Don’t Waste Your Cancer

The title of this blog entry comes from one of John Piper’s many “Taste and See” articles that he writes.  You should go and read this article.  If you are struggling with sickness and the sovereignty of God you definitely need to follow the link and read the article.  

About a week ago my friend Dan Richardson emailed me the following letter that he sent to his co-worker who is losing the battle with stomach cancer.  Dan’s letter made me glad that God has granted me such a Christ centered friend that took it a step further and sent this letter calling on his co-worker to not waste her cancer.  Dan calls on her to repent, believe, and enter into the fold of God before she dies and it is too late.

You can read Dan’s letter here:

Hardly a day passes without a precious thought of you.  I hope you are well enough to read or hear my letter; and willing to receive what I’d like to say.  I’m sorry I wasn’t around these last few months to encourage you with a card, flowers or some other kind of support.  I only made one attempt to see you in person – you deserve better.  Please forgive me and receive my love and prayers.  My family, Amy, Sarah, Ellie and Daniel Jr. greet you with the same love.

No news means no good news.  As far as I know, Fidel and his curse still plague you and you endure each day in wearisome pain.  Have you found the peace that passes all understanding?  Or, does fear of death and judgment terrify you?  I remember living with the fear of death.  I knew there was a God and if I died, I would not be in good graces with Him.  Compared to others, I was okay; but compared to His holy standard, I was wretched.  My condition was condemning. 

Can you relate?  For me, I knew God wasn’t first in my life.  Yet He said, “You should have no other god’s before me.”  Has God always been first in your life, every day, every hour?  If not, He sees you as an idolater.  I also recall using God’s name carelessly all the time.  Did you know that every time you say “Oh my God” in a casual way, it’s like taking the name of the One Who gave you life, children, sunshine, etc. and dragging that name through the mud?  The Lord says, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”  I did that a lot – and it added to my fear of death and judgment. 

I remembered He said, “You shall not bear false witness”.  If I only told one lie, I was still considered a liar in God’s eyes.  And God said, “You shall not steal”, and I was guilty there as well.  The tenth commandment seemed impossible to keep.  It says not to covet – be satisfied with what you have.  I was and still often wish I had more of something. 

Those are five good reasons to fear death.  (And there are five others condemning us as well.)  So I ask you: Have you found a way to have your sins forgiven?  Let’s say you’re really good and you’ve only sinned on average 4 times a day.  At 33 years old, the Law has 48,048 charges against you.   So how do you get your countless sins forgiven?

Some say no one is going to hell because God is all-forgiving and all-loving.  But that partial truth is only a lie.  The overarching attribute of God is His holiness.  So as His love upholds His holiness, so does His perfect justice.  There are thousands of unsolved crimes in our world today.  Do you think God will let murderers, rapists, and thieves escape judgment?  If He did, He wouldn’t be a Holy God.  But since He is Holy, all those will be punished along with liars and blasphemers because God sees all sin as worthy of death.  “The soul that sins must die.”

So I ask you again: How will you have your sins forgiven?  What work, what good deed will erase the thousands of sins on your record?  You know this is a valid concern and it presents a huge problem.  If your religion is wrong about sin and judgment, then your sins will condemn you and you will go straight to hell.  I don’t want that to happen to you.  I care too much for you. 

I found the sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, as the answer.  He came and lived among us.  He did many miracles to prove His deity.  The many Old Testament prophecies also lend to the reliability that He is the Christ, the Son of God.  The Book of Moses says that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin.  That’s why Jesus suffered, shed His blood and died.  His blood was shed for you and me.  

Imagine being in a courtroom with a $48,048 fine.  The judge is about to put you away for life.  You have no means to pay the debt.  Then someone shows up and says to the Judge, “I will pay her debt”.  He puts the money down and departs.  The Judge looks at you and says, “That man just paid your debt.  You may go free.”  The Judge allows you to go free not because you’re a good person, but because you’re a bad person whose debt has been paid. 

Jesus was the Person who paid your debt with His life’s blood.  All your life you have rejected Him and, hence, you are condemned already.  But His offer still stands: Renounce your sins.  Renounce your false beliefs about Him.  Call out to Him as your Lord, your God and your Savior.  You must trust in His death and resurrection as your only salvation.  If you place your trust in Him, esteeming Him precious above all things, He will save you.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Nothing is more important than where you spend eternity.  Please think about these things.  The Ten Commandments condemn you – and lead you to the Savior.  I am willing to drop whatever I am doing and come to you.  Whatever you do, make sure your sins are forgiven.  

Your co-worker and friend,

Dan Richardson

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  1. Dan is the man.

  2. That is a beautiful letter, full of love, compassion, and Truth.

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