By Justin Edwards
The following message is being sent to all friends on my personal facebook page. Facebook limits the length of private messages so I am using the blog to allow the reader to continue reading here. I invite anyone to read this important message.
I will be deleting this facebook page soon as I will be communicating exclusively from the facebook page of my blog, "Airo Follow":
I am sending this to you for a few reasons:
1) First and foremost I did not want anyone to be caught off guard and wonder why I might have deleted them as a friend if they are not currently a friend of "Airo Follow".
2) I wanted to give you an opportunity to continue following my posts or keep up with me should you desire to do so.
3) Should you decide not to "friend" my other fb profile, I wanted to say "farewell" and invite you to do so any time in the future.
I have had this personal profile for nearly 2 years and it has been a joy to have. Since I started my blog in February, it has been difficult to "maintain" 2 fb pages. This page has become less personal and I do not see a beneficial reason to continue posting here.
It has been a pleasure being updated with old friends that go back as far as elementary school, even if we rarely, if ever, participated on each other’s pages. Facebook has been a valuable tool in this regard, and should this be the end of our "virtual friendship", I wish you the best. It would be my privilege for you to friend me on my blog's fb page, but I will leave that to your discretion and won't solicit your interest beyond this message.
If this might be our last contact, I wanted to take one last opportunity to share the Lord Jesus Christ with you if you do not know Him already, or more importantly, if He does not know you.
*WAIT*, please don't look away. I ask you to take just a brief moment of your time to read what I have to say. I am speaking to you now as a friend and from the love of my heart. I have no other motive than to share the One thing – the One Person – who has the power to change your life forever, literally. So please, whether you profess to be a Christian or not, I ask that you continue reading.
I send this message to you out of obedience to fulfill what God has commanded of every Christian - to fulfill His Great Commission:
Mark 16:15 "And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
I am sure by following my posts over these last couple of years, you might consider me "religious", a committed follower of Jesus Christ, or even a crazy fool. Many of you who have known me over the last 12 years or so would likely see a dramatic change from who I used to be and who I am now. I can say with confidence there is only one Person who is responsible for this, and that is Jesus Christ.
He saved me. For nearly 20 years I professed to be a Christian and looking back, I cannot say with certainty that I was indeed a Christian for all of those years. When I started comparing my life to what the Word of God says, I noticed I was largely a contradiction to what the Bible defines as a believer in Jesus Christ (please watch the video below).
And then He broke me. I realized my wretched sin was such an offense against a Holy God. The very sins I took pleasure in were the very sins that nailed Christ to the bloody cross. And each time I rebelled against God, the nail was hammered deeper, the thorns ripped His brow further, the lacerations on His back stretched wider, the agony of a tormenting death grew harsher, and the weight of sin on Christ got heavier. My sin nailed Him to that rugged cross, and it ripped my heart out. That is the day I sorrowed over my sin, and that was the day my sin was covered by His precious blood through faith and repentance.
Being a Christian is not just a label. Having a simple or generic belief in "God" or a "higher power" is not "good enough" for you to go to heaven. One is not a Christian because their parents are or because they go to church. Even saying a prayer once when you were a kid does not make you a Christian. Further, your acts of service and charitable deeds do not ensure your way to heaven any more than the detestable criminal behavior of Adolf Hitler would ensure him access to heaven. In fact, many adults can profess a belief in Jesus and claim they are a Christian, but that does not necessarily mean they are saved.
And here's why:
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
A Christian means you have been born again and have been made a new creation in Christ. When God saves you, He changes you. He gives you a hunger to seek Him in His Word, to commune with Him through prayer, and to seek the fellowship of other believers. At the moment of salvation, He begins a process in you to conform you to His Son Jesus Christ. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds, and we grow to hate the things God hates, and to love the things God loves. We grow intolerant of the offensive things we use to participate in because God changes our very desires as we seek Him in all areas of our lives.
If your life is no different than before you began professing a belief in Christ, or your lifestyle is no different than your unbelieving friends, you must examine yourself. If the likelihood is pretty slim that someone might consider you a Christian based on your lifestyle alone or because you never talk about Jesus because "your faith is personal", you might want to seriously consider if you are truly saved. But don’t take my word for it, you need to go to the Source and back up what I’m saying.
You need to pick up a Bible.
I have heard it said, and correctly so, that if you do not have a new relationship with the Bible, and if you do not have a new relationship with sin, then you do not have a new relationship with God.
The Word of God tells us in 2 Corinthians 13:5,
5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
We are called to examine ourselves. If we cannot pass the test of what the Bible defines as a Christian, then we will be disqualified, which means we will end up in hell if we continue down this path. There are so many who believe they are saved and they will find out the tragic truth of their eternal fate when it is too late. According to Matthew 7:23, Jesus will tell many people that He never knew them, although they professed to believe in Him:
"And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’"
That means many professing Christians are in hell today, and many professing Christians will die and go to hell in the future. That is why it is so important to make sure that you truly believe in Jesus Christ, and the only way to do that is to read the Bible. And don’t only read it, but do what it says (James 1:22) for that is the evidence that we are saved. We cannot rely on what people have told us from behind pulpits, or what assurance friends have given us, or what our own hearts tell us - for the Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9,
"The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?"
We must go to the Word of God to see if we are truly saved and will surely spend eternity in heaven with Jesus. If you profess to be a Christian, the best place for you to start is in the book of 1 John (towards the end of the New Testament). Here you will find many examinations to test your faith, yet you will also find assurance of salvation if you are truly saved. But if you have never picked up the Bible before, or very rarely read what it has to say, then that should give you great cause for concern.
