An invitation to examine the evidence (Glenn Hitchcock)
Glenn Hitchcock sent out the following email to his list. We recommend it as yet another effort to invite others to consider the simple gospel of Christ.
I do hope you will consider me as your friend. I write this letter in the spirit of love and friendship. Jesus was known as a friend of all people. They criticized him for being “a friend of publicans and sinners” (Matthew 11:19). If I follow in the footsteps of Jesus, I too must be a friend of sinners.
The Lord’s church is composed of sinners saved by the grace of God. It’s not to be made up of self-righteous individuals who think they are better than others. We have too much prejudice and hypocritical-type living. Jesus condemned both of these very strongly. Matthew 23, Acts 10:34, James 2:1-9.
I am vitally concerned about the souls of the approximately 6 billion persons on the face of the earth. Studying the Bible with some of these, who may be thousands of miles away, is a privilege that’s a part of our modern world. Traveling to distant places with the Gospel of Jesus is a great blessing as well.
Jesus was concerned about the masses. He fed the 5,000 men plus women and children (Matthew 14). Another time 4,000 plus were fed (Matthew 15). He had compassion toward them for they were like sheep having no shepherd (Matthew 9:36). I’m confident he is just as concerned today for the thousands and millions and billions.
Our Lord though not only saw the masses but the individuals. He said one soul is worth more than all the world (Matthew 16:26). He asked the great question, “What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” Jesus dealt one-on-one with individuals like the Samaritan woman in John 4. He was more concerned about teaching her than he was about his lunch or dinner. We need to have that same interest in our neighbors and those we casually meet from day to day.
Somehow I have come in contact with you (at least through this letter), and want to share with you the greatest news in the world. Someone died and left you a fortune. That someone was Jesus and the fortune is eternal life. It can begin on this earth when you become a child of God and then continue in Heaven for all eternity.
You might say, “I’ve heard that all my life—that’s not ‘news’ to me.” Well, the Gospel is the “good news” whether we’ve heard it once or all our lives. One famous man said the most profound truth is “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Most of us sang that when we were children, but it’s still the greatest love story in all the world. Jesus suffered the physical pains of his trials and crucifixion, that I might live in a place where there will be no pain. He suffered emotional pain when one of his disciples betrayed him, another denied him, and the others forsook him. He suffered spiritual pain and anguish when he was made to be sin for us and died, evidently separated from God because of those sins(2 Corinthians 5:21). Matthew 27:46 tells us of his cry of anguish—“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Why did he have to die? The answer is—in order to take our place. What great and magnificent love—more than we can understand (Ephesians 3:18-19).
Surely we want to love the Lord in return for all he’s done for us. Surely we want to believe and trust him to save us. Surely our conscience wants to be clean by having our sins washed away in his blood (Revelations 1:5, 2 Peter 3:21). Then we must meet the conditions the Lord has left us. The great question — “what must I do to be saved” — needs to be asked and answered and obeyed today (Acts 16).
We can be saved like they were in the Bible. I challenge you to find out how they were saved on Pentecost (Acts 2:36-47), and in Samaria (Acts 8:4-12), and the Ethiopian treasurer (Acts 8:26-39). Compare how they were saved with your salvation — if you have been saved. We can become Christians like Saul in Acts 9:1-20 and 22:1-16 and Cornelius in Acts 10 and 11. A godly woman named Lydia was saved in Acts 16:14-15 and the Philippian Jailer in the same chapter (16:25-34) — baptized at midnight.
What are the common ingredients in these examples of conversion? They believed in God and the Lord Jesus Christ and confessed their faith. They repented of their sins or changed their lives. Then they were obedient to the Lord’s command to be baptized for the remission or removal of sins (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38). When their sins were washed away in Christ’s blood and by his grace—then of course they were saved.
To truly be saved we must be saved the Bible way and not a denominational or man-made way. When that occurs the risen Lord will automatically add you to his church like he did on Pentecost (Acts 2:47).
You might be asking, “What church?” It’s Christ’s church. But you might still wonder “which one?” Here is a link that I can help answer your question. You will find objectively Bible based answers — please consider this an invitation to examine the evidence.
Also please remember that I am your friend and I want you to go to Heaven when you die, along with your family and friends.
Glenn I. Hitchcock