January 18, 2024
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My wife and I were out for a Sunday afternoon drive, and we saw a very strange contradiction. There was this church, and there were long stairs leading up to the entrance, and one lady, all alone, at the door. She was trying every door to get in that church and they were all locked. She was frustrated. Now, what was the contradiction? Well, the name of the church - Our Lady of Perpetual Help. My wife said, "You know, this reminds me of a scene I saw when I was in Haiti." She said, "I was right near a church and there was this very gaunt woman, maybe starving to death, and weeping at the door of this church. And she looked like she was desperate to get in and every door was locked. She literally was beating her fists bloody on the door and there was no response."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Sincerely Wrong, Eternally Wrong."
Our word for today from the Word of God is sobering. It's one of the most unsettling passages in the Bible. It's in Luke 13, beginning with verse 23 - listen to these words. "Someone asked Jesus, 'Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?' And He said to them, 'Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, "Sir, open the door for us." But he will answer, "I don't know you or where you come from." Then you will say, "We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets." But he will reply, "I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!" There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth there when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out."
Oh man! This is the door of eternity. People are trying to get into heaven, but it says many will not be able to. Jesus will utter those sobering, chilling words, "I don't know you." They'll end up weeping. They'll end up thrown out. This is about real people locked out of heaven; people like our neighbors, our coworkers, like you and me. People who have been around Jesus a lot. They know a lot about Him, but somehow they missed the personal relationship with Him.
You know, with the current demands of our lives, it's really easy to kind of neglect eternity. It's a mistake to just have Jesus in your head and not in your heart. But each of us has this non-cancellable, non-postpone-able appointment with our Creator. The Bible says, "It is appointed to man once to die and after this the judgment." And in that instant when God decides we've taken our last breath and our heart has beaten for the last time, there is only one thing that matters. It won't be our religion, won't be our titles, not our net worth, our sickness, our references, and not even our Christian activities. Only one thing will matter, "What did you do with my Son, Jesus?"
Get a picture here of the greatest eternal tragedy, being locked out of heaven. God doesn't want it that way. He did all He could to remove the sin that keeps people out of heaven. When Jesus was dying on the cross, He said, "Why have You forsaken Me, God?" Why did God the Father turn His back on His one and only Son? Because He was carrying all the guilt and all the hell of my sin and yours. Your sin has been paid for so you don't have to. Jesus was cut off from the Father so you don't have to be.
But you do have to take this eternal gift purchased by the blood of God's Son. You have to surrender that self-running of your life and tell God you're putting all your trust in Jesus. The Lord will come down and the gate of heaven will be wide open for you. Have you ever reached out to Him with desperate hope and faith and said, "Jesus, I'm Yours"? Would you today? We're not guaranteed tomorrow. This is the only day we know for sure.
If I can help you with that, I'd just love to have you drop by our website. It's ANewStory.com.
You have nothing more important, nothing more urgent to do than to be sure you have settled things with Jesus, because your forever depends on it. Jesus said there will be many who are like the lady at that church pounding on the door of heaven, desperately trying to get in. But it will be too late for them; too late to find Jesus. Please, would you open your heart to Him now?