Monday, February 20, 2017
Download MP3 (right click to save)
You sit there staring at the phone for forty-five minutes. There's this girl you really want to ask out, but every time you try to pick up the phone to call her, you freeze. Finally, you realize she probably isn't going to call you, and the phone isn't going to call her all by itself. So, you punch in her number. Are you still afraid? Yes. But courage is not the absence of fear; it's the disregard of it! So here goes! Yes, that actually was my life at one time.
That battle with fear must be exponentially greater when there's a life-or-death situation where you could make a difference. Like the day a commuter flight crashed on takeoff from the Lexington, Kentucky airport. Fifty passengers; only one survived-the co-pilot. He owes his life to three emergency workers who were there as the flames began to engulf the plane. They said the heat from thousands of gallons of flaming jet fuel was almost overwhelming. There was a lot of reason to be afraid. But they went in anyway. One of the workers put it this way: "We just knew we had to get him out of there." He's alive today because they did.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Why You Matter So Much to the People You Know."
If you belong to Jesus Christ, you've probably heard sermons about how you're supposed to "witness" and "share your faith." Well, research shows that only a small, really small percentage of us Christians ever tell anyone what we know about Jesus Christ. If it's just "witnessing" or "sharing your faith," it's one thing not to do it. If it's the difference between someone within your reach living or dying, it's something much bigger. And that's exactly what it is-life-or-death.
There's a simple eight-word command in Jude 23. It is our word for today from the Word of God. It captures the urgency of the mission that God has assigned to every believer. Here are your orders and mine: "Snatch others from the fire and save them." The fire is the awful eternity that awaits anyone you know who doesn't know your Jesus.
Jesus took the punishment for their sins so they wouldn't have to, but they have to put their trust in Him. And to do that, they have to understand what Jesus did for them on the cross. And someone's going to have to tell them about that; someone who knows this Jesus; someone who knows them. You have that information upon which their eternity depends. And because you're already a part of their life, they're more likely to listen to you than probably any other Christian on earth.
It's our fear, isn't it though, that keeps us from going in for the rescue? What can help you overcome that fear, the fear that's kept you from telling people you know about your Jesus, maybe over and over again? First, understanding that this really is life-or-death; not just sharing your beliefs with someone.
Without Jesus, the Bible says, they will "be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thessalonians 1:9). He doesn't want that. He died so that wouldn't have to happen, but they need to know that.
Secondly, you have to realize that fear always goes with rescue; rescue always means risk. It did for Jesus-it does for you. The fear is real, but it doesn't have to decide what you do. Listen to the words of the man who went into that burning plane, "We just knew we had to get him out of there."
That's what will open your mouth. Deciding that whatever you're risking to tell them about Jesus, it can't be anywhere near as terrible as what will happen if you don't tell them. You can't just leave them lost. You can't just let them die without a chance. You're in a position to rescue them.
This isn't just witnessing. This isn't just sharing your faith. It's rescuing the dying. Thank God you were snatched from the fire. Now it's your turn to "snatch others from the fire and save them."