18-21, Matthew 26:15, Mark 14:65, John 20:25, Matthew 27:35, Matthew 27:50, John 19:33, 36, Luke 24:6, 31, 34. If you ever have time, look them up and read them, they're amazing.

It is easy to see that Christianity is the ONE TRUE RELIGION because absent from all other religious writings is any sort of specific predictive prophecy. Buddha, Confucius, etc., nothing. In the case of the Koran, (the Scriptures of the Muslims), you only find the prophecy of Mohammed, that he would return to Mecca, a "self-fulfilling prophecy", that he himself fulfilled. This is quite different from the prophecy of Jesus, who said that He would rise from the dead.

Other religions also refer to Jesus as a `great teacher', `prophet', and a `good man'. They put him in the middle of their superstar lineup of "many ways to heaven". If that were true, then that in itself would be enough to discredit the other religions, because Jesus would also be the biggest liar that ever walked the face of this earth. He Himself said that He was God, "No man comes to the Father, but by me....I, and the Father are one." He would also be the biggest fool that ever walked this earth, because he preached that He was God so much, that He was beaten, scourged, and crucified for it. If He was only a `prophet' or a `teacher', as soon as they started to hammer those nails in His wrists, He would have changed His tune, quickly. But He didn't...Jesus was born to die that way for our sins.

The Jewish Scriptures (Christian Old Testament) and the Christian New Testament have several thousand prophecies of the most specific, concrete, and definite nature, two thousand of which have already come true. You see, Jesus is the Jew's Messiah also, however, most Jews just haven't recognized Him as such yet. Hundreds of thousands have, especially in their own homeland, Israel, as well as many in America (Their place of worship is a Messianic Synagogue) these are called `Messianic Jews'. All of the prophecies that the Jewish prophets spoke of in their Scriptures (we call the Old Testament) came true in Jesus. Prayerfully they will all come to know Him as their Messiah before it's too late.

Last, but certainly not least, some people believe that Christianity is a crutch that "religion is a crutch for the weak", like we have invented a god to whom we can flee for refuge. I've experienced many times of trouble in my life, but, as much as I revere God for His appealing aspects: His love, compassion, comfort, mercy, etc., there is also a threatening aspect of God, which makes earthly aspects of fear and trouble pale by comparison. You see, even though He is merciful and doesn't want to punish us (the Bible says, "God is love"), He is `Just' and must punish sin (the Bible says, "He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished"). Remember we are all born in sin because of Adam's first "decision to sin". You see, rather than us creating an imaginary god to whom we can flee, those who don't believe have created an imaginary world in which God doesn't exist, in order to flee from a `Just' God who hates sin. They will, unfortunately, answer to Him eventually.

Timmy, I sincerely hope that I haven't bored you with all of this. I just wanted you to understand that God loves you and he wants you to look to Him for comfort and eternal life. Please remember, Heaven is a free gift. We can't earn it, by doing good things, or going to church, or even praying. Nor is it deserved (there's nothing we can do to get there ourselves). We are all sinners, and can't save ourselves (the Bible says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It if a gift from God, not as a result of works, so that no one can boast.")

God came to us in the form of a man to show us the way to heaven. The Bible says, "In the beginning (of time) was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and Word was God, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (my explanations in parentheses). Jesus lived a perfect life and died on the cross in our place, for our sins, and through that act, we receive heaven, IF we receive Him through faith. Therefore faith is the key to heaven.

There are three kinds of faith:

Temporal faith, praying for your kids/family, praying before you get on a plane, etc. (temporary).

Intellectual faith, knowing that Jesus is God. The Bible says "even the devil believes, and shudders" and we know that the devil isn't going to heaven.

Saving faith, trusting in Jesus Christ ALONE for our eternal life.

Understanding and accepting these things is all there is to Christianity. After we understand, we pray and ask Him to come in and change us. Timmy, although you knew me before I was a Christian, you didn't know me during the drug years. I was a frequent cocaine user. It wasn't too many years before that wasn't good enough any more. Although I didn't use heroin, I was running cocaine. I know I could have come into contact with HIV through sharing needles, but didn't. In addition, I used to go to bars often with the intent of "not coming home alone". I lived a very dangerous and lost lifestyle. But just when I was in the pits of life and there was no where else to look but up, I saw Jesus standing there with His arms open wide, asking me to come to Him.

You see, we are created with a God-shaped hole in our soul. We go throughout life attempting to fill it with everything but God. Sometimes we even go to church every Sunday (works) thinking we are filling that God-shaped hole. But we soon realize, that's just "religion".....He wants more than that, He wants "relationship". Christians are called the "Bride of Christ" because of the tremendously intimate relationship he desires to have with us. He created us to have fellowship with Him. I'm sure you've known Christians before they were a Christian, and you know the changes that took place in their lives. That's because the Bible says, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, the old man has passed away, behold all things become new." We don't make the change....He does!

Anyway, I hope it all makes sense to you now. I know Christianity seems so complex, yet it is the most simple message in the world, "For God so loved the world, that He sent us His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, has everlasting life".

Timmy, do you want to know that you have eternal life with Jesus in Heaven? All you have to do is pray and ask Jesus to come in to your life, forgive you of your sins, and begin to rule and reign in your life. He wants to so badly, and I guarantee you that if you do, He will fill your life with hope and joy, even in your time of crisis. You will always know that he is carrying you through your valleys.

If you have decided to ask Jesus to come in to your heart, just pray this simple prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus,

I am a sinner. I have not lived the life that you created me for. I know that you love me because you died for me. I thank you for going to the cross to die for my sins. If I was the only person on this earth 2000 years ago, I know you would have gone to the cross just for me. Lord Jesus, I ask you now to forgive me of my sins. I ask you to come in to my life and be by my side forevermore. I want to live with you in Heaven for eternity. Fill me now with your Holy Spirit, the comforter. Help me to grow in you Lord. Help me get to know you through your Love Letter to me, the Bible. Thank you for saving me for eternity.

In Jesus name, Amen

Timmy, if you prayed that prayer and meant it (Jesus knows your heart), your name is now written down in the Lamb's Book of Life (found in Revelation). The angels are singing and rejoicing in the heavenlies. You now have a new life in Christ. Write this date down as it is the most important birthday of your life. He will always be there for you Timmy. He is omnipresent (everywhere), right by your side.

I have enclosed the "FOOTPRINTS" poem, which I'm sure you've seen before, but it might offer reassurance to you now. God Bless you, Timmy! We've been praying for you since we left you, and everybody on our prayer chain has been as well. Please call me if ever we can do anything for you.

Linda Clements


One night I had a dream.
I was walking along a beach with the Lord,
and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
In each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints,
side by side in the sand.
One was mine and one was the Lord's.
When the last scene of my life appeared before me,
I looked back, and to my surprise,
I saw that during the lowest
and saddest time of my life,
there was only one set of footprints!

"Lord," I cried,
"you said that once I decided to follow you,
you would walk beside me all the way.
But during the most troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why you left my side
when I needed you the most."

The Lord turned and looked at me,
His eyes filled with love.
"My precious child," He said,
"I have never left you.
During your times of trial,
where you only see one set of footprints,
that was when I was carrying you."

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