Hey everyone, I just wanted to take a moment and introduce myself. My name is Bill, and I am a slave to Jesus Christ. Yes I said slave. What I mean is, I’ve devoted my entire life to Him and I am on a specific assignment from him. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to pastor Oasis Church for the past 6 years, and my purpose here has been to present Jesus to those who don’t know Him, and pursue Him with those who do. Basically, you can consider me a missionary to Southern Wake County. I’m writing this letter to all the believers in and around Holly Springs, and since ya’ll are friends of God that also makes you my people, too. You may already know this, but there are a ton of different people who have been writing about Jesus for a long time. For nearly 1200 years preceding his birth, God-inspired people predicted Jesus’ arrival with unprecedented accuracy. They prophesied a whole bunch of specific details about his life, including that fact that he came from the lineage of David…and all their predictions came true! 1200 years of 100% accuracy about the coming of Jesus was a miracle in itself, but Jesus himself miraculously proved his own identity as the “Son of God” on the day he came walking out of an empty tomb. This one event, the resurrection, set him apart as the Messiah, our Master. And through this one event, we have all received eternal life, and we have been called to trust Jesus and be obedient to Him at all costs. His life, death, burial and resurrection should inspire you to completely surrender your life to Jesus as a slave, too. We all have this common, and that’s why I am writing to you. God is good and gracious to all of us, and in his goodness, he has given us Jesus.
I’VE MISSED YOU
I’ve really missed seeing you these past few months. When COVID-19 first started it was “social distance” but its starting to feel more like a “vast distance” between us. As I count my blessings, I can’t help but think about how thankful I am for every one of you. I keep hearing about your faith, and the way you live and serve God. I see some of you on Facebook making peace with others and honoring God with your words. I thank God that I get to call you “my people”. Every time I pray for you, which is basically all the time, I ask God to make a way for us to gather together, in person, again. The longer this COVID situation goes on, the deeper the ache. I really miss you! Throughout this time, my desire has been to help you grow stronger in your faith. I must say though, it seems like I’m growing just as much, if not more than you are through this time. This is a good thing, because I really need to grow up and mature some. Gray hair doesn’t look so good on immature people, so I need to mature up because the gray has arrived this year! If only we could be in the same room from time to time so that we could grow together! You can admire my grays, and I can admire your growth!
TO MY FRIENDS
On another note, to my friends who may be reading, please don’t misinterpret my failure to stay connected with you. You have no idea how many times I’ve thought about or prayed for you. This season has been difficult for everyone to stay connected, but I know that we are all family and eventually we will have some time together. It just seems like there is always something happening in our country that keeps us tied up and prevents us from experiencing genuine community. Every time I see one of you out in public—at Harris teeter, Home Depot, at the intersection of 55 and Avent Ferry, first I chuckle at how you look with a mask on, then I am reminded of how much I deeply miss you and doing ministry alongside you. Wow, I can’t wait til we can start worshipping together again, presenting and pursuing Jesus with one another.The good news is, God is still saving people and moving among you, and our town is being reached with the gospel, even through the internet and Facebook and from house to house in small groups! What’s really cool is that your fruitful life is evidence of your great faith, just as Habakkuk says, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
This brings me to a different point. I’m concerned about some of you, because I can see where the fruit of your life is not fruit from faith. It’s actually the fruit of lawlessness and a lack of faith. Some of you have been doing wrong, lying, dodging your obligation to worship Jesus as King. This doesn’t make God happy. It actually makes him angry, and in his displeasure he erupts because too many people in the world are already suppressing the truth, and he doesn’t want you to get caught up in the web of lies and double standards that plague our society.People are overcomplicating the truth, but the basic reality of God is plain to see if you just opened your eyes! Is it not obvious? Just look at creation and how the world has been formed, it doesn’t take long to see the hand of God in a sunset, or a rainbow, or the birth of a child. What good excuse is there to live as though there is no God, when obvious signs of a creator are right in front of you every day? There is no good exuded for this!
MORE CONCERNS ABOUT OUR CULTURE
Reality is, in our culture, many people who knew God and grew up knowing God, went off to college and got a taste of alcohol and weed, or started messing around sexually, and their love for pleasure grew tremendously. This caused them to reject the notion of God so that they could keep cultivating their sinful desires. Even though they knew what was right, they refused to worship him, and ultimately got lost in a mess of confusion and doubts about faith. Truth is, many of them know everything they need to know in order to live righteously, they just don’t have the desire or will to follow through. It’s easy to get lost in your pride. You start convincing yourself that you know everything, and you start living as if you are God, but eventually you will realize how illiterate you are regarding how the whole universe operates. This is what’s gonna happen one day, people in our culture are going to start realizing they have traded an eternal relationship with the glorious God of the universe for a passing, fleeting feeling. Instead of abiding in a relationship with God, they’ve been running back to the momentary pleasures of sin to get their fix. They think they can legislate morality, vote for the right people, censor anyone they disagree with and ultimately build a world that makes them feel really comfortable. What they don’t realize is the morality they are building their life on is like shifting sand, and with every storm bits and pieces of their foundation withers away and they have to rebuild. This life is exhausting, but some people still choose to live this way.So to the people who continually reject God and construct their own little kingdoms where they are their own God…the real God says, in effect, “Okay cool, if that’s what you want to do, then go for it. You do you boo.” And then it isn‘t very long before they find themselves feeling low, empty, and unfulfilled. Why? Because you can’t thrive in life when you are smothering yourself in pride and self righteousness, chasing sexual experiences and doing whatever “feels right.” And all this can be avoided if you didn’t trade the true God for a fake god, and worshiped yourself as god instead of the God who made you!
IT WILL GET WORSE
If you think its bad now, it gets worse! As people refuse to know God, stiff arming and rejecting him, they soon start to forget what it’s like to even be human anymore—they start getting their identities confused and forget who they were born to be. This forms a society where women start thinking they are men, and men start thinking they are women. People become sexually confused, and they start building websites where you can watch people abused and defile one another sexually, women with women, men with men,—all lust, no love. Not only can you watch it, but you can even participate via apps on your phone where you swipe right and get laid in the same night. This lifestyle is legal, but the illegal stuff is what is breaking my heart. 460,000 kids this year will go missing, many to sex trafficking and sexual abuse by adults. And our culture is now paying for it, oh, how we are paying for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless people.If you aren’t even gonna bother to acknowledge God, then God will quit bothering you and let you run wild. And all hell will break out in this world: blatant evil, raping and trafficking, vicious political backstabbing. This culture we are a part of started with a little envy, some fighting, and cheating. But look at it now! It’s filled mean-spirited, hateful, hypocritical God-bashers. Bullies, killers, non stop lies to cover their trail of blood! They will keep getting more and more creative, too, coming up with all kinds of new ways sin and mock God. If anyone gets in the way, they will cancel them, kill them, or suicide them. And the crazy part is…they know better! But they’ve now made spitting in God’s face a sport, and the best performers get trophies for it!