16 years ago today, I wrote this in my journal:
Two nights ago I had a burden on my heart. I believe the Holy Spirit asked me, “If you all believe in me so much and want to serve me, what are you doing about it?” It made me realize that if God is more important than anything, then maybe we should focus completely on Christ.
I confronted my mom and told her she should be reading the Bible or praying rather than playing on the Internet. She was upset and even angry I think, but she admitted it was true. I told my parents that God is calling us to a higher level of spirituality and they agreed, but they think they’re already strong enough to be martyred for Him. That’s what Peter thought.
I have witnessed to four people at work, but I wanna do more. If we truly believe in God the creator and that Christ is the only way to avoid eternal Hell, why are we not all proclaiming it to the world? If every Christian was on fire for God and did all he could, the whole world could be saved. The church has failed!
I’m not losing hope, though. God’s hope is infinite. I wanna be as strong as I can and do as much as I can for the Lord. And no matter how much I stumble I will not give up! Praise the Lord for revealing so much to me and for using me to honor Him.
— October 21st, 1998
Dear Former Self,
The Holy Spirit gave you a very specific message, and a poorly worded one at that. Are you sure it wasn’t just one of your own thoughts?
I have to commend you, though, because at least you are taking your faith to its logical conclusion: If the majority of people are in danger of falling into a pit of fire where they will be trapped forever, then Christians need to take action. Some of them are, but most of them don’t seem to feel any sense of urgency.
It makes one wonder if average churchgoing Christians really believe what they claim to believe. They might think they believe, but if they really believed–if they visualized that burning lake of fire just beneath the feet of nonbelievers–wouldn’t they be more willing to do something about it?
Since you are beginning to realize how serious the threat of Hell is, you want to spend more time spreading the gospel. At least you are sincere and not just going through the motions, even if you are terribly wrong. But although you want to help people, you’ve still found a way to feel superior to most of them for not being as “spiritual” as you are. You better watch that because you are liable to piss off some coworkers.
Frankly, I pity the people who have to work with you. They all live in the United States so they’ve already heard about Jesus, and now here comes an 18-year-old kid who thinks he has life figured out to tell them the same story they’ve probably heard countless times.
— Matt, October 21st, 2014
This is part of an ongoing series called Letters to My Former Self.