Thursday, September 13, 2007
Recently, I spoke for a large youth conference at one of the East Coast's most popular vacation spots: Ocean City, Maryland. The boardwalk, the hotels, the restaurants, the amusements seem to stretch for miles. My friend told me he's been coming to Ocean City since the 1970s, when most of what I was seeing wasn't there. Not that many folks used to come to Ocean City. I asked my friend what changed that. "Oh, the bridge," he said. The building of what is called the Bay Bridge opened up this beautiful spot to many people who had never experienced it before.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "The Bridge is the Difference."
It's amazing what a difference a bridge can make - it literally brings people and places together. And for most people, there needs to be a bridge for them to get to the most important destination of all - to get to heaven. For some people you know, you are that bridge.
Actually, Jesus has bridged the grand canyon between a holy God and us sinners by His death for our sins. But most people will not make it to Jesus unless a Christian they know is the bridge they can cross to Jesus. You see, your lost friends can't see Jesus. They can see you. The question is: "Are you taking them to Him?" If you don't, they may never make it to Him. They may never make it to heaven
Jesus spells out your role as His bridge in our word for today from the Word of God. First, there's God's part in bringing a lost person to Him. "God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ." It might be good to put in this verse the name of someone you know who probably doesn't belong to Jesus. "God was reconciling (there's the name) to Himself in Christ, not counting that person's sins against them. And He has committed to us (put your name in there) the message of reconciliation. We are, therefore, Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us (that's through you). We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." That's 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.
Reconciling is bringing two people together. I think sometimes we make this business we call "witnessing" way too complicated. You don't have to explain all about Christianity, all about Christians, all about the church, all about the differences between religions. Because it's all about Jesus, and aren't you glad it is? His invitation is simply, "Follow Me." So your assignment as Jesus' ambassador - as Jesus' bridge - is to bring two people together. You take Jesus in one hand and the lost person you care about in the other hand and you bring them together - forever.
Will you reach out to a person you know who doesn't belong to Jesus yet? Would you take them by the hand and walk with them up Skull Hill, and bring them to the bottom of that old rugged cross and let them stand there for a moment and look at what Jesus is doing for them there. Show them Jesus. Show them His cross, and tell them, "What He's doing on that cross is for you, for every wrong thing you've ever done, and nobody loves you like Jesus does."
If they don't get to Jesus, they won't get to heaven. And they may never get to Jesus without a bridge. That is why God put you there.