Friday, November 17, 2017
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It's a familiar scenario. A man is driving his family on vacation; let's say they're going from Chicago to California. His wife gently points out to him that she just saw a sign saying, "Welcome to Kentucky." OK, Kentucky is definitely not between Chicago and California. Repeatedly, the Mrs. suggests that Mr. stop and ask directions. Then she says that four-letter word, "I think we're lost." Oh, will he stop and ask for directions? No! Maybe it's something in the male chromosome. Like most men, he's too proud to admit he's lost, and he's probably not going to end up where he hoped.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Lost But Proud."
When it comes to our eternal destination, I think most of us hope to end up in heaven. But do you know what will keep a lot of people from ending up where they hope to? Pride. The kind that's just too proud to admit you're lost - that you can't get there on your own.
There's a powerful picture of this in our word for today from the Word of God. It's a story I love. It's in 2 Kings 5:1. It's the story about a Syrian general named Naaman who discovers that he has the incurable disease of leprosy. None of his victories, none of his fame can help him. So he accepts advice to go to the prophet Elisha in Israel who prescribes something that is not his idea of how you get well. "Go wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed."
Naaman is furious! He says, "I thought he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy." The general had brought money to pay for a cure, but the prophet wouldn't take the money. See, Naaman had his own idea of how he could get cured. It just wasn't God's idea. It wouldn't work. Finally, "he went down" the Bible says "and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young man."
Naaman would go on dying until he swallowed his pride and did it God's way. You and I go on carrying the death penalty for our sin until we swallow our pride and come to God His way. Which is to lay aside all of our attempts to get to Him through our own goodness, through our religion, through our spiritual connections, and we just go to the cross of Jesus and let Him wash away our sins.
And let me tell you, only Jesus can. He said, "No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). That's because there was only one way to pay your death penalty. Somebody had to die, and Jesus did. We're drowning and we can't possibly swim to God. Our only hope is Jesus, the Rescuer. It's in abandoning every other hope of heaven and grabbing Him like He's your only hope, because He is your only hope.
Don't let your pride make you miss heaven; being too proud to admit you've never really given yourself to Jesus even though everyone thinks you have, too proud to come to your spouse's faith, too proud to lay aside depending on your religion. Please, let this be your Jesus-day.
If you're ready to finally put your total trust in Jesus to forgive you, to rescue you, tell Him that now where you are. Tell Him, "Jesus, you are my only hope. Only You died for my sin. I admit I am lost. You came to find me, and I am Yours from this day on."
If that's where your heart is at, then our website ought to be your next stop online. That's what it's all about is making sure your sins are forgiven and you're ready to live and ready to die, and you've got Jesus. Our website's ANewStory.com. Can you remember that? Go there and get this thing settled once and for all.
If you're too proud to admit that you need Him, you will never end up in heaven. Pride can literally cost you your soul.