September 29, 2020
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Don't you love it with today's technology we can record a TV program and fast-forward past the commercials to get to the program. With the sorry state of a lot of shows today, it might be smarter to fast forward past the program and maybe watch the commercials. A lot of them are more entertaining than the show they're part of! There's one I saw years ago that was a little strange, but I obviously still remember it. It was advertising a particular pain reliever. They started their fairly annoying advertisement for the product, and then they suddenly interrupted it for this one aggravated person looking in the camera. They had this great line, addressed to the company whose product was being advertised: "I hate your commercials, but I love your product!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Churches, Christians and Other Hang-ups."
I have to be brutally honest with you about this Christian thing. A lot of people really don't like our commercials. The advertisements for Jesus are the people who claim to follow Him - like me; the churches and organizations that claim to operate in His name. And maybe your experiences with Christians and Christianity have caused you to say, "I hate your commercials." There are many bright and attractive representatives of Jesus, to be sure, but there are also a lot who don't represent Him very well.
My appeal to you is this: Don't miss the product just because you don't like the "commercials." The issue is, in the Bible's words, "Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2). Jesus and the cross where He died for you.
There's a great story in the Bible about Jesus that makes the point very well. Let me just let the story speak for itself. It's in Mark 2, beginning with verse 1, and it's our word for today from the Word of God. "When Jesus entered Capernaum, the people heard that He had come home. So many gathered there was no room left, even outside the door, and He preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven'...He said to the paralytic then...'Get up, take up your mat and go home.' He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all."
Here's a man whose only hope was Jesus, but there were all these people and obstacles between him and Jesus. They could have turned away, and this man would have never experienced the healing and forgiving touch of Jesus. But they didn't let the hindrances stop them. He got to Jesus, no matter what it took, and he was healed.
That can be you, if you'll look past the disappointing commercials - beyond Christians, and beyond church - and just look at Christ. He said, "Follow Me," so it's all about Jesus. He didn't say follow My followers or follow My religion or my leaders. He said, "Follow Me." So don't let bad commercials make you miss the product. He's the only man who loved you enough to die for every sin you've ever committed, the only man who was willing and able to go through our hell so we could have His heaven, the only man in history powerful enough to beat death by walking out of His grave under His own power. There's nothing not to love about this man. And this man is who you have to decide about. The hypocrites, the poor examples, the mistakes Christians make; none of those have a thing to do with where you will spend eternity. It is all about Jesus...now and forever.
And today this Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart, giving you an opportunity to find what you've been looking for your whole life. His "product" is eternal life. And only He can provide it, because He's the only One who could pay for it with His life, and He did.
This could be your Jesus-day by reaching out to Him in your heart and just saying, "Jesus, I've missed You all these years, but I'm wanting You now. I need You. You're my only hope of knowing God and having my sins forgiven, and going to heaven. Jesus, I'm Yours."
There will be one question on God's final exam for you one day: "What did you do with Jesus?"