Weeks ago, a new friend from South America contacted me about their desire to know Christ and their real struggles to believe the gospel. Here is the latest communication we have had about coming to Christ, and I ask you to pray for them.

They emailed again recently

Pastor Mack and Linda,

I would like to ask you, please don’t give up praying for me!

I started reading luke, because I really need to know more about Jesus.
Today I read Luke 5 when Jesus performed 3 miracles:
a) When After His words, Simon catched so many fish he couldn’t handle alone.

b) Jesus healed a man covered with leprosy

c) He forgave the paralyzed man and healed him in front of a lot of people.

I read an author saying that Jesus was demonstrating his power over nature, sickness and sin. He intends to show that he is Lord over everything.

Normally I would think this is just a bunch of crazy things… But I know this is true and everything that is written in the bible is real even if my hardened heart can’t see it.

Sometimes I feel like just one word of Him will make my eyes open and I will finally see….. But He just won’t give the order….
In other times I feel my hear so hardened that I end up thinking: “Is this really that great? Why not stay the way I am now?

But then I read the bible and I feel that fire in my heart saying ”Yes..It is that great. Keep looking, keep begging every free minute you got”

But I don’t know what to do besides begging and reading…And people around me are not converted… when I walk out of my room, I keep sinning…. And even if I avoid sin, it seems like morality and not real obedience.
I’m afraid morality would just make my heart even more arrogant.

I hope you all are well

___________

My reply

Hi _______,

So glad to hear back from you; we have been gone on a trip and just got home.

Keep reading the gospels [Matthew, Mark, Luke and John] and believe what Jesus said; He does and will forgive anyone who comes to him sincerely from their heart; his words and the things in the Scriptures are not a bunch of crazy things, but it is all true; He is a Saviour available to the worst of sinners who will come to Him;

thank you for your good words– I will tell Linda;

please keep in touch and send any questions you have.

your friend
– Mack

Their reply

I’m struggling with my sins…But I must confess that I don’t feel repentant at all….
I have the worst kind of sin to handle, that is pride.

I believe that somehow, my pride blinds me. I need a little bit of reality from God so I can know who I really am.

Right now I feel like He will never ever come to me. I don’t trust my heart and all that is happening is that I know more facts about Him. That don’t help much, I guess…. Not if I don’t really ‘find’ Him

Anyway…..I’m keep praying…. And asking Him to work in me and to convert me…

I worry my pride will always keep me from Him. But I have to try anyway….

I hope you and Linda are well!

Thanks!

My Reply

Hi ________,

I want to send you here an example of how a man prayed during his conversion of coming to faith in Christ

His name was John Milne from Scotland

His prayer is an example of what it means to have saving faith and truly come to Christ; he did not read this prayer but prayed it after he thought through what he wanted to say to the Lord, and he wrote it down; he shows you what saving faith says to Christ;

Jesus will hear the cry of anyone who is coming to Him like this–

Father in heaven

I have sinned against heaven and in Your sight, and am not worthy to be Your child. But in Your rich mercy, You are willing to receive me. I believe that You will receive me if I I will simply come as I am. I am willing to be Yours. I lay all my sins–the sin of my nature (Psalm 51:5), the sins of my heart (Jeremiah 17:19), the sins of my life (Job 33:27), the sins of my lips (Isaiah 6:5), and my secret sins (Psalm 139:3)– I lay all my sins, unrighteousness, and transgressions upon Jesus, the Lamb of God, (Isaiah 53:6). You took my sins upon Yourself on the cross and paid fully for them. This is all my hope. I cannot pay for or remove my sins. But You took them all upon Yourself on the cross. I believe You did. I believe You died for me and paid for them all.

So I will believe, I do believe, You are all my salvation and I trust You only–here I am, Lord Jesus. I desire now to give myself to you. I am yours and I trust You have freely forgiven me and have cleansed me, accepted me, and You welcome me as your child. I am not my own and my heart is not my own any longer–I am Yours totally, fully, and forever.

I am surrendered completely to You and I trust You as my Saviour, Lord, Master, Keeper, Refuge, Helper, Redeemer and Righteousness.

Forsaking all, I trust You and take You as my own.

Jesus loves you and died for you- believe it fully and trust Him, just as John Milne did.

– Mack

Their reply

Pastor Mack,

The bible says that faith is a gift from God, right?

We do not have the ability to create faith. This man from Scotland….Did he search the Lord? How long?

I am having a bit of trouble with faith…. But I do not contest God because I know my heart is “deceiful above all things and desesperately wicked” I do not deserve anything from him. I know that.

