Thursday, June 27, 2002

It was 1908 - in the early days of Major League baseball in America. The Chicago Cubs and the New York Giants were battling it out for the National League championship and the opportunity to play in the World Series. New York first baseman Fred Merkle was in position to be a game-winning hero actually. He was on base when a teammate got a hit that would enable Merkle to score. And he thought he had as he crossed home plate. But the Cubs touched second base and claimed that Merkle had missed that base as he was running to score. The umpire ruled that the almost-hero was out at second because he hadn't touched the base. That mistake ultimately cost his team the championship.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Missing First Base."

Imagine - you think you've made it home safely, but it turns out you're "out" because you missed a base you failed to touch. That can happen to people when it comes to the "home" that really matters - an eternal home in heaven when we die. There are just too many passages in the Bible that indicate that people who thought they would make it there will be surprised to find that they can't get into heaven.

Matthew 7, for example, portrays a Judgment Day scene when people will remind Jesus of all the Christian things they have done, and He will say, "Depart from Me - I never knew you." Somehow, they missed Christ in the middle of all their Christianity. How does that happen? How can you make sure it doesn't happen to you? You need to make sure that you didn't miss first base as you played the Christian game.

Thomas had been with Jesus, day in and day out for three years. Yet, in spite of being one of Jesus' twelve disciples, he had apparently failed to touch first base. Until he does it in John 20, beginning with verse 26, our word for today from the Word of God. Thomas wasn't there the first time the resurrected Christ appeared to His disciples, and he can't believe Jesus is alive. The second time, Thomas was there and the Bible says "Jesus came and stood among them and He said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.' Thomas said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'"

That simple, two-letter word can be the difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus, between going to heaven and going to hell - "my." There has to be a day when you make the Lord your Lord. When you walk up to that cross and say, "Jesus, for me. What You did on this cross there was for me. And I'm taking by faith what You did here for me." If you know you've done that, it's settled. But if you don't know that you have consciously given yourself to Jesus, you probably haven't. And for all you've done on His field, you've missed touching first base.

But He's brought you this message today because He doesn't want you to miss Him. Tell Jesus, "I'm Yours, beginning right here, beginning right now." You can experience the wonderful relief of finally getting this settled. If you want to belong to Jesus for real, please let me send you the booklet, "Yours For Life." It's all about beginning your personal relationship with Him. Just let me know you want it.

Don't make the awful mistake of failing to touch first base - and then being called out at home.



Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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