A Letter to Rose French

John Piper (photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune)

Star Tribune columnist Rose French wrote an article about Pastor John Piper’s transition from his role as the lead preaching pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church. You can read that article in its entirety here: “Fiery preacher living pulpit, but this won’t be his last word.”

That article inspired me to write a letter to Ms. French, which I e-mailed to her. Below is that letter in full.

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Dear Rose French,

I read your article in the December 30th Sunday paper about Pastor John Piper. Even though you made several references to John Piper’s “fiery” preaching against sin, and even though John Piper himself, as you noted in your article, “makes no apologies for his theology,” it is my earnest prayer for you that you might come to see that such teaching is absolutely liberating, life-giving, and altogether precious. It is not dour and old-fashioned as many believe.

It is very loving for a doctor to tell his patient who’s been suffering with headaches for months that she has a brain tumor the size of a golf ball and that it needs to be removed immediately or she will die. In fact, it would be hateful for him not to tell her. That’s Pastor John’s tone when he “preaches judgment against sinners”. It is a very brave, gracious, loving act, especially when it’s coupled with the news that there’s a cure!

One does not have to look too deeply to see that humanity has a serious problem. In the wake of the school shooting at Sandy Hook elementary, Governor Dan Malloy well said, “Evil visited this community.” Evil is real and manifests itself all around us every day. But it’s not isolated to crazed gunmen. The same evil manifests itself when I speak harshly and act selfishly with my wife. It manifests itself when children rebel against their parents and parents abuse their children. It is at the root of every broken relationship you’ve ever experienced, Ms. French.

You and I and all of us are suffering terrible headaches, but it’s not hateful for a man, perhaps a man like Pastor John, to come along and tell us that there’s something deeper causing those headaches—a spiritual cancer, if you will—a cancer that Christianity calls sin. It’s the beginning of hope. Now that we know what the problem is, we can finally begin to search for a solution.

Of course, the story of Jesus found in the Gospels offers such a solution. (This is the part of Pastor John’s preaching that you didn’t include in your article and that I desperately want you to know!) You don’t have to let the spiritual cancer that has you in its grip right now in this very moment win. There’s a man sent from God 2,000 years ago who lived a perfect life. He never sinned. He perfectly fulfilled every last one of God’s laws. He wasn’t infected with the disease that infects all the rest of us. That Jesus died on a Roman cross and in so doing accomplished two things. One, he suffered the punishment that God demands for breaking his good laws. If God didn’t punish evil like the murder of 20 defenseless children and the reputation-killing remarks I’ve made about my friends and family, then he wouldn’t be a just judge. So Jesus offered to take that punishment (and did so on the cross) to fulfill that demand.

Number two, Jesus credits his perfect life to all those who believe in him and who receive him. That is, when a person embraces and welcomes and trusts and hopes in Jesus as his or her only hope, God credits Jesus’ perfect life as if that person had lived a perfect life. The separation that exists between God and man due to man’s sin is removed, and Jesus reconciles the two.

I am in awe of it again as I type these words to you, Ms. French, and it is my prayer that such realities would fall on your ear not as harsh and archaic but as liberating and beautiful.

Thank you for your story about this beloved man who has offered hope to many hurting, cancer-ridden sinners like myself. Yes he rightly identified the cause of my headaches, but he also held out for me a beautiful cure that has been the source of more joy to my soul than anything else I’ve ever tasted. May you come to share in my joy.

Grace and peace to you,
Eric Evans

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

Sandy Hook Elementary

This story feels extremely close and personal to me for two reasons.  For starters, just over three weeks ago I was involved in an incident that, at the time, was believed to be a shooting in a mall in Omaha, Nebraska.  (Read my account of that night here.)  The terror of those dream-like moments remains all too fresh and gut-wrenching.

Secondly, I work as an English as second language teacher in a K-8 school in inner-city Minneapolis.  The majority of my students are between eight and nine years old.  The thought of encountering a crazed gunman intent on killing innocent children in my classroom is absolutely sickening.  From time to time I’ve thought about what my reaction would be.  I pray to God it would be a brave, self-sacrificial reaction rather than a cowardly, selfish one.

