Recently, I had a spiritual conversation with an associate at work. During the conversation, I shared my concern with him about his destination in the afterlife. With him assuming that Christianity is not fully true, especially the part about hell, I challenged him by asking him what if he’s wrong? During that part of our conversation, he said that many religious people are concerned about him, warning him about the consequences of not believing in their religion. This (the fact that they all think they’re right) he sets forth as evidence that none of them can be right.
So, the thought occurred to me this morning… Isn’t this like the situation we all face with junk mail? Every day, when I go to pick up my mail, there is a lot of junk mail that I receive. The envelopes look very important. Most of them seem to have important messages on the front warning me not to discard them… that I’d be missing out on something really great if I didn’t open them. There are promises of exclusive opportunities. There are warnings that this is my last chance to take advantage of this great offer. I’m staring at a piece of junk mail right now that says on the envelope “Not everyone gets one – which is why we urge you to make the most of yours”. Another says (in bold) “IMPORTANT CUSTOMER INFORMATION”, then further down, “UPGRADE YOUR EXPERIENCE TODAY”. Every effort is made by the senders to get my attention – to get me to open those envelopes. So, what should I do? Since experience has told me that the vast majority of them are not really as dire as they sound – they’re probably just going to be slick attempts to get me to purchase something I really don’t need – should I just throw them all away without looking at them? I mean, I’ve really become cynical over time. Since they’re all just interested in selling me something and trying to get me to part with my money, why should I bother? I think that’s what I’ll do from now on – I’ll just walk right from the mailbox to the recycling bin and dump all that mail in there without even looking at it…
Well, if we all followed that advice, we’d end up with all sorts of problems, wouldn’t we? Anything from bad credit, to penalties and fines to possibly even jail time if you miss a summons to appear in court! Hidden in those piles of junk mail are real issues we need to deal with, sometimes having severe and lasting consequences for ignoring them.
In the same way, we often receive “spiritual junk mail”. There are many worldviews and religious systems vying for our attention every day. Some of them communicate dire warnings and consequences (e.g. Islam). Some of them attempt to lure us with grandiose benefits we’d be missing out on if we don’t join their club (e.g. Mormonism, prosperity gospel preachers). But, mixed in the pile of junk mail, is an envelope that must be opened and looked at seriously. That is, Biblical Christianity. Christianity can hold its own in the marketplace of ideas. A serious investigation of Christianity’s claims has surprised many a skeptic, who after investigating the evidence, decided to follow Jesus (e.g. J. Warner Wallace, Lee Strobel to name a few).
So, I encourage you to not immediately toss all junk mail in the trash. Look through and determine if there is anything in there worth keeping. One that is communicating warnings – yes – but also eternal benefits of living a meaningful life here and now, while having the confident expectation of spending an eternity of unending joying in the presence of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Take a look at Christianity – a deep look – and I promise you – you won’t be disappointed – you’ll find it to be true “beyond a reasonable doubt”. The Bible says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13) and “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” (Prov. 4:7).