Friday, August 25, 2017

Writing a Reluctant Robber

Periodically I get fraudulent emails.  Perhaps you do too.  Since I have an online business, these often take the form of requests to buy large quantities of products I sell.  I sometimes write back to the scammer to tell the scammer:

Due to the 99% chance that you are engaging in criminal activity (theft), we have no desire to do business with you.  However, I do desire that God bless you.  If you are indeed, as I suspect, a thief and a liar, please, give up your wickedness.  Jesus will take away your bad heart and give you a new, good heart if you will allow Him.  Please read a Bible and find Jesus before it is too late.  All thieves and liars will go to hell.  (Revelation 21:8).  I don’t want that to happen to you.
But yesterday, a scammer wrote back!  He said:
Thank you.  I was touched by your message.  Not doing this intentionally but i must live. I pray may God forgive me. If really you want me to stop let me know how you could help me finacially. Then i will promise you to you to stop.
What do you say to a guy in that situation?  Most likely he's an educated but unemployed young man in Ghana or Nigeria.  Here's what I told him:

Thank you for writing back.  I'm sure that your life is very difficult, and I am truly sorry.  What I have to say to you will sound harsh.  But please read this.  I say this because I do truly care about you. 

You said, "I must live".  You are right.  But the problem is, you are thinking of the small life.  You are not thinking about the big life.  As long as you think wrong, you will continue to sin.  Your small life is your life right now.  Even if you received 1 billion dollars right now, you probably would still only live to be 90 years old.  Then you would die.  Your big life is your life after you die.  The big life never ends.  You will spend your big life either in heaven or in hell.  After you die, you can never change your location.  You will either be in hell forever or in heaven forever.  After 10 billion years, you will still not be able to change your location. 

You think "I must live".  But you are sacrificing heaven in the big life to gain a few more dollars in the small life.  Jesus said, "How is a man profited if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?" 

You said, "I am not doing this intentionally."  You are wrong.  You are doing this intentionally.  You don't like it; you feel guilty about it; you know it's wrong.  But you are destroying your relationship with God so that you can earn a few more dollars.  This is a choice you are intentionally making. 

With Jesus' help, you can choose differently.  Stop your stealing right now.  Yes, I mean right now.  This minute.  Cry out to Jesus to save you and make you a new person.  Contact the people you have lied to and stolen from.  Confess your sins to them.  Tell them you will repay the money you have stolen, when you are able.  Then you can have a clean conscience to ask God to provide for your needs. 

God may choose to provide food for you.  Or He may let you starve to death.  But even if your life ends at age 22 of starvation, it is only your small life.  Better to die at 22 and go to heaven, than to live to 92 and go to hell.  Jesus said, "He who saves his life will lose it.  But he who loses his life for My sake and the gospel will save it." 

Father God, you know "Mark's" real name.  Please help him to trust You.  To believe that You are good.  To trust that it is better to follow You and die, than to disobey You and live.  Give him the gifts of faith and repentance.  Bring glory to Yourself through his life.  For Jesus' sake, amen! 
 Do you have any other suggestions?  What would you say to a person in "Mark's" situation?