Watching the news, the question posed over and over again is “Why?”  Why did this happen?  How is it possible that someone could do something like this?  Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy said it this way: “Evil visited this community.”  And in the end, that is exactly why something like this happened.  Evil is at the root of this tragedy.  Evil is real, and it manifested itself in a terrifying way in an elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

We human beings are a broken race.  God created us for glory.  God created us for joy at heights we are currently unable to fathom.  But as the story in Genesis goes, Adam and Eve chose to rebel against God’s good and righteous rule.  They cast God off the throne of their lives and set themselves up in his place.  And in this way evil entered the world.  And it has plagued us ever since.  The singular cause of school shootings and broken families and fights with one’s spouse is found in the rupture that exists in mankind’s relationship with the God that created and loves them.  It is no small wonder that when we turn our backs on the Light we find ourselves in darkness.

So evil is not isolated to the hearts of psychotic gunmen in elementary schools.  It’s a universal reality that exists in the hearts of each and everyone of us.  Evil visited Sandy Hook on Friday to be sure.  But it also visited 10th Avenue South (my street) just this morning.  In fact, it lives there.  It lives in me.  The evil that drove a man to kill children in an elementary school in Connecticut is the same evil that lurks in the depths of my selfish, arrogant, rebellious heart.  And it’s the same evil that resides in yours.

As a result I need a Savior.  You need a savior.  And that may be the most incredible news of all.  There is one.  His name is Jesus.  The God-man Jesus Christ left his home in heaven and entered a cruel and violent world to be treated cruelly and violently and in so doing to make a way for sinful mankind like you and me and gunmen from Connecticut to be reconciled to their good and holy God.

Such evil will be repaid in full in one of two ways.  Jesus taught that either the perpetrator will pay for his own evil deeds in a literal, eternal hell, or Jesus himself would take the punishment on himself and pay it for all those who see him and believe in him.  Embrace Jesus today.  Come to him and submit to him.  Cling to what he did for you as your only hope for reconciliation with your all-satisfying Creator.

May God be pleased to shine the Light of the world, Jesus, into the darkness that looms over Sandy Hook Connecticut–the very same darkness that hangs over the heads of us all.

Peace to you.

Related Links:
“Shots Fired”
Huffington Post’s account of events
CNN’s account of events
The Good News of the Gospel

Pleasing Santa, Pleasing God

“You’d better watch out. You’d better not pout.
You’d better not cry; I’m telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town!
He sees you when you’re sleeping.
He knows when you’re awake.
He knows when you’ve been bad or good,
so be good for goodness sake!”

So goes the famous Christmas song. Now, I’m not about to knock the song or the jolly ol’ elf that the song’s about. (I enjoy belting it out as hardily as anyone whenever they play it on the radio. Just ask my wife. In fact, here’s a link to the song on YouTube in case you’re in need of a quick Christmas fix.) I would, however, like to make a crystal clear distinction between Santa’s take on morality and God’s.

As the Christmas song so clearly spells out, to please Santa, all you’ve got to do is tip the scale slightly towards good, and he’s satisfied. Ensure you’ve told more truths than lies and that you’ve been nicer to your sister more times than you’ve been mean to her, and you’ve got it in the bag guaranteed. It does not work that way with God. It cannot.

To understand the reason for this, you’ve got to start to think in a way that, perhaps, you never have before. I beg you to at least hear me out. You see, Santa merely requires 51% good behavior for you to make it on his nice list. Your good must merely outweigh your bad. God has much higher requirements. To be accepted by God—that is, to make it on God’s good list—you’ve got have 100% good behavior 100% of the time.

“But that’s not fair!” you object. “No one is that good! What kind of God would condemn someone to the naughty list for 1% bad behavior?” Well, let’s examine for a moment the true extent of even 1% bad behavior. Any bad behavior is in its essence bad because it’s an affront to God. That is, when you or I do something wrong, the reason it’s wrong is because it is an act of rebellion against the King of the universe. Wrong is wrong because it violates what God has declared to be right. God is a good King. His laws are good. His decrees are perfect. To look him in the face and say that you’ll do whatever you darn well please regardless is an infinitely heinous crime because God is infinitely worthy of complete love and obedience. It only takes one act of rebellion to be a traitor and thus find yourself on the naughty list. So 1% bad behavior is not as light an offense as we often think. Any wrong deed—from fudging on your taxes to cold-blooded murder—is at its essence a flouting of God’s law. Any sin is tantamount to spitting in the very face of the very King of the universe. No sin, not even the smallest of them all, is to be taken lightly.

