Dear Tommy,

I read with deep interest your last letter in which you talked about your repentance and the feeling of God’s forgiveness. I have no doubt at all about either your repentance or about God’s forgiveness. The scripture tells us to repent, and it tells us that when we confess our sins, He is just to forgive them and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Whatever the scripture tells us, we can rely upon it. Even so, Paul admonished Timothy in 2nd Tim. 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

There is not one among us who has not sinned. There is not one among us who does not need to repent and turn to God. There is not one among us who will confess his sins, except that God will forgive him. (He does not forgive blasphemy against the Holy Ghost -- but that is in His judgement about what constitutes that blasphemy.)

The concern I had was that you seemed to think that you would not suffer consequences from your transgression. In the scripture we are taught – “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galations 6:7-9.

To consider the meaning of this, let us take as an example, a man that went out to have a good time. He began to drink and was beyond the point of sobriety before he started home. He was driving down the highway. A car was parked lawfully on the shoulder of the road, and a man was changing a flat tire. Because his senses were dulled, the drinking man swerved into the car injuring the other man for life.

The drinking man had no ill intention. No doubt, he would be sorry. God would forgive him -- but whatever lawful consequences he would face -- an indelible scar would be on his heart -- the hurt he had caused someone else.

Satan does not come to us as a man in the red suit with a pitchfork to tell us that he is going to take us out and destroy us. Only a fool would follow him in that sense - so he comes in forms of temptations where he can lead us to the point of destruction. In studying the temptations of Jesus after he fasted forty days, we know that Satan even uses scripture to tempt.

I am wondering if he is not trying to get you to think everything is going to work out like you want it too because you trust in God -- so that when it doesn’t, you’ll say – “What’s wrong with God? What’s wrong with the Bible?” Etc, and then quit seeking God.

To the contrary, the scripture says in John 15:6-7, “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Abide means - to stay - we need to stay in God, and as we stay in him and let His word live in our hearts, we will know what should be asking for, and how we should ask, not for any selfish purpose of our own, but for the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose in us.

I want you to remember that we love you and that we are more concerned about your eternal salvation than anything else. We can suffer for a few days, or a few years, if necessary, but God help us not to have to suffer for all eternity. We love you dearly, May God bless you

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