Friday, April 17, 2015
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One of the exciting episodes of my life was working on the Billy Graham Crusade at the Meadowlands in northern New Jersey. It was incredibly organized. One thing that was especially well organized was security. There were thousands of people coming and going, so of course, security had to be very well thought through. Now, it was my privilege to be the Chairman of that crusade. And I'll tell you, if I was stopped I still had to have my badge on. It didn't matter what your title was, because if you didn't wear your badge, you weren't going anywhere.
One night we were entering the arena, and one of Billy Graham's staff was with me. But he had forgotten his badge. Well, when the guard stopped us, I had my badge. He knew who I was. I said, "Now, this is really a good guy, honest. He's OK. In fact he's on Billy Graham's staff." But do you know how he finally got in? On my credentials. It worked.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "False Hope of Heaven."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Romans 14. The second half of verse 10 says, "We will all stand before God's judgment seat." It's a sobering sentence isn't it? Then the verse says, "So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God." So when we're judged by God we will all be one-on-one with Him. Nobody's going to be standing there with you.
There are some who hope to make it with God because of a connection they have, like my friend from the Billy Graham staff who got in on my badge. Well, no one else's badge will count when you stand before God. You might try to say, "Lord, my parents were great Christians; my wife, what a spiritual lady! Think about how much my son, my daughter was into this, Lord. My brother's in the ministry. My grandmother's prayed for me for years. She prays all the time. You know, she's really religious."
Or maybe we could try other connections and say, "Lord, you know I was a good Presbyterian. I was a good Baptist. I was a strong Catholic." But none of our connections will matter to God. Nobody else's faith is going to impress Him. Every man will give account of himself to God.
You say, "Lord, I spent years in the church." Billy Sunday said years ago, "Being in church will not make you a Christian any more than being in a garage will make you a car." In 2 Timothy 1:5, Paul says of Timothy, "I know the faith that was in your grandmother, Lois, and then in your mother, Eunice. And now lives in you also." See, God has no grandchildren. You have to have your own relationship with Him. You've got to have a badge of your own.
Have you personally been to that cross where Jesus paid for your sin? Because that's what the badge says to get you into heaven. See, I've been to the cross of Jesus. I went there to have my sins forgiven, knowing there was nothing I could do; no good works, no religion, no noble life that could ever get my sins forgiven because of the death penalty of my sin.
I know Jesus is my only hope. But you've got to go there for yourself. No one can go there for you. You can't hitchhike on someone else having been there. You have to go there for your sins, for your forgiveness, for your eternal life, exercising your own personal trust in Jesus as your own personal Savior. No one else can open the door of your heart. It could be He's brought us together today so you could actually feel His knocking on your heart door right now. Listen to it. Open up to the Savior, Jesus.
All the other people you know who belong to Jesus Christ will not get you into heaven. They just make you all the more responsible because you've had so many chances to hear it. If you don't know Jesus; if you're not sure, let this be the day where you say, "Jesus, you who died for my sins, who came out of that grave to come in and change my life, I surrender that life to you. I am yours."
Our website is all about getting this relationship started. I hope you'll make that the next thing you do. Go to ANewStory.com today. If you're not sure you have a badge of your own, get to the cross of Jesus today. Don't miss heaven because you thought that someone else could get you in.