The following letter was written to a friend of mine who is an unbeliever. In the end her unbelief came between our friendship. I have had many friends over the years that did not believe in Jesus or had differences of opinion about God, and we were still able to remain friends, but this time it was different. She was so adamantly against Christianity that I was not able to be myself around her for fear of offending her. Yet she offended me each time she denied Jesus as God, and her claim that the Bible is a Fairy Tale felt like a punch in the stomach.
I know that Jesus said, If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first…if they persecuted me, they will persecute you also… They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me… He who hates me hates my Father as well (John 15: 18, 20, 21, 23). He also said to his disciples, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves… All men will hate you because of me…When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another… (Matthew 10: 16, 22, 23). These same words apply to Christians today, but that doesn’t make it easier. He also told his disciples, if anyone will not listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town (Matthew 10: 14). In this case that is exactly what I did. But I still think about her and pray for her.
She claimed to have no fear of ghosts or evil spirits. One day, after a discussion between us about the spirit world, I loaned her my book, Wizards That Peep, A Journey into the Occult. It is a study of the occult written by Lutheran Theologian Siegbert W. Becker. It is basically a Christian perspective on the spirit world and the occult. It is informative and accurate, and a book I would highly recommend all Christians read.
The reaction she had to the book came as a complete shock to me. She called me the next morning to tell me she would be dropping the book off at my apartment. She exclaimed, you have no business even having a book like that in your house! It had scared her to the point where she couldn’t sleep and out of fearfulness had put it in her freezer claiming it was hot. So much for “no fear”.
I believe her fear was real. My intentions had not been to scare her, but to comfort her. It is my feeling, that the devil thought her easy prey, so he pounced. The apostle Peter warns, Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). But the devil and his demons hold no fear for those who have faith in Jesus. He promises believers his protection. We are reminded, Submit yourselves then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you (James 4:7, 8).
As for me, I am reminded, If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rest on you…if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name (1 Peter 4:13, 14, 16).
By printing this letter, I am hoping that my words will be a help to other Christians who may struggle with this same issue. I pray also that it will light the way for those who don’t yet know Jesus.
I feel so sad about what happened between us the other day (the book incident), but I don’t know how to fix it. Our differences in beliefs seem to be coming between our friendship. I love you as a friend and I want you to know that. We have good fun together and good laughs. We have many things in common, but not our spiritual beliefs and that is causing a wall to go up between us.
It’s difficult for me because the foundation of my life is based on Jesus Christ and what He did for me and for all people. I love God and all that I do, I do in service to, and out of love for, Him. In Him I have hope for eternity in spite of the fact that I am a sinner. His Spirit lives in me and it crushes me when you tell me it’s all just nonsense.
My heart sank the day you told me you don’t believe that Jesus is God and that you feel the Bible is just a big fairy tale. It hurts my soul. My heart hurts not for myself, but for the Lord who gave His life for me and for you and for all people. I fear for your soul. We can’t deny Jesus and still be a part of God’s family.
I guess I just don’t understand where your views come from. Maybe someone in your past turned you against God. Or maybe there was a life circumstance that turned you away from Him. Maybe if I knew, I would better understand. Life is hard sometimes, but this life is not all there is. It is just a path we have to travel to get to the prize which is to come on the other side of the river.
Often times people say they have faith, but faith in what? If your faith is not connected to something stable and unmovable what good is it? Does faith in oneself help anyone? Even when we have confidence in our own abilities we many times fail. We are all human and are born with a sinful human nature. Faith in myself does not help me because hard as I try, I am not able to always be 100% dependable and never perfect. Does having faith in a Dr. help anyone? Sometimes God allows us to think so but doctors aren’t perfect either. They know a lot, but they are only human too. They are limited in what they can do. They couldn’t heal Bob, as much as they would have liked to.
The only faith that counts is the faith we place in our God. He never changes and He always keeps His promises. My faith is the rope that attaches me to Jesus as my personal Savior. It’s my faith in Jesus that carried me through Bob’s illness. He had that same faith in Jesus. He knew that Jesus had a place prepared for him in heaven and he knew that that faith would carry him home because that is what Jesus promises us. God also promises us that we will see our fellow loved ones who have died in the Lord in heaven again when we are called home. So I know that I will see him again along with my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and all those I know who have died in faith.
Through faith in Jesus, I also have the confidence that He will protect me from evil, and by evil I am talking about spiritual evil – the evil that surrounds us every day, but we are unable to see with our human eyes. You say you are not afraid, but you are afraid. Why else would my book (Wizards That Peep) have upset you so much? It is just an informational book written by a man who loved the Lord and it was written from a Christian perspective to help people understand how serious the unseen evil in our world is. In the end he reminds his readers; “Our best defense is the gospel of God’s redeeming love in Christ, who has come to destroy all the works of the devil.” I can tell you that I personally have no fear of Satan or his demons. As a Christian I want no part of any of it and I shouldn’t, but I am not afraid of it because just the mention of the name “Jesus” will drive them away.
In spite of what you believe also, there is a Hell and it isn’t anywhere anyone would want to be, but heaven is not hard to access. All humans are born sinful, but Jesus lived a perfect life for us and suffered the punishment for sin on the cross in our place. He conquered death and Satan by rising from the dead three days later. On the last day He will come again and reunite the souls and bodies of all people. All who believe in Him will live with Him in heaven. There will be no more suffering or pain or sorrow there. Those who refuse to believe will live eternally in Hell.
No human can judge hearts. We must leave that to God. But God tells us in His Word everything we need to know for our salvation. It’s not hard and it’s not a fairy tale as you say. I could quote scripture to you, but you don’t believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God so there is no point. I can tell you that God loves you though. He loves each and every one of us as a father loves an only child. He wants you to be in heaven when your life here on earth is done. He tells us that in His Word, which again, I won’t quote to you because you think it is nonsense.
In the end, I want to be your friend. I am sorry if I offended you, but you offend me every time you tell me that you don’t believe that the Bible is God’s Word and especially when you tell me that Jesus is not God. You ask me for proof, but the Scripture is the proof and you don’t believe it so what can I do?
I believe. I love the Lord with all my heart and soul. It is who I am. I can’t change and I don’t want to. You claim it is a fairy tale, but for me it is hope. It is hope for lost sinners. It relieves the bondage of sin and guilt humans carry around which burdens them with depression and sadness. If there is no hope for eternity, what is left for us? To die? Not for me. I am sure of where I am going when I die. I am going to be with Jesus and with my family. I pray that the Holy Spirit will soften your heart. Please don’t hate me. I do love you. I am here and would welcome you any time you would want to stop and say hi.
Note: The “Bob” referred to in this letter is my former husband who died in February of 2016 of a terminal blood disease called Myelodysplastic Syndrome. God has a plan for each of His children. I am now remarried to a wonderful man. Weeping may remain for a night but rejoicing comes in the morning (Psalm 30: 5).