“But isn’t God a God of love and forgiveness?” Yes! To his very core! The way he accomplishes forgiveness, however, is not by merely sweeping your bad behavior under the rug of the universe and letting it go. He can’t—better said, he won’t—overlook such blatant rebellion against his good laws. The reason for this is that he’s just. If a judge looked into the eyes of a convicted killer and said, “I know you’re guilty, but you know what? I’m going to let you go. I’m going to forgive you regardless of what the law says,” that judge would not be a just judge and would immediately lose his seat on the bench. So it is with God. Crimes so atrocious demand retribution. Every moral fiber in our bodies confirms that.

So God provided another way. God made a way for him to be both just and merciful at the same time. Enters Jesus. Jesus, the perfect Son of God, came to this world and lived a perfect life—a life 100% pleasing to God. Then he died on a Roman cross. There God poured out upon him the just punishment that wrong deserves. The innocent died for the guilty so that the guilty might be made innocent. Think of it as a great exchange. Jesus takes your sins upon him and endures the punishment that they deserve, which is death (Romans 6:23), and in the place of your sins, he credits to you his perfection (2 Corinthians 5:21). He offers you the 100% perfect life that God requires of you.

In Jesus’ death, God’s demands for justice were met and God made a way for amnesty to be held out to traitors. “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out,” Jesus said (John 6:37). “This is will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:40).

What must you do to enjoy God’s favor? “Look on the Son and believe in him.” To believe in Jesus is to receive him (see John 1:12). It’s to embrace him like a hungry man embraces bread. Do you see what Jesus has done to pay for your bad behavior and do you believe in that Jesus?

You’ve really got no other options open to you. Every time you’re even slightly mean to your sister, you’re acting in open rebellion against the God who said to love others as you love yourself. But God has made a way for estranged traitors to find themselves again reconciled to God. And it’s not through 51% or 75% or even 99% good behavior like Santa requires. It’s through the 100% good behavior of the 100% good Son of God who died in your place and who credits his perfect life to your account in order that you might live before a holy God. Reach out and embrace him today.

To read more about the good news of God sending his Son into the world to save sinners, click here.

Newfound Song’s One-Year Anniversary

My blog turns one
In November of 2011 I began this blog, mostly as an outlet for all the thoughts and poems I had bouncing around my heart and head.  My desire for this site, as stated in the “About this Blog” page, remains the same: “May my words here be songs to your ears.  May the result be a sense of wonder at the greatness of God in saving sinners and a sense of hope that he’s worth trusting in yourself.”  My hope is that these words–these new songs of a man given to him by the God who pulled him up out of the pit and set his feet on solid rock–might affect your heart in such a way that you see him as good and begin to love him and trust him and fear him yourself.

Looking back over this past year
The first poem published on this blog was “Unrestrained.”  My first devotional, besides the welcome, was called “Why I’m a Christian.”

Some of my favorite posts over the past year include:

Feel free to share what you find here with others.  Grace and peace to you as you read.

Click here to read more about the author.

Living (and Dying) in Hope

The young oak tree’s slender branches flitted in the late autumn wind. A few dead leaves held on for dear life against the merciless onslaught, but they, too, would surely succumb before the first snow. It had been exquisite just months before—the beneficiary of spring’s endowment of life and green. But that was then. And now, on the brink of Queen Winter’s coronation, naked, lifeless branches were all that were left of the tree’s prior glory. Beholding such a tragic scene, it hit me: This was no accident. By design, the Almighty had let this young tree die.

His out-turned thumb upraised, a man ravaged by cancer posed for what would be one of the last pictures ever taken of him. His gentle smile hid well the blows that life’s autumn wind had been dealing him. He had been so energetic and full of life just months before. But that was then. And now, at the end of his arduous journey, only a shell of the man he had been remained. When he finally closed his eyes for the last time, it was clear that this was no fluke of chance. By design, the good and gracious Father on high had let this beloved man die.

