Robert Belanger (13 July 2011)
"Re: Beverly on God's family"

Dear Beverly,

Welcome to Five Doves! I truly envy the excellent Bible training you were given as a child. You were blessed with such a wonderful gift with which to start life. Truly you can say each day: "On this happy day I am thankful for my blessings!" from Phyllis Diller, the talented and somewhat serious comedian, interview on TV. May God bless you in all your undertakings now and in the life to come.

However, while you are still alive in this world, you must remember that many people are not receptive to the belief in Jesus, i.e., the Son of God who wants only to share his/her awesome gift of salvation with everyone . I and most on this site probably can tell the same type of story about relatives who are unsaved and not interested in hearing any more about our happy news and invitation.

But you and all of us should remember that the decision to accept the Lord as Saviour and Lord was itself a part of His glorious gift. We could not make such a decision on our own, any more than those to whom we witness to. The natural man cannot understand the things of the spirit and they are foolishness to him. It is not our decision to make alone, well not all of it anyway, since the Holy Spirit must draw us into the family ever so gently and lovingly. We should ask the Holy Spirit to open their spiritual eyes.

Indeed, the Holy Spirit must plant the seed into our heart that will eventually grow into the need that cannot be satisfied in any way except by the overpowering love of Jesus. Nowhere in this world can that need be satisfied, until we crumble in abject humility, usually immersed in tears, before so great a Lord and God. Then we can become a member of His family, then we can leave behind forever our previous lives filled with concerns of self and other trappings of earthly life apart from Jesus.

In our new life after salvation, we are torn by two opposing forces. On the one hand we want others that we love so much to humbly accept the free gift of salvation that we have so joyously made a part of our life. This is a joyous time, a time to leave self behind and soar with complete trust into whatever God has for us in life now and in the hereafter. We have a peace that the world cannot offer (Isa. 26:3)

On the other hand, we must also endure the saddest and sobering emotion that we can conceive at the time. That is, we must watch powerlessly as those we dearly love appear to be blind to Jesus' offer of salvation and to treat it as meaningless to them. We must endure the pain of seeing them flounder about spiritually, unable to find the lasting peace and assurance that we have found. We are accused of being intolerant and bigoted for not accepting other faiths as legitimate ways to God, and insensitive by saying that there is no other way than Jesus (John 14:6)

In years past, when I accepted Jesus invitation, there was little contact for the believer in a household of non-believers, except that provided by the local church, provided it was filled with true believers. Many denominations have wandered away from the basic Bible beliefs that you experienced in your youth. We had to learn to put up with being considered religious fanatics, etc., by those who we wanted to help to eternal salvation.

We should thank God that now the Internet exists and provides access to the thoughts, prayers and encouragement that we provide each other on a daily basis. We are indeed a family in exile, a little like the Jews during the Diaspora who clung to their beliefs and to each other for support through sufferings that were much greater that those most of us have to bear. We do celebrate with them in their reunification in Israel and Jerusalem but also yearn for the day when they will all accept the Messiah they once rejected!

Dear Beverly, rest assured that you have found the mailbox here on the Internet through the wonderful web site created by John Tng that provides access to many whom you may consider family members, in God's family. Welcome again, my sister in Christ!

I think I can join all members in thanking John Tng for creating and working hard to maintain the excellence of this web site!!

With love, YBIC,