Friday, August 22, 2008

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A lot of news stories just flash into our lives and then are forgotten almost immediately. Then there are those images that are just embedded in our brains for years to come. Several years ago one of those events happened, and a lot of us can still see the images of that dramatic rescue in our minds. A little toddler named Jessica had been playing in the backyard in Midland, Texas, and she plummeted down this narrow little shaft. She was wedged in there; trapped underground. It seemed as if the whole nation stopped to watch the tense vigil as rescuers tried to find a way to save that little girl. It was a long ordeal, but one rescuer, using a parallel shaft and working in the tightest of quarters, was finally able to get to little Jessica. And in a moment of incredible relief and joy, he brought her out.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Only One Hand to Grab."

Now, only one person came to rescue that little girl and no one had a problem with that. We were all just grateful there was one! So was little Jessica!

Now, when the Bible describes our spiritual condition, it's not unlike that of a little girl, in a desperate condition where her only hope was a rescuer. Because we have all lived our way instead of God's way, the Bible describes us with words like "lost" (Luke 19:10), "perishing" (John 3:16), "without hope, without God" (Ephesians 2:12). We are in a spiritual life-or-death situation from which we cannot extricate ourselves. But God, who loves us too much to lose us, sent His one and only Son "down the shaft" to be our Rescuer.

But He only sent one. Our word for today is in 1 Timothy 2:5. Remember these are God's words, not mine. "There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" - one go-between, one Person bringing us together with God - Jesus. Why? Well, the verse goes on to describe Him as "Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men."

Now a ransom is the price you pay to get someone back. The price for getting you and me back to God was a death penalty. God makes it very clear in the Bible that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). The penalty for us running our own lives is eternal death in the form of separation from God. But, in God's own words, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son" (John 3:16). Jesus paid the death penalty for the sinning that you and I do.

And no other religious leader even claimed that he was dying for us; that he was taking our hell. This isn't some intolerant prejudice that the Christian religion is better than other religions. If doing good was the way to get our sins forgiven, well, there are lots of good works we could do. But the Bible bluntly says, "It is by grace you have been saved (or rescued) ... not by works" (Ephesians 2:8-9). We can't pull ourselves out of our own sin-pit any more than little Jessica could have rescued herself. It doesn't matter which religion's good works it is.

Only one Person paid the death penalty that separates you from God. So any other hope of getting to heaven is a false hope. Grabbing Jesus' rescuing hand in total trust is your only hope of being forgiven of your sins - of going to heaven when you die.

The single most important question for your eternity is this: have you ever grabbed Jesus' hand to rescue you from your sin? If you haven't - if you want to, tell Him that right now. And I'd love to help you with what we have provided at our website that really takes you through how to begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and be sure that you belong to the Rescuer. The website is YoursForLife.net. And I hope you'll go there as soon as you can today. Or if you'd rather, you can all for my little booklet Yours For Life. It's a toll free number. It's 877-741-1200.

Thank God, one Rescuer has come. Without Jesus, we have no hope. Because of Jesus, you can live forever! While He's reaching for you, won't you grab His hand?

            

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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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