A Letter to My Doctor

Dear _______________________________,

It was nice meeting with you today. Sorry I didn’t have much time to be able to share with you something that means more to me that you can imagine. That “thing” is Christ. The Bible says that Christ is the answer to our most important need in life: The need to find favor and acceptance with God. Christ said, “I am the way and the truth and the life, no man can come to the Father but by me.” [1] That’s a pretty heavy claim. In this verse, Christ is claiming to be the “only way” to be able to obtain eternal life, and a wonderful eternal (loving) relationship with God as Father.

The Bible says that “It is appointed unto man once to die, and after this comes the judgment.” [2] This passage reveals two things. The first part of this verse — “It is appointed unto man once to die” — shows us that there is no such thing as reincarnation. You only have one chance to “make it” in this life. When I say, “make it,” I don’t mean, “make it,” in the sense of “making money,” or “making a reputation for yourself.” These things won’t last beyond the grave. No, when I say, “make it,” I am talking about “earning favor” with God, not based on anything that you could ever possibly do, but only on what God has already done for you in sending Jesus Christ to die on your behalf.

The Bible says that “While we were yet [helpless] sinners, Christ died for us.” [3] In other words, Christ did for us what we could not do for ourselves. We could not pay for our own sins, being sinners ourselves. Only a sinless person could actually “pay” for those sins, and exchange “his life for ours” (hence, the term, “substitutionary sacrifice”). Christ was that sinless person, because the Bible says, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself.” [4] It was God’s “little trick” you might say, to be able to get a sinless, perfect “man” to pay for the sins of the world. God came into the world as a man, so that he could pay the price for your sins and my sins. That is why, in the Old Testament, God’s Messiah (the One that God would send) is rigthfully called, “Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” [5] This is confirmed to be Jesus in the New Testament. [6]

The second part of this verse — “and after this comes the judgment” — shows us that each and every one of us is accountable to God, and, after we die, we will have to face him at something which the Bible calls “the judgment.” The apostle Paul knew about God’s unconditional, unmerited, favor towards those who believed (this is called “grace,” which God gives us, even though we don’t deserve it). But he also knew about something called, “the terror of the Lord” which would ultimately come upon those who would refuse to believe. Paul said, “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” [7]

Paul was a man of love, who knew the God of love. But he also knew that God was holy and had a “rule” — those who rejected Christ, God’s only provision for the payment for their sins, would also reject the grace of God and fall under God’s righteous judgment for all the things they had done in life. In other words, though God loved them so much and wanted them to experience a wonderful, eternal relationship with him, by rejecting Christ, they would actually forfeit the one and only provision that God had provided as a means of clearing their debt against him. Let’s look at it this way. If you loved someone very much, even though you loved that person, if that person refused to say “I do” at the wedding ceremony, then the relationship would never come to pass. It is the same way with your relationship to God. God loves you very much. But unless you are willing to say the “I do” to him, he cannot, and will not, force that relationship upon you. God’s gift is eternal life to all those who will receive him. “But as many as received him, he gave the right (or power) to become children of God, even to those who believed on his name.” [8]

When we get up in the morning, we cover ourselves so people will not “see our shame” (our nakedness). God understands that — from an eternal perspective — all of the bad things that we have done are “shameful” in his sight. If he sees our shame, he will reject us and not permit us to come into his kingdom. That is why he provided Jesus to “cover our shame.” God’s provision for “covering our shame” (your sin and my sin) is the “covering” provided through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. “And without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” [9] If you’re familiar with the Old Testament sacrificial system, you’ll understand that it was the blood of the animals which “took away” the sins of the people, and made them acceptable to God. In the New Testament, we read about a man named John the Baptist saying the following words to the crowd when he saw Jesus coming towards him one day: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” [10] Why did John say this? Because he knew in advance that Jesus, like the lambs of the Old Testament, would give his life “in exchange” for the sins — not only of a few people, this time — but of all those who would believe on him (past, present, and future). In fact, the Bible says that the blood of lambs and goats could never actually take away the sins of the people. They were but a “foreshadowing” or “example” of God’s true “Lamb” (Jesus) who would come into the world to save mankind through his own blood. [11]

What’s the bottom line in all of this? God so loved you, that he sent Jesus to die for you, so that, by believing on him, you would not perish, but have eternal life. [12] It’s God’s way of saying, “I love you too much to judge you, that is why I sent Jesus to die for you. As a righteous and holy God, I do require ‘payment’ for your sins, but I have provided a way for you to be able to be able to be free from my righteous judgment forever, simply by believing in the one that I have sent.” This is the “good news” that Christians love to share. Will you accept that offer? “Nor is there salvation in any other [but the name of Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” [13]

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References:

1. John 14:6, 2. Hebrews 9:27, 3. Romans 5:8, 4. 2 Corinthians 5:19, 5. Isaiah 9:6, 6. Matthew 1:23, 7. 2 Corinthians 5:11, 8. John 1:12, 9. Hebrews 9:22, 10. John 1:29, 11. Hebrews 10:4, 12. John 3:16, 13. Acts 4:12