Another man’s blood-soaked hair began to harden in the frigid air of a darkened sky. His out-stretched and out-of-socket arms had slumped in a very unnatural fashion—as had his whole body—and it appeared he might tumble off the beams of his execution at any moment. He had been a regal herald of life and love just months before. But that was then. And now, the victim of an insidious plot, what was left of his scourged and hated body hung exposed as an example to all of what one earns as a rebel against Caesar and as an outsider to man-centered religion. Viewing this ghastly scene some 2,000 years later, it’s striking: This was no mere happenstance. By design, the merciful and just Guard and Guardian of all creation watched as he let his dear Son die.

Wintering trees and dying men suddenly take on new meaning in light of the death of the Son of God. God didn’t merely let his Son die. He let his Son die in hope that his death would result in the rescue of many. He doesn’t merely let trees lose all their leaves and expire each fall. He lets them die in hope of the coming spring. And God doesn’t merely let his deeply-loved creations weaken and fail physically. He lets them die in hope that their last breath here will mark their first in his presence.

This life is a hallway, and death is the door at its end that our good God lets his beloved children pass through on their way to something better. He himself is that something better. We can have the hope that come cold, cancer, or crucifixion, there is a good design in it, and an amazing hope awaits us just beyond it. You can have this hope today. “God is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”

Gary Fiscus, a long-time music educator, passed away on Friday, September 7, 2012 after a long battle with cancer.

Living the Gospel

This quote hit me square between the eyes:

It is possible (but not right) for baptized believers to act in their lives as though the gospel were not true. How many conservative husbands are outraged if some liberal preacher says that Jesus did not rise from the dead, when their daily treatment of their wives makes the same statement? At least the liberal only states his heresy occasionally. (Douglas Wilson, Reformed Is Not Enough, p. 168, as quoted in John Piper’s article “John’s Crazy Joy: More on Bridegrooms and Purification“).

What does the message of the gospel have to do with how I treat my wife?  Only everything.  The gospel is my blueprint as a husband for how I live with and relate to the woman with whom I share my life.  The reason for this is found in the very nature of marriage, explained in Ephesians 5:

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish (vv. 25-27).

The gospel is the message that Christ came and gave himself for his church.  He died so that the church might live.  That’s the essence of the gospel, and that’s the very essence of my role as a husband.  That’s how I am to love my wife.  I am to give of myself for her.  The cost?  My life.  The goal?  Her good.  If I don’t live this way, I deny the gospel I claim to believe in because it’s that very gospel I am called to live out in my marriage.

Help me, Father, to live this way.  After nearly four years of marriage (how time flies!), it is easy to forget.  I love you, my beautiful wife.  I am thankful to God for your and for your grace towards me when I fail to love you like I should.

Greater than the Temple

In Matthew 12:6, Jesus makes an incredible statement. Looking into the eyes of the Pharisees (the Jewish religious establishment of Jesus’ day), Jesus states, “I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.”

To understand the shock value such a statement must have had, think for a moment about what the temple represented for a Jew in Jesus’ day. The temple was God’s dwelling place. It was where God was. It was “God’s house” on earth. It was where God came down and met with his people. His glory resided there. He spoke to his people there. Atonement for sin was made there. The entire Jewish religious system was centered around and represented by the temple. I don’t think I could overestimate the importance of the temple in Jewish life, Jewish culture, and in the hearts of the Jewish people. Even today, the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem (the remains of a wall that surrounded the temple that existed in Jesus’ day, the temple itself having been destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.) is considered a holy site and continues to be greatly revered. And then here comes Jesus and says, “You know, something greater than the temple is here.” Whatever Jesus is talking about, it’s got to be absolutely astounding.

I think Jesus’ point by saying that something greater than the temple was upon them was that the Pharisees had completely missed the point altogether. Here the Pharisees are worrying about fulfilling their religious codes to the letter while extorting widows and defrauding their parents. They keep the temple building immaculate while the poor lie naked and dirty in the streets. They fulfill every external rule they had while breaking the very core of God’s law in their hearts. The reason the temple and the Jewish law existed was to move people toward loving God more and loving other people more. That doesn’t mean the law or the temple wasn’t important. It simply means they were secondary. The very truth upon which God’s law to man was based now stood before the Pharisees’ faces, and they completely missed it.

