July 3, 2019
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It's amazing how you can go outside on a brutally cold winter day, and you go from shivering to sweating in a few minutes. If you just stand around in the cold or just move around a little bit, you're not going to stay outside for long. It's just too frigid out there, right! But in a very short time you can get to where you barely even notice the cold. Just start shoveling snow or some other vigorous activity. You know, my wife once was out in the middle of a snowstorm, working on some outside chores, and she told me, "It's amazing how you can work up a sweat on a day like this!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Fighting the Cold."
When you're exercising, the cold just doesn't really affect you that much. That's a very important equation for Christians who are living in times like these, because Jesus said it was going to get really chilly among His children.
In our word for today from the Word of God, Jesus is describing the days that will precede His return to earth. Now, I can't tell you when those "last days" are going to be, but I can tell you that the world has never looked so much like the kind of world Jesus said He would return to than our world looks today. As time runs shorter for Planet Earth, Jesus' prediction of how His followers would live seems to be more and more true, and there will be a chill in the air.
Notice: two groups of believers in these important times. Pick your group; I know you're in one of them. It's in Matthew 24 beginning in verse 12 - Jesus says, "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most" - that's most believers, by the way - "will grow cold." Alright, there's group one - the cold. That's the group Jesus said most believers would be in. Living in a world where sin is permeating everything, in a world where sin becomes everyday stuff, most Christians will just turn spiritually cold. That's amazing! At the time when Jesus needs them to be fully engaged in the decisive spiritual battles going on around them, they go cold.
But some believers are going to be fighting the cold with some important spiritual exercise, the most important you can do. And they are group two. Jesus says that at the same time sin is exploding across the world and into people's lives, "This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Okay, there they are. The bold! These are the believers who have checked the stadium clock, they can tell it's late in the game and they're going for broke to get some points on the board! They get the Good News about Jesus to as many people as possible.
So where are you in this picture? Are you getting colder or bolder? Are you pursuing your kingdom or Jesus' Kingdom? Living in a sin-saturated world, it's very easy to grow numb, especially numb to the lostness, the dyingness of the people around us. To care only about what affects my personal world and not much about the world for whom Jesus gave His life.
I believe Jesus is summoning many of us to join Him in an all-out effort to rescue as many dying people as possible in the time we've got left, to make the greatest possible difference with the rest of our life. He's asking you to throw yourself totally - I mean your influence, your money, your home, your talents, and your time into the greatest cause in the universe. It is the cause for which Jesus gave His very life.
How could I do anything less than live for what He died for. If you're not in the bold, well, you're part of the cold. But your heart and your life will warm up fast with some exercise, fighting for the eternal souls of people that Jesus thought were worth His life.