*Pastor’s Note: This is one of the articles I wrote and posted for my very first website in the mid 90s soon after I got my first computer. I thought it might interest my readers to read some of my first posted writings. I HAVE updated some of the Scripture references, but all in all, it is pretty much as I posted them on my very first website. The pictures were added for this posting, though.
One of the advantages of having friends with whom we can have deep conversations about things that matter is the opportunity to discuss each other’s beliefs and doubts up close and personal. I know that my “my Friend Who sticks closer than a brother” lives, that’s my firmest belief. (Proverbs 18:24). But doubts still do crop up occasionally, for isn’t that the fight we fight in the flesh? Discussing this on-line over the internet can hardly be considered a deep conversation with a friend. Sometimes it’s so hard to gauge another’s responses or emotions. Still, who knows, many times, especially in this day, that closeness does evolve?! Some day, we may meet and eventually call each other “friend” in the truest sense and THAT will be a great day! The “Friend Who sticks closer than a brother” once said to His closest followers, “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” – John 15:15. It would be presumptuous of me to apply this to myself if He hadn’t said in part a little later in prayer: “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; . . .” – John 17:20. That describes me. I’m His friend. And to His friends He says, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” – John 14:2-3. And this, my on-line friend, is obviously a reference to our future home in Heaven. BUT, it is only available to those He calls friends.
If I consider myself to be Heaven bound, I would be no friend to you if I didn’t do everything in my power to have you there with me in Heaven instead of the ghastly alternative. Can you live with that? If we were friends, would we still be friends if I spoke to you in such a way as to share with you the truth, even if it touched a nerve? Even if you’re put off by how I talk to you, if we were friends, I would continue to pray that, one day, you’d thank God for what I shared with you, even if it isn’t pleasant today, because in my mind, eternity is so much more important.
I don’t have any prescription for your wretchedness – or for that matter my own. Only God can write such a prescription. The good news is, He has already written it. All you have to do is get it filled. It concerns His Son, Christ Jesus, the “Friend Who sticks closer than a brother,” and His sacrifice for my sake and yours. And I guarantee you can live with that truth forever.