Thursday, April 25, 2002

Only four people survived above the 78th floor on that awful September 11, when a hijacked jetliner struck the south tower of the World Trade Center. Two of those were in a group of six that were on the 84th floor, right in the middle of where the plane crashed into the building. The six men ran to the stairwell and started that long trip down. At the 81st floor, they met a woman who said, "You can't go down. The floors below are in flames. We have to get above the smoke and fire." The six coworkers debated whether to go up or down. Four decided to climb up, hoping for a helicopter to rescue them from the roof. They could not have known that the rooftop doors were locked, and the roof was smothered in smoke. Their other two colleagues continued down, heading right into the dense smoke that had made others turn back. They struggled to breathe, but thankfully that smoke lasted only a floor or two. They were the last people who got out of the south tower alive. Their friends didn't make it.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "Missing the Way Out."

You can see where people would turn back because of the smoke in between them and safety. Tragically, that was a fatal choice. It's a mistake that far too many people have made spiritually - going the wrong way because of all the smoke between them and Jesus. It could be that even you have been holding back from what Jesus offers because of the spiritual "smoke" that's kept you from moving His direction.

Like the hypocrites you've known, for example. Many honest people have held back on committing to Jesus because "Hey, I've just known way too many Christians who were hypocrites." Maybe you've even known those who were supposed to be Christian leaders who have messed up. That's heavy smoke, blocking your view of Jesus. Hurts can do the same thing - painful things that have happened to you. You have doubts, unanswered questions, even anger - so you won't accept Jesus' invitation to "Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavily burdened" (Matthew 11:28).

Some people never make it to Jesus because of their pride, their self-reliance - "Hey, I've made my way this far on my own - I'll take my chances with God." Our own pride can be the smoke that keeps us from the One who died for us because there's no way we could make it with God on our own. And, strangely, sometimes your religious background can even be the "smoke" that keeps you from Jesus. You've got a lot of religion, maybe even a lot of Christianity - and it's easy to mistake having Christianity for having Christ -- to depend on your own Christianness rather than depending on Jesus.

Well, our word for today from the Word of God clears away the smoke. Two words: "Follow Me," Jesus said. That's it. Jesus' invitation to you couldn't be plainer - "Follow Me." Not My followers, not My leaders, not My religion, not My rules - "Follow Me." It's all about Jesus. And it's all about what you do with Jesus. Your eternity will depend on your answer to the one question God wants you to answer - "What did you do with My Son?" Since it's all about Him, there's really no reason not to give yourself to the Man who died for you. And eternal reasons not to wait any longer.

            

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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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