But I am learning a lot about Jesus’ character and about the evilness and foolishness that sin is. It is evil and pathetic how we embrace pride while we are nothing… All made of dust.

I have preconceptions that the Word of God is destroying in me. And I hope the Holy Spirit will guide me out of them and then create saving faith in my heart.

I can`t imagine someone having saving faith by his own will…. I really can`t because I tried and it is not easy to have faith in what the bible describles, even if in my mind I know it is true…. The more I read, the more I`m convinced that faith is a gift from God.

But also :”“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened”

I see no “if’s” here in this verse, Pastor Mack… “Seek and you WILL find. Knock and the door WILL be opened. Ask and it WILL be given to you”

He made me search Him and I hope I’m doing right…I often tell him that I’m dumb and need a lot of help from Him. And even if I want to be changed, my heart is like stone and very corrupted and often my mind thinks evil things… But I focus my mind trying to learn more about Jesus anyway

I don’t want to make you waste more of your day. Thanks a lot for your help and guidance! Please, pray so God can destroy everything that keep me away from Christ.

– Thanks

My reply

Here’s is a passage from John’s Gospel for you today; let it sink in and may the Lord speak to you through it;

John 9:35-38

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Do you believe on the Son of God?
36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?
37 And Jesus said unto him, You have both seen him, and it is he that talks with you.
38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

– Mack

Their reply

Pastor Mack…

Sometimes I do expect that faith will hit me like a thunder…. I want something to move my heart to repentance and expect this ‘something’ to happen out of nothing.

But I know things don’t happen that way…not necessarily at least…
But the problem is…How will I ever know if I believe for salvation? I don’t consider myself a born again person. I study about Jesus and I’m getting to know more about Him…. I’m getting to know a lot of things

Sometimes I feel myself very blind….I mean..Come on! It is like someone that can’t see an elephant sitting right in front of him…
I have the bible and everything around me…But I still can’t see… It’s frustrating…

And I don’t want to ‘pray a prayer and ask Jesus to enter in my life’…I’ve been doing that all my life. I’m trying to follow these advices “rest that Jesus died for your sins” and things like that…. But how will I know that He died for ME ?

It’s not written in the Bible ” Jesus died for “______ ______”, from South America, born in 1988, state of _______ _______ .”
And a lot of people just presume that Jesus died for them and they ask Him to save them or to ‘enter in their heart’ and they are not converted at all. At least their actions tell the world they aren’t.

Thanks for your patience…It is important to me…

______________

My reply

Dear _______,

thanks so much for hearing, listening, thinking and responding;

I hear what you are saying; and you are right, that it is not just a matter of praying a prayer; true faith is the action of our hearts toward Christ in dependent trust and surrender and not just praying some prayer.

But the assurance that Jesus will save you if you truly come to Him is not based upon finding written confirmation that Jesus died for you specifically; you can’t find your name in the Bible; the written confirmation is “Jesus died for the ungodly, for the unrighteous, for sinners”; that is written everywhere; you know He died for you if you believe you are ungodly and are a real sinner-that is how you know He died for you. It is right to presume He died for you, if you know you are a real sinner, because He invited ALL sinners freely to come to Him.

And it is written also that whoever will may come; whoever is hungry, thirsty, needy, sinful–anyone who sees themself that way and desires to come–they are invited by Jesus– He said it–“Whosoever will, let him come and drink of the water of life”

You can come because He invites all who are sinners– He said, “I did not come to call the righteous (those who think they are), but sinners to repentance”; His offer is for sinners only, for all who know themselves to be true sinners

How sincere is the offer of Christ to all people, including you? Consider this–

If I ran an ad in your city’s newspaper and went on television to announce to your entire city, “I am the richest man in the world and I will pay off all the debt, including the house mortgage, for anyone in this city who will meet me at the bank downtown at noon tomorrow. There are no qualifications, no exceptions, no tricks, and no lies– if you will believe the offer and come tomorrow, I will eliminate all your debt.” Why wouldn’t you go? What would keep you from going to the bank? You WOULD go if you really believed the offer was genuine.

Would you instead say– “He did not mean it for me– How can I trust this person? Why should I go? What if he doesn’t do what he said? Perhaps I am not included”

Christ’s offer of salvation and forgiveness is sincere, genuine, available, and it is for all who hear it, will believe it, and will come; all that is required is that you know yourself to be a true sinner and you want to forsake that sin. If Jesus truly died for sinners and invites any sinner who will come, what will you tell Him about why you won’t fully come and truly come?

– Mack

– To be continued

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