Updated: Jan 11
Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going?
- by Martin Simpson
The following is one of a number of short articles on this site from the tabloid Martin was working on prior to his passing. Much of Daniel and Revelation is also from his compilation with slight editing in places.
I AM TERMINAL
I’ve been told I have terminal cancer. It’s not something you want to hear. I have enjoyed my life - falling in love, family and friends, holding my newborn children, the wind and the rain in the mountains, the sunlight on the hills, but like everyone else, I’ve felt sorrow and pain. It’s sobering to realize that this life will come to an end (I hope not too soon), but that’s how it is for all of us, ill or not. The busi-ness of life tends to crowd out the big questions, but facing death gets you thinking. Where did we come from? Why are we here? and Where are we going? Are we all just cosmic accidents thrown into a pointless universe that’s destined to become cold and dead? Is life just a momentary flicker of joy, and suffering, that ultimately ends in hopeless despair; all those moments lost forever, like tears in the rain? Atheist,
Professor Richard Dawkins thinks so. He said, “...there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.” 1.
But what if the Professor is wrong?
What if we are the sons and daughters of a loving Creator, who has wonderful things planned for us? That would change everything. The Creator’s existence would mean that we were created for a purpose. A Creator would bring hope, that one day everything will be put right, loved ones might be reunited, and evil brought to an end. If God exists, it would explain why we long for value, purpose, hope and everlasting life, and it would mean that these desires could actually be satisfied by the One who placed them within us.
BUT IS BELIEF IN GOD A DELUSION?
A delusion is a belief that is contradicted by the evidence, but where is the evidence to show that God does not exist? For those wanting hope, the great news is that there is good evidence that God does exist, and that He loves us. Because of this, we can face the future with hope. While I still can, I want to share what I’ve found so that you, too, might have hope.
I’ll share scientific and moral evidence for the existence of God on pages 3-4. On pages 4-5 I’ll share evidence which identifies the true God. On pages 6-7 I’ll introduce you to Him. Then, on pages 14-16 I’ll share what God has revealed is going to happen, and how to survive. I will also try to clear away many of the misunderstandings that cause people to reject God, such as: Evil - If a loving, all-powerful God exists, why is there evil in the world? Eternal torment - How could a loving God burn people forever? Truth is, He won’t; it’s a lie of the Devil. Evolution and the age of the Earth - reconciling the facts with the faith.
AN ABUNDANT LIFE
Time spent with those you love, enjoying life, sharing and appreciating things together, is precious. Such beauty is not meant to die. A wonderful world is coming that will be full of constant joy - no more pain, no more suffering, and no more death. A world where our highest ambitions will be fulfilled, and where our joy will ever increase. It was God who put eternity in your heart, and He is longing for you to enjoy it with Him, and with your loved ones. You are His irreplaceable child, one of His greatest joys, and He loves you more than life itself. It is my hope that you will come to know Him, and love Him, and take hold of the wonderful life that He has planned for you.
1. Cited in L. Wolpert, Six Impossible Things before Breakfast , p. 215.
To my brother, Martin
It has been a long journey. A journey which began with you and Penny courting and then the wedding in Wanganui. Many a time we travelled through the hilly back streets of Wellington, letter boxing the suburbs including the whole of Karori and one other I can’t remember. I recall the times in Daniel Street we spent discussing the books of Daniel and Revelation and the to and fro-ing on a difficult verse. Thank you for coming up with that monumental compilation on D&R. It has been and will be revisited again and again.
We stood together on this journey when times were tough, when so called friends abandoned the faith or were not willing to take a stand. You were steadfast and in a nice way, stubborn, like the giant New Zealand Kauri which refuses to fall for more than a 1000 years.
I remember the joy and feeling of mate-ship in the battles we fought standing in defense of the faith. The times we door knocked and had doors slammed in our faces but were un-phased and soldiered on with a feeling of despair for those folk. And the times in Wellington doing street work and on one occasion a fellow screaming his lungs out at Penny and how you came to her defense.
I remember the times we journeyed into the bush at the back of Masterton on a Sabbath afternoon walk with the church and the excitement of it all especially for you whose other life is the rivers and bush of New Zealand – remember the time Peter (Fiji) and I, clothes and all, dived into one of the water holes in the bush at the back of Masterton? Boy it was freezing especially for Pete.
Ours has been and always will be a friendship even to the gates of the city and beyond. I pray God that we will walk those streets of gold and thank Him for his wonderful mercy and grace.
Your artistic talent is amazing. Your very first painting of a trout which you gifted to us hangs in the dining room and is a constant reminder of our friendship and the amazing talent you possess. The print of another trout hangs on the opposite wall and I often look at them in amazement as to the kind of mind God has blessed you with to be able to come up with something like that. How can you do that? No–one can do that. That is unique. There is none like you nor ever will be. I should complain like a spoilt child to God as to why I cannot paint and draw like that. Maybe He knew it would go to my head and did not bless me with the gift. There is much more to talk about and times to remember and I could write a book of the journey our families took from Wellington to the Wairarapa - the camp meetings, the Bible study nights on Wednesday in Daniel St and at Save’s place in Coromandel St and the many folk we met on the way.
We left New Zealand in 1996 and have been back a couple of times but the most recent after a very long spell has been bitter sweet. It was great to see New Zealand again but not the way we did. We arrived in Wellington on 26/10/16 to a drizzly afternoon and somehow managed to negotiate the roads through shear instinct not having been in Wellington for more than ?15 years and then through the tunnel and onto more familiar road and the motorway to the Wairarapa. It rained that day and was quite grey. A sense of sadness and trepidation descended upon me as to what I would see despite having seen it all before. And then there you were. Penny on that first night mentioned to you that I was unusually quiet. I was trying to unpack it all and was lost for words.
Thank you for giving me the “stuff” on your computer. It will be treasured and made use of.
We left the Wairarapa after Sabbath and the rain came down again in a gentle drizzle. I couldn’t help but feel that the giant Kauri has fallen but in its wake another has risen and I hope and pray he will be like you and much more.
I have prayed for you that He might heal you but sometimes we pray amiss and are not willing to allow the goodness and mercy of God to prevail.
Finally my brother, it was very painful to leave and how I wished we were closer in distance. The experience is still very raw for me and I am not so sure I will get over it in a hurry. I thank God you and Penny came into our lives and that you have been my friend. You have made ours a richer experience and taught us to be firm, steadfast, unwavering, uncompromising though the heavens fall, all this and more in learning to live by faith.
May the LORD bless you, and keep you. May He make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May He lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
If things go as expected, then I hope to see you in the morning. What a morning that will be.
Grace and Peace.
Your friend and brother in Christ
*Martin passed away at 0430hrs on 03/12/2016 in the Wairarapa, New Zealand.