Dear Beachside Family and Friends
It has been said that the hand is quicker than the eye. For thousands of years, illusionists have used this principle as a way to entertain and thrill audiences with what seems to be magic. The most skilled performers do seemingly incredible things, even making airplanes and elephants disappear. The crowd is amazed, but when it is over, one fact remains: it wasn't real.
The most skilled of these performers has been on the job since time began. He uses his well honed abilities to make all manner of illusions appear real. He convinces people that using illegal drugs and over indulging and alcohol cannot be harmful. If it feels good, do it. He tells them that immoral behavior of all kinds is acceptable, because, after all, God is love. His greatest and most successful illusion is that there are many ways to have a relationship with God. As long as you are sincere, and try to be a good person, you will make it to heaven. His name is Satan, and he puts on a very good show, but at the end we discover it was all a lie.
Are there really many paths to heaven? The Bible tells us "There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone." (1 Tim 2:5-6) Jesus said in John 14:6 "I am the Way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the father except by me." The only way into a relationship with God is through Jesus Christ. He never puts on a show, and every word He speaks is truth. Satan used to work for Him, but was fired from his job because he fell for his own illusion. He believed he was greater than God! Satan deceived himself. Don't fall for his smoke and mirrors. As the Scripture says, "But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves." (James 1:20)
There is a widely held belief that when achieving one's desires that the end justifies the means. This is another tactic of Satan to deceive the minds of people. The thought process is "I must win at all costs and use any means necessary, moral or immoral, to achieve my goal" Victories won through such thinking and actions are only temporary, and have eternal consequences. Jesus said "For whoever wishes to save his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], but whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake and the gospel’s will save it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world [with all its pleasures], and forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:35-36) Make no mistake in achieving goals: if we play with hell there will be hell to pay. The great enemy of God has absolutely nothing in common with Him. He never forgives, he never forgets, and he always collects his debts. Flee his illusions and see the truth: "The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit." (Proverbs 12:5) There is only one way into Eternal Life. JESUS IS HIS NAME!