Gospel: The Last Letter (The Changeless Message from Fifty Years Ago)

In January, 1931, while preaching the Gospel on the Pacific Coast, this newspaper heading attracted my attention.

Loneliest Human Writes His Last Letter and Dies

Edmonton, Alberta, Jan. 19 — (A.P.) — A last letter to his mother was found near the skeleton of James Sheldon Michae of Albany, Cal., who perished last Spring in a lonely hut at Long Rapids, Hay River. His death was revealed today in the annual report of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police here.

“The sun is shining, mother, but I feel so cold. I can still walk a little, but that’s about all. There is no blood in me because I haven’t eaten for so long, I haven’t seen another human for forty days. There are some magazines here, but the stories are so silly. I have some cards, but I don’t care for solitaire. The only thing I worry about is, if God will forgive me for my sins,” the letter said.

Surely there is something very touching about this account. But the saddest point in the story is that there is a man facing the meeting with God, without the knowledge of his sins forgiven.

Though the reader’s circumstances and surroundings may be entirely different, yet, just like him, YOU MUST MEET GOD. He was worrying about that meeting -and well might anyone worry about that solemn meeting if they have not the definite assurance from the Word of God that his sins are all forgiven. ARE YOUR SINS FORGIVEN?

The magazines, the cards and a thousand other things the Devil uses to occupy the minds of men may seem very important now, but all will lose their attraction, and as Michael wrote, will seem so “silly” to a dying man who is facing the meeting with God.

Thank God, it is possible to have every sin forgiven. “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” But sins must be put away in God’s way, or they are not put away at all.

God’s Way to Forgiveness

Ere the Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the angel said, “Thou shalt call His Name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt 1:21). The Son of God came down from Heaven” to put away sins by the sacrifice of Himself.” The righteous, just claims of a holy God must be met. By the death of Christ upon the cross, all the claims of God were met. There, sin was punished in the Person of the sinner’s Savior. There, the mighty work was finished and Christ rose again from the dead in triumph. Calling His disciples around Him, the Lord then sent them forth to preach the Gospel, “That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried and the He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (I Cor 15:1-4).

The sinner’s responsibility is first to honestly acknowledge to God his sinfulness and his helplessness. This does not put away the sinner’s sin, but it puts him in the place where God’s grace and forgiveness will reach him. The sinner is then responsible to accept the full and free provisions which Christ has made for him. The assurance of the forgiveness of sins becomes the immediate possession of all who believe in the Son of God. No one who trusts Christ and His finished work will ever need to cry like the dying trapper, “The only thing I worry about is, if God will forgive me for my sins.”