October 11, 2019
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He was having a great day on the slopes - a lot of fresh snow - an already deep base. It was just the kind of day an experienced skier would hope for. But then this one skier decided that he wanted more. He skied onto another part of the mountain; a section that was clearly marked with a large skull-and-crossbones sign; a warning about going any further written in bold print: "You may die. You decide." It couldn't be any plainer than that. Sadly, that skier decided to ski where he never should have gone. Yeah, that's when the massive avalanche came that drove him headlong into a tree and buried him in a snowy grave.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Avalanche Zone."
A man deliberately chose to go out-of-bounds into the forbidden zone. He ignored the warnings, and tragically, he paid for it with his life. Sadly, there's a tragedy like that being repeated every day by many, many people. They're out-of-bounds, they're in the avalanche zone, and when it comes, there's no escape.
That's actually a picture of the spiritual condition of someone who might be listening right now. In a way, it's a picture of all of us. Because the Bible says every one of us has decided to live our life outside of God's boundaries, even the most religious of us. God insists on truth, for example, and countless times, come on, we've settled for much less than telling the truth haven't we? God says we can have no other gods before Him, but we've pre-empted Him as the center of our life and many times pushed Him to the edge and put something else in the center of our universe.
The boundaries of God forbid destructive anger, lingering bitterness, hatred, and hurting other people. We're out-of-bounds with our pride, our sexual desires, our sexual involvement directed to anyone other than our husband or wife, our prejudice, our judgmental spirit. Your sins and my sins might be different - and you may think mine are more sinful than yours - but the Bible gives God's sobering bottom line: "There is no one righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10) ... "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
And our sin has placed us squarely in the path of the avalanche of the judgment of Almighty God. Our instinctive fear of death is actually well-founded because we have to meet a holy God on the other side. James 1:15, our word for today from the Word of God, makes very clear the danger we're in. It says, "After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." The ultimate outcome of our sin will inevitably be death, the death of our self-respect, of relationships, of people's trust in us, of our reputation. But worst of all, our eternal separation from our God in a place Jesus called hell.
But the dying for your sin has already been done by Jesus Christ. In the words of the Bible, Jesus came to "do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Hebrews 9:26). That cross was for you. But read the warning sign: "Whoever does not believe (in Him) stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son" (John 3:18). If you keep skiing past that warning, you will as the Bible says, "die in your sin" (John 8:21) and face the awful avalanche of a penalty that Jesus already paid.
That's what makes it so urgent that you turn around and reach for heaven's Rescuer, Jesus, your only hope of heaven. Don't just breeze by His cross again without doing something, without giving yourself to the One who gave Himself for you. Right where you are, you can say, "Jesus, I'm Yours. I have no hope but You."
Look, I'd love to invite you to go to our website as soon as you can today. Because I've tried to put there in the simplest of terms how you can be sure that you are forgiven and you are going to heaven when you die. The website is ANewStory.com.
Like the sign on that ski slope that day, God's warning says, "You choose." It's not a religious choice. No, it's literally a choice between life and death - heaven and hell. I pray that you will choose life.