2 Peter 1:10-11 says,
"10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
If you are not willing to examine salvation with the Word of God, then you are probably not saved.
As I said, when God saves us, He changes us from the inside out. It is not possible to remain a fruitless, carnal Christian for all the days of your life. You cannot love Jesus Christ and love the world and the things of the world at the same time. If your lifestyle is one that pursues self-seeking interests and the pleasures of the world instead of pursuing the holiness of God and the things of God, then you have much to fear until you come to the cross of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8).
This is why I believe pride to be the greatest sin - because it is pride that keeps people from coming to the knowledge of the truth. It is pride that makes people think they have need of nothing. It is pride that many professing Christians believe they can "believe" in Jesus yet live any way they want without ever pursuing the glory and holiness of God. And it is pride that will send many to an everlasting death in hell.
The truth is, you will act on what you believe. Belief is expressed by action. The more you believe something, the more you will act upon that belief. If you profess to have faith in Christ, the proof of that will be in the life you live. True faith yields action; true faith yields obedience.
True faith obeys.
The Christian life is not about following a list of rules (far from it – that would be stale and boring); rather, it is about loving God with all of your mind, heart, soul, and strength. So as we grow to love God more, our love for the world and the things of the world will naturally fade away. As we depend on Him for everything and pursue Him like we would pursue the love of our lives (for that is who God should be to us), He will give us the strength to overcome sin and be faithful to Jesus Christ through obedience to His revealed will.
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
He also said in John 10:27,
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."
This same Jesus said, “you must be born again” (John 3:3)(by the way, take a few days to read the Gospel of John to find out just who God is and what He did for you). This means you must come to the understanding that sin is a grave offense against God. You understand that you have broken His Law. Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death (hell), but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23 says we all fall short of the glory of God.
We must realize our sinfulness and its just punishment and we must realize that Jesus is the only one who can save us. We must trust in Him alone for our salvation (that means you cannot work for your salvation, whether that is works of righteousness, church rituals and traditions, or being "good enough"). We must then submit our lives to the risen Lord Jesus Christ by repenting of our sins (turning away from your sinful lifestyle) and turning towards God to commit our lives to Him - that is when you will be saved. That is when your sins will be forgiven. That is when you desire God more than the world and Christ becomes more valuable to you than anything else.
That is when you will receive eternal life.
It becomes the end of you and the end of any control you have over your life. In fact, you become dead to yourself and your own desires, and you completely transfer everything that you are to everything that God is. When that happens, Jesus becomes your life and He will begin to change you from the inside out by the Holy Spirit. When God has control of you, you will begin to experience the everlasting joy that is in Christ. The Hope within you will be evident to those around you, and the love of Christ will shine through you as you become more like Him.
This is not a call for you to come get “your best life now”. No, it is a call for you to lay your life down for Jesus Christ because He is worthy. He laid His life down for your sake, and it is the greatest act of love this world has ever seen.
It is not a promise of happiness. No, it is a call to suffer for His name’s sake. It is not a promise of material blessings. No, it is a promise that no matter the difficult trials and tribulations you go through, He will pull you through it. It is not a promise that you will not face persecution. No, in fact, if you follow Christ, you are promised just that – persecution, even unto death. And yet, His glorious resurrection proves that one day we all will be resurrected – some of us to eternal life, and some of us to eternal destruction.
This is a call for you to live!
If you have counted the cost and are willing to forsake it all for Jesus Christ, you are ready to be His disciple, as Jesus Himself said in Luke 14:33,
"So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple."
When you value the Lord Jesus Christ more than anything else, that is when you are able to forsake everything for His precious gift of Life. Do you not want Life?
I understand this message has been long, but there is just so much I want to tell you about Life in Christ. It is so important for you to understand this temporary life we have on earth is not the end of ourselves, it is only the beginning. The decision you make to follow or reject the Lord Jesus Christ will determine where you spend the rest of eternity. Even 100 trillion years is still a vapor in the wind in the backdrop of the eternal. You will either spend forever with the King of kings and Lord of lords, benefiting from the eternal inheritance He offers you, or you will spend forever under the same judgment the devil and his angels will be sentenced to in the lake of fire.
This is no trivial matter. This is serious business. You are not promised another breath from your lungs or beat from your heart. The Lord Jesus Christ could return before you wake up in the morning, but then it will be too late. Do you not want to be absolutely sure where you will spend eternity?
I love you and it's why I have told you the truth.
Although this may be a blessing to a few people, it is likely that more of you may hate me or consider me a fool. Some of you may hate me while you profess to be a Christian. But that’s ok. It is well worth the price to tell you how you can receive life. It is worth telling you that you can be set free from the bondage of the world, from the bondage of your sin, from false hope, from false security, and from an eternity absent the love, grace, and mercy of Almighty God.
There is only one truth, and the source of it is Jesus Christ. No one wants to be lied to, so isn't it worth your time to search whether or not what you believe is actually true? How do you know that which you believe is really real?
I care for you and I love you, no matter the relationship we might have. Should you desire to learn more about the free gift of Grace and what it means to be a born again Christian saved and secured for life and eternity, then please never hesitate to contact me through the Airo Follow facebook page. You can also reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My blog is rich in resources on these matters, and I pray God draws you by His Spirit to search for the Truth, which is the only thing that can set you free in this life and the life to come.
Thanks for taking the time to read this message. I will miss the ones I'll never hear from again, but because of my love for you, it was necessary for me to share this with you one last time. I do hope this won't be the end of our contact.