Whosoever Will, Let Him Take The Water of Life Freely
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him who hears say, Come. And let him take the water of life freely." Revelation 22:17
The following is part of a letter Cyprian wrote to a Roman Proconsul who was brutally persecuting Christians:
"While there is still time, make provision for your safety and your life. We please God more by not avenging our wrongs. For we are forbidden to hate. Therefore, we entreat you, while you still have the power - while you are still alive - to make satisfaction to God. We urge you to emerge from the abyss of dark superstition into the bright light of true religion.
We do not envy your comforts; nor do we conceal the divine benefits. We repay your hatred with kindness. In return for the tortures and punishments that you inflict on us, we point you to the way of salvation. So believe and live! You who persecute us, come and rejoice with us for eternity. Once you have departed from here, there is no longer any time for repentance. There is no possibility of making satisfaction. It is here that life is either lost of saved. It is here that eternal safety is provided for by the worship of God and the fruits of faith.
No one should hold back because the amount of his sins or because of the advanced age. So long as you are still in this world, no repentance is too late. The approach to God's mercy is open. The access is easy to those who seek and apprehend the truth. Entreat God for the forgiveness of your sins - even though you may be at the end of your life, even though the sunset of your life is at hand.
Implore God - who is the one true God - in confession and faith, acknowledging him. Pardon is granted to the man who confesses. The divine goodness gives saving mercy to the believer, and opens a passage to immortality even in death itself. Christ bestows this grace. He bestows this gift of his mercy by overcoming death in the victory of the cross, by redeeming the believer with the price of his blood, by reconciling man to God the Father, and by reviving our mortal nature with a heavenly rebirth.
We are made by him into the children of God. We shall live forever with him. With him we shall always rejoice, restored by his own blood. We Christians shall be glorious together with Christ, blessed by God the Father. We shall be always rejoicing with perpetual pleasure in the sight of God, ever giving thanks to God. For no one can be anything except forever happy and grateful, who once having been subject to death, has been made secure in the possession of immortality." Cyprian 200 A.D. to 258 A.D.