Why God Puts Things in Writing

The things we print on special tint   
            We claim as cold hard facts:
Like drinking bans or building plans         
            Or profit-sharing pacts.
But such receipts are strong deceits
            For victims with no clue;
We think that when we use a pen
            It makes our dreams come true.
 

(Excerpt from Chapter Five of the September 11th Epic Poem)

_______________________________________

            Human beings don’t trust each other. That’s just a simple fact of life. And for good reason. History, both personal and international, is full of examples of friends turning on their friends in order to make a dime or to gain power, or just to vent some anger.  In fact, if you were to try to get a community of humans to live together without the threat of punishment or check and balances in place, it would not be long before they would turn on each other in the most brutal ways possible.  Experiments like this have been tried, and every time they have failed. In order for civilization to exist, it is necessary to have a police force and some sort of judicial system, even if that judicial system is simply an autocrat who controls the army.  It is not good for people to be allowed to do what they want all the time, because they will inevitable do things that hurt the ones around them.

            But the judicial system and the police cannot protect us at all times. Sometimes it is our own responsibility to protect ourselves. This is one reason why education is so important. We need to be shrewd so we can tell when someone is trying to take advantage of us. Let’s take financial contracts, for instance. We all know that there are certain risks associated with signing our names to a car license, an apartment lease, or even a cell phone package. Nevertheless, we rely on these documents to protect us. We know that if something is written down in the right way it will be more likely to protect us in a court of law.

            Nevertheless, every year, millions of people get tricked into signing foolish contracts by people shrewder than themselves. I remember reading in the newspaper awhile ago about a famous fiction writer who signed away the movie rights to her book away to a Hollywood producer in return for a percentage of the proceeds. Do you know what happened? She didn’t make a dime apart from the meager amount she demanded up front. And this was not because the movie was a failure. It was a big success, yet the filmmakers were able to manipulate the numbers so that the movie did not make an official net profit according to the protocols established in the contract. She was not part of Hollywood’s powerful writer’s union so there was nothing she could do to get her money. She had been duped.

            Most people think that this sort of thing will never happen to them until it does. It’s amazing, really, just how much faith we put in legal documents. We believe that if we get the right kind of insurance, or get congress to pass the right kind of laws, we can be set for life and have nothing to worry about. But ultimately, however, the paper and ink is worth no more than the word of the person who signs it.  And since these documents are made by human beings, that does not amount to very much. There’s always some potential for betrayal and deceit. That’s just part of life. We can do our best to fight it, but we can’t defeat it. In the end, there’s always someone out there who is shrewder than you are.

            The only person who really deserves our complete trust is God. He put things in writing too, but unlike us, He abides by what He says.  He’s shrewder than all of us, but this power is a good thing because He is the only one who does not have a sin nature. He won’t lie to us. He wants to make a contract with us that is far more important than any of the financial contracts mentioned above. He wants us to repent of our sins and believe in His son who died on the cross for our sins.  In return, He promises that we will spend eternity in heaven and not be punished in hell for our corruption.  He offers complete security that money can’t buy.

            Some people say, however, that you can’t know for sure if you are going to heaven or not.  But God says you can*. If you believe He’s lying, than who can you trust?  The answer is very short: nobody.

            God has a book of life. In it are the names of those who have accepted His offer. If your name isn’t in that book, you’re in big trouble. Make sure you’re safe. God loves you, and He wants to put your salvation in writing. Let Him do it. Don’t be a fool.

* (John 10:27-29) “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”

(Matthew 5:18)  “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

(Revelations 21:27) “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

(Phillipians 4:3) “And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.”

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