Thursday, October 11, 2018
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Smoking is bad for humans and for mountains. When a mountain is smoking, it usually means it's about to blow its top, as in volcano erupting. One of the most dramatic American eruptions in our lifetime, of course, was the one on Mount Saint Helen's in Washington State. It devastated and really recreated the landscape for many square miles. It literally blew a major portion of the mountain away. Not that you could exactly call it a surprise. For two or three months in advance, the mountain kept sending out smoke and eventually a big lava dome began to form at the top. Everybody knew it was going to blow, including a colorful old lodge owner with the colorful name, Harry Truman. But when everyone evacuated the area, Harry refused. He stayed right there on Mount Saint Helen's, no matter how many times he was warned about what would happen. When the smoke finally cleared from that volcano's massive eruption, there was no trace that would ever suggest that lodge or that man had ever been there. The tragedy of something like that is really obvious; someone died who didn't have to die.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Choosing the Fire."
Someone might say, "The volcano killed that man." Well, it wasn't really the volcano that killed him, it was his choice to ignore the danger and stay where he was. It is that very danger that God is warning you and me against in our word for today from the Word of God. It's in Hebrews 2:3 where he says, "How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?" God says, "I am providing a way for you to have life for all eternity instead of death-heaven instead of hell. If you ignore it, you will not escape. You are choosing the fire."
The word God uses here, salvation, suggests something that is life-or-death. Like when the rescuers went into Ground Zero, after the tragedy of September 11th, the issue was salvation, it was saving them from death; it was life-or-death. They were, in a sense, saviors and they were the victim's hope of coming out alive.
For us, the word Savior has a capital "S" and only one person qualifies. That would be Jesus. He knew you and I are under a death penalty for running our own lives instead of God running them. And He knew that the only way you could escape the fire of that penalty was for Him to go to that cross and absorb all the hell of all our sin. The one and only Son of God loving you so much He would be brutally crucified and totally cut off from God the Father, so you could live. That is a "great salvation" like the verse says. He's your only hope of coming out alive. God says if you ignore that just as that old man ignored the warning about the volcano, you will not escape. You are choosing the fire. Because of what Jesus did, you don't have to die.
God says that so pointedly in John 3:16, "God so loved the world (you could put your name in there) that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." Jesus is your way out of the fire. He's your Savior reaching to you in the wreckage. But you have to grab Him with total trust. Notice that God said what would cost people eternal life was neglecting Jesus; not just rejecting Jesus. Hell is filled with people who were going to trust Jesus, who believed it all in their head, who needed just a little more time, who meant to get to Jesus someday, but they passed up one too many opportunities. They waited too long.
That's why the Bible says, "Now is the day of salvation." You are gambling your eternity if you wait one more day, my friend. That's too much to lose. Would you tell Jesus right now you want Him to be your Savior from your sin while there's still time?
To help you get there, go to our website today. It's ANewStory.com. It's all about beginning this relationship and being sure you have.
You've heard God's warnings. You know the way to escape the destruction. Well, don't just sit there and in affect choose the fire, because Jesus took the fire for you.