Friday, January 27, 2017
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Every winter we hear the stories, we see the pictures of avalanches. We have done a lot of work in Alaska, and I took special note of an avalanche that happened at Alaska's Turnagain Pass. The mountain slopes had danger written all over them that day – eight feet of new snow had fallen on this older, packed-down snow, a warm sun had been beating down all day, and there were avalanche warnings. But that didn't stop some snowmobilers from powering up this 2,000 foot high mountain to see who could go the highest. There was an even more sobering warning of the danger they were in. Twenty minutes before the major avalanche there was a smaller one in a nearby gully. But some of the snowmobilers just kept going.
When the big avalanche hit, a mile-wide wall of snow roared down that mountain. An onlooker's videotape shows massive slabs of snow breaking loose and sliding down the mountain in a roiling, powdery cloud with at least four snowmobilers – mere specks – being swallowed up. At least four people died that day. And none of them had to.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Living Very Dangerously."
You say to yourself, "If only they had listened to the warnings." I wonder if that's what God says every time someone goes into eternity unprepared. The Bible makes it clear He wants us to go to heaven when we die, to be with Him forever, to experience His awesome love forever. But the Bible also makes it clear that many won't make it to heaven, not because they weren't good enough, but in God's own words, "because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son" (John 3:18). Because they've heard God's warnings about sin and its death penalty in hell, but like those stubborn snowmobilers in Alaska, they've ignored the warnings.
Our word for today from the Word of God in Hebrews 2:3, really bottom lines what's at stake here. God says, "How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation." Salvation. That's rescue. That's what I got the day that someone came to rescue me from drowning in Lake Michigan. I was ten years old. That's the reason I'm around today. Someone came and rescued me. It's what a person receives when a firefighter brings them out of a burning building. It's salvation. Rescue from dying.
God says that's what Jesus dying on the cross is all about. He was paying the price for all the sinning you and I have ever done so He can come and rescue us forever. But like me in that lake or the person in the burning building, if we resist the rescuer, we'll die.
God warns us here about ignoring His salvation, and I think that's how most people end up in hell instead of heaven. Not because they out-and-out reject Jesus; they just ignore Jesus and all of God's warnings about our need of Him. Maybe that's where you are. You're just too busy to think about eternity right now or you're having too much fun. You think you're religious and you'll make it on your own goodness, or you think you know Jesus because you know a lot about Jesus. But for one reason or another you are ignoring the Savior. You are ignoring God's warnings.
And this is one more warning from God. It may be that for someone listening today this might be the last warning. But God is saying, "Don't keep going this way! You are headed for an eternity without hope, without love, without Me." This is just too important to ignore any longer. You are risking the eternal judgment of Almighty God; judgment which God's Son took on Him on the cross for you.
Please listen to Jesus' knocking on your heart-door. Listen to the warning of God. Tell Jesus you're trusting Him today to do what only He can do-to rescue you from your sin and its' eternal penalty.
Our website actually is there; I've actually put things there that would help you this very day, in this very hour, to be sure you belong to Jesus and you are ready for eternity whenever it comes. Go to ANewStory.com.
The avalanche of God will sweep away all those who ignore His warning, who ignore His Son. Please, don't gamble your eternity one more day.