Jesus is greater than any temple, any priest, any system, or any religious code. He is the reason for which God gives men a temple, or priests, or a religious system or code. Jesus is the sign to which all those things point. That doesn’t mean signs aren’t good or even that they’re unimportant. It simply means that they, in and of themselves, are not the point at all. In fact, their entire purpose is to point people away from themselves to a greater truth: Jesus! And he was standing right in front of them! And they didn’t see him.

It thrills my soul that Jesus is greater than the temple. He’s greater than my Bethlehem Baptist Church membership. He’s greater than any church building. He’s greater than any organizational structure my church or any church has set up. He’s greater than any ministry. He’s greater than any doctrinal statement. He’s greater than the standard of ethics I’ve set for myself. He’s greater than my marriage and food and every other good thing that God designed in this earth. And the reason that he’s greater is because everything else serves but one purpose: to point people to Jesus. For “all things were created through him [Jesus] and for him. And he is before all things…. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent” (Colossians 1:16-18). Everything else is a sign. Jesus is the destination. And I’ve got him. How about you?

The Gospel

The word gospel literally means “good news.”  (And that just might be the understatement of the ages.)  But what is it?  What is the content of that news?  And what makes it good?  Well, as Maria from The Sound of Music said, “Let’s start at the very beginning.”  A very good place to start indeed.

The Gospel Starts with God

As do all things, the gospel message starts with God.  God created human beings in his image.  That means that human beings were created to reflect God and his attributes the way a mirror reflects light.  God is the source, and we were designed in such a way that when others see us, they are supposed to declare, “What a great God!”  No one looks into a mirror to admire the glass.  You look into a mirror to admire the reflected image you see in the mirror.  We’re the mirror.  We’re God reflectors.

And as is true in all creation, a thing’s highest joy is to do what it was made to do.  A coffee pot’s highest joy is to make good coffee.  A pen’s highest joy is to write.  A bird’s highest joy is to fly and sing.  That’s what these things were created to do.  Likewise, a human being’s highest joy is to live in such a way that God is made much of.  Anything short of doing that (like money, power, sex, and fame), simply cannot fulfill the eternal longings of the human soul to do what it was made to do.

When the Mirror Wants the Glory

But we all know the story.  There was this garden and some fruit and too many naked people for our 21st century sensibilities.  And something went horribly wrong.  Mankind turned his back on God.  Instead of reflecting God’s glory, the mirror lusted after the glory of the one it was created to reflect.  It’s like a book’s words wanting the praise due only the author.  The creation desired a life independent of the Creator.

Of course, that’s about as crazy as rejecting an opulent feast for dirt clods, or as Isaiah puts it, rejecting the fountain of living water for broken jars that can’t hold water (Jeremiah 2:13).  But that’s what they did.  And that’s what we do.  That’s the plight of every man, woman, and child alive.

God is Just in Punishing His Creation

You wouldn’t think twice about casting judgment on a defective pen and throwing it into the trashcan.  You bought it.  It’s your right.  Even more so if you were the owner of a pen factory and the defective pen was one of your products.

Now consider God.  He created mankind to make much of him and in so doing to find their deepest joy, and human beings have the audacity to say no.  When a person refuses to do what God created him to do, that person does two things.  First, he spits in God’s face.  What pot justly stands in opposition to the potter who formed it?  That’s damnable.  Second, that person cuts himself off from the only source of lasting, truly satisfying joy that exists in the universe.  That’s suicide.

The Infinite Cost of an Infinite Sin

Children are punished in proportion to the seriousness of their offense.  Now, what if the offense were infinite?  The punishment for such a crime would have to be infinite as well, right?  Spitting in God’s face and turning to other things to try to fill the longings of the heart that only God can full is an infinitely horrendous crime.  Why?  Because God is infinitely worthy of all praise, honor, love, and trust.

