How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the first best-selling self-help books ever published. Written by Dale Carnegie (1888–1955) and first published in 1936, it has sold over 30 million copies world-wide.
Jesus said over 2,000 years ago, “this is My commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you”. To love people the way Jesus did is to make a difference in their eternity. He did that by taking every person’s sin upon Himself, and then dying for that sin, being punished by God the Father for that sin, effectively taking our place, and paying our bill. We now have the free gift of eternal life with God, not earned nor deserved. But there is a small price we must pay to receive this gift. We must believe that Jesus is God, that He became flesh, that He lived a perfect life, that He took all of our sin upon Himself, that He did indeed die for us, and we need to accept that gift from Him personally.
I can’t do what Jesus did, but I can influence people so they believe and accept this free gift. In order to influence people I must first love them and become their friend. That whole gospel story seems strange to people, as the Bible itself says, it seems foolish. So, it isn’t particularly easy convincing people to believe in and receive the gospel. If I weren’t absolutely convinced of the truth of the gospel I would just live life, and let people do whatever they wanted.
Tonight I went with a bunch of my grandkids and kids to see the new Star Wars movie, “Rogue One”. I think that was the name of it. As I watched hundreds of people get blasted and blown up, and at the end see the heroine of the movie watch as an inferno of fire engulfs her, it prompted me to think about all the people over thousands of years who have died. Where are they now, at this very minute, what are they feeling, thinking, doing, really.
Most of life is a mystery. Most of life we have no control over. There is in me a sense that there is a God. I believe God Himself put that sense in me. As I look around at creation, nature, it seems obvious that there is an intelligent designer and creator, and He must be wise and powerful for all that I see to exist. In me is a strong sense of right and wrong, a belief in the need for justice. That must be from God, there is no other answer that makes sense. If there is a God, and He is wise, and powerful, and good, and just, then He would certainly communicate to mankind. Considering all of the possible options, the Bible is the only reasonable answer.
A person could just wait and see what happens after death. They will certainly know the answers then. But according to the Bible that will be too late.