What is there about the printed page? Whether in a book, magazine, newspaper, or in a blog, what is there about it that urges one to write? The written word is a legacy of sorts. If God wills, it is there not just for generations but for time immemorial.

Mike Rich, the writer for the stirring movie, “The Nativity Story,” was asked about his motivation for creating a film based on Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph. Mike had recalled his father’s advice when he announced his career choice was making movies. It was something like this: If he was going to devote his life to making movies, make the kind for which his kids would be proud. In large part, I was motivated to write a book for which my sons and their family could be proud. Time will tell whether this goal was accomplished. I tried my best.

If I am giving my time and energy to write, why not put on paper the most important topic known to humankind: Salvation and the future as God has revealed it?

If I am going to write, what subject should I write about? Should I elaborate on the beautiful orchids of Central America or how to breed and sell canaries or what about a novel on aliens attacking Boston? These books could benefit or entertain some. If I am giving my time and energy to write, why not put on paper the most important topic known to humanity: Salvation and the future as God has revealed it? Who would not want to know what God’s plan is to save his people at the end of this age?

Everyone wants to know where this world is heading, right? If we are moving toward a cataclysm of some sort, who would not want to be prepared? What subject is more vital to our self-interest than being on the “saved” side of the coming judgment?

But not so fast, The People of God is not an automatic best-seller simply for its subject. Ever heard of a culture of cynicism or social malaise? Is there not a mountain called “credibility” that must be climbed? Isn’t our desire to know the future a lure for quacks, spiritual mediums, opportunists and so-called experts in Bible prophecy? How many false predictions in book form have there been and all, supposedly, based on Scriptures?

We are dealing with human nature. Picture a social situation where you are getting acquainted with strangers. The conversation comes around to what occupies our life? The interesting person we are speaking to says they have just finished writing a book. Our eyes brighten as we curiously inquire about their project. They tell us with excitement that they have compiled a 20th century history of the American labor movement to be published as a college-level textbook. Realizing the sparkle in their eyes, we give the proper signal that we want to hear more. After a time of listening and asking pertinent questions, we interject that we, too, have written a book. “How exciting! Tell me about it,” they say. Their curiosity is palatable.

“My book offers hope to those willing to put their trust in Christ and his word for their salvation. The world is not ending but this age will end soon. My book helps to prepare God’s people,” we say with passion. A strange look registers on their face. It is no longer interest that we see. Their mind searches for the correct response. “How nice,” is what comes out.

Grateful for the opening, I say, “I have attempted to address the innate dread that the world is moving in a bad direction. My book offers hope to those willing to put their trust in Christ and his word for their salvation. The world is not ending but this age will end soon. My book helps to prepare God’s people,” I offer with a passion that mirrored theirs. A different look registers on their face. It is no longer interest that we see but disbelief. Their mind searches for a correct response. “How nice,” is what comes out. They excuse themselves suddenly remembering what they had to do. We are left to wonder if there was not a more tactful way to describe our work. Perhaps, we would have been more interesting had we written about Costa Rican orchids. 

(End of Part 3)

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