Nobody flinches if someone kills a fly.  It’s worse to hit a dog.  Do it enough and you could get in trouble with the law.  However, it’s quite another thing to hit a person.  Now you’re talking jail time.  You could get your kids taken away.  The seriousness of the offense rises with the value of the one offended.  Now imagine spitting in God’s infinitely worthy face.  The seriousness of that offense is infinite and deserving of an infinite punishment because the one offended is infinitely valuable.

God Cannot Simply Brush Sin Under the Rug

God cannot simply brush such a high crime under the rug of the universe.  Imagine a convicted child molester standing before a judge ready for sentencing.  Now imagine the judge looking down at the man and saying, “I know you’ve been found guilty beyond any shadow of a doubt, but you know, I’m going to forgive you.  You’re free to go.”  That would be a travesty of justice.  God is just, and his justice requires that sin be justly recompensed.

The Bible says the wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23).  Death in the Bible is a metaphor for separation from God.  The infinite seriousness of our sin must be punished with eternal separation from God.  If not, God is not just and I don’t want to have anything to do with an unjust God.

The Cross: God is Love and God is Just

So what is God supposed to do?  Enter Jesus.  In short, Jesus takes it.  He is our substitute.  God’s wrath hangs over the heads of sinners, ready to fall fully and justly.  Yet right before it does, Jesus stands up and absorbs it like a sponge absorbs water.  Romans 5:8: “God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (ESV).  He died for us.  He died in our place.  He paid the infinite price of our sin with his infinitely worthy and utterly sinless blood.  The infinitely horrendous death of Jesus satisfied the infinitely righteous wrath of God against sin.  Therefore God is able to be both just toward sin and loving toward sinners (see Romans 3:21-28).

The Great Exchange

Jesus’ work on the cross is twofold.  On the one hand Jesus takes the infinite punishment that we sinners rightly deserve.  He pays it in full.  On the other hand, Jesus’ imparts his righteousness to us.  Our sin goes onto Jesus.  Jesus’ righteousness goes onto us.  That is, his perfect life is credited to our account as if it were our own righteousness.  The exchange was so acceptable to God that God raised Jesus from the dead.  Jesus’ resurrection is proof positive that, in Christ, there is hope of being found acceptable in God’s sight.

How Do I Get In On This?

“Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).  The offer of God’s forgiveness and the ability to again experience the joy of doing what you were created to do is open to you if you would but call upon Jesus’ name.  What does it mean to call on Jesus’ name?  Imagine you were drowning in a swimming pool.  What would it mean to “call upon” the lifeguard?  It would mean that you, realizing your helpless state, cry out to the lifeguard to save you as only the lifeguard can do.  When you cry out to God to save you through His Son, he hears you, and he responds.  His Word guarantees it.

And as you lie there at the pool’s edge gasping for breath at Jesus’ feet, an incredible thing happens to you.  Suddenly you realize the horror of the cesspool of sin that you were just pulled out of, and you begin to despise sin.  There’s a change of mind that happens in you.  You come to see Jesus as more valuable than anything—good or evil—this world has to offer.  And setting your gaze on him, you go for him alone.  That God might open your eyes to see Jesus.

Let’s Review

This is the message of the gospel—both its content and what makes that content good: We were created to glorify God, which is our greatest joy.  We haven’t.  We’ve stiff-armed God, trying desperately to satisfy our souls on lesser pleasures.  The punishing of such an infinite offense must be infinite, namely hell, because God is infinitely worthy of all honor, and God is just in carrying out such a punishment.  Then came Jesus.  In his death he takes sinners’ punishment on himself and credits his perfect life to their account.  He’s our substitute.  God accepted the sacrifice on sinners’ behalf, proven by Jesus’ resurrection.  Cry out to him.  He is near to those who call on his name in faith.  Forsake the cheap thrills of this world and go for glory.

Reflection Questions

  1. Are you ready to stand before God right now as you are?  Why or why not?
  2. How can you know beyond any shadow of a doubt that God accepts you and that when you finally stand before him, you will be received with love and not wrath?
  3. How does Jesus provide a person with the security of being accepted before God?
  4. If someone offered you a joy 10,000 times greater than anything this world could imagine, what would you do to get it?
  5. Is there anyone you can think of that would benefit from reading this post?  If so, please feel free to share it via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail, or you can print it off and give that person a paper copy.