Mr. Sinner woke up one morning to find three letters in his post box bearing strange stamps illustrating angelic beings and sealed at the back with an unusual sticker tape with the words … "sent to you from the heavenlies" ... He quickly opened the first ….
Dear Mr. Sinner,
I am the angel sent to comfort you, to remind you that Christ died alone on the cross for you. He did this for your sins which are forgiven. He was the scape goat bearing your sins … sent to the wilderness never to be seen. His blood cleanses completely, bringing you clean to come boldly to His throne of grace and mercy. But my grace will lead you to live a holy life and no more to justify sin in your life and others. My grace will enable you to serve me and proclaim your testimony of my mercy all over the world so that many will hear and be saved. I will be coming soon … remember this when the journey appears tough and you are weary … it will not be long. Keep rejoicing knowing your name has been written in the book of life. Remember Naboth - do not allow your inheritance (the precious things of God) to be bought for filthy lucre, fame or exchanged with Ahab’s largesse nor can you ever be part of Jezebel’s circus. Stand alone if you must, but go without fear to every assignment especially where you will not be welcome … I have made a way for every work that I have commissioned. Repent. Be courageous. Jesus loves you. Sincerely yours. Angel Gabriel.
Encouraged, he opened the next two letters.
Dear Mr. Sinner,
I am the angel sent to comfort you but must remind you that all your sins are all well known to us. You are forgiven, but we cannot trust you with the congregation anymore …hence we have less risky situations more suited to your proclivities …knowing you cannot help your temper and other errant habits. Do not despair for we have themed messages, choirs and music to cheer you up … and they will get even better by the day. We have also faithful elders sent to watch your every move so do not think you can play any games. Be careful with your criticisms … knowing how weak you are - be accommodating of the weaknesses of others and be especially quiet when you observe what you sense as moral decline … after all you are not better than them and I am sent to comfort and not frustrate sinners. You can resume preaching …but you must preach only grace …and keep the sanctuary bubbling with pulsating beats and mirthful proclamations to encourage other sinners like yourself. Do not make the church too grave and serious or you will soon find yourself preaching to your shadow. Focus on your community and how you can improve your lifestyle and those of others and soon you will find the auditorium full. You are destined to write bestsellers and make the covers of Time Magazine. There is an eternal place reserved for you and all that listen to you …it is a place you will find most suited to reward your efforts and you will be surprised at the crowd that will be there with you. Jesus loves you. Sincerely yours. Angel Gabriel
Dear Mr. Sinner,
I am the angel sent to comfort you. I have seen your noble efforts at missions and recognize the great sacrifices you have borne to preach the gospel. But I am concerned about your heart and may have a different assignment for you. It is time for you to get a job. Yes you heard right … a proper job. Earning a living is not sinful … you can also minister to so many people at your workplace. I know you have lived modestly on the little funds raised to support your missions (I am not in agreement with your fund -raising methods) … but you have also missed a vital training process for yourself in rushing out to minister to others when you have not walked in their shoes. Go and get a job. Train to build some skills. Live by a budget and provide for your family. The experience of ordinary living will make you humble and real to the issues around you. Also, I am tired of financially supporting all your church ideas ( many are not mine) and do not want the stigma associated with the perception of you as a parasite … but I know you mean well and are hurt by this perception. As you serve me, you can wait on tables, write books, build tents or provide a cleaning service … there is dignity in labor. Getting a job will teach you to wake up early with the help of the alarm clock … there are many souls waiting at the many work situations I have arranged. From your earnings, you will become the greatest giver to the mission …and then you can preach to others on giving. You will be rewarded … remember that I look at the heart and not as others see. Repent. . Jesus loves you. Yours sincerely. Angel Gabriel.
Pensive, weary and puzzled, Mr. Sinner wonders which of these three letters did and which did not come from God. Which do you think?