September 6, 2023
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As a kid, I often rode my bike up to the old theater on 79th Street for the Saturday afternoon flick. But this day was different. They handed me this strange-looking pair of glasses made of cardboard with tinted plastic lenses. Those goofy-looking glasses opened up a whole new world where the events in a movie no longer just stayed flat on the screen. They leaped off the screen and right into my face. Hello, 3-D!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "What You Can See With Eternity Eyes."
Looking through three-dimensional glasses, we saw things we could never see without them. When Jesus summons someone to follow Him and be a part of what He's doing, He wants to outfit them with a new pair of spiritual glasses. Not 3-D glasses, no - 4-D glasses. They give you the ability to see a fourth dimension in the people around you, to see what Jesus sees, to see the lostness beneath what's on the surface of the people in your world.
Looking through the eyes of Jesus, you see things you could never see without them. Like the "eternalness," the lostness of your co-workers, your fellow students, your neighbors, your teammates, the folks at the club, your friends at school, family members. You're driven to action to reach them for Jesus because now you see them as they really are - precious creations of God, but headed for an awful eternity without Him.
In our word for today from the Word of God in Proverbs 24:11-12, God describes the real condition of people around us, no matter how religious, or how together, or how nice they seem to be. He calls to you and me, "Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not He who weighs the heart perceive it?... Will He not repay each person according to what He has done?"
Jesus came here on a mission to rescue spiritually dying people and now He's expecting you and me to join that mission, to be a rescuer for the people within your reach. But you'll just sit passively soaking up the blessings until you see the people around you as Jesus does.
My friend Mike is a pastor. He was in his study the other day and his six-year-old daughter came in and she began to study the chart of end-times events that he has on his wall. The end of the chart shows one group of people going up to eternal life and another group of people going down to eternal punishment. Suddenly she blurted, "Daddy, look!" My friend said, "At what?" and he was shaken by her answer. "Daddy, can't you see all those people going to hell?"
Mike said he hadn't seen all those people going to hell for a long time until his daughter helped him put on Jesus' glasses. Maybe you haven't seen them either and they're all around you. God describes the people you know who don't belong to Jesus with words like these out of the Bible: they are "being led away to death" (Proverbs 24:11)... they are "separated from God" (Isaiah 59:2)... they are "lost" (Luke 19:10)... they are, the Bible says, "condemned already"... they will be "punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thessalonians 1:9). This isn't just some theological concept.
This is someone you know, people Jesus died for so they could be rescued from all this; people who may never know Jesus unless you introduce them to Him. He has divinely positioned you in their life to be their rescuer, to be their chance at Jesus, to be their chance at heaven.
Once you see what Jesus sees, you'll rescue the dying whatever it takes and whatever it costs! And you'll look in the mirror and say, "I am someone's chance."