Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Our daughter's got this thing about lighthouses. Thanks to her family indulging that passion at Christmas and birthday time, she's got lighthouses all over her house. She's got lighthouse stationery, lighthouse rugs, and lighthouse books; sad to say, even a lighthouse on the cover of her commode. In many places, real lighthouses are mostly reminders of the maritime past when lives actually depended on seeing the light that marked the shore and the rocks. Sometimes, lives still depend on them; as in the case of a Greek ferry called the Express Samina.
There were 540 passengers aboard that September evening, sailing from Athens to an Aegean Island. An hour out, the wind came up and the temperature suddenly dropped. Five hours into the voyage, passengers felt the ferry's engines surge, and most of them assumed they were getting close to their destination. They were wrong. The crew was frantically trying to steer clear of this small, rocky island, two miles from their destination. Tragically, the ferry plowed right into those rocks. It took only thirty-eight minutes to sink. Rescue vessels got there quickly, but eighty people died that night, and you know, it didn't have to happen. There was a functioning lighthouse, sitting atop that rock, warning vessels away. It could be seen for several miles around. For some reason, the ferry just kept heading straight for the rocks.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Light Right In Front of You."
It's possible to have the light right in front of you and miss it-with tragic results. It's been happening to nice church folks for a long time. If you're a nice church folk, it could happen to you. There are a lot of great things about growing up in a Christian environment; or of being a part of a church where you hear about Jesus a lot. But there are some dangers, too; like missing the light that's right in front of you.
Jesus had some sobering things to say to some of the most religious people of His day. They are still sobering words for those of us who are Bible folks; church folks. Here are the words of Jesus from John 5:39-40, our word for today from the Word of God: "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about Me, and yet you refuse to come to Me to have life." You can have the light of the Bible, the light of the Gospel in front of you your whole life, and yet you could still miss Jesus. When you miss Jesus, you miss God and you miss heaven. Jesus made clear that many people who have lived for years in sight of the lighthouse will miss heaven's destination and sail right into the rocks of eternal punishment for their sins.
The Bible describes eternal life as "the gift of God" (Romans 6:23). You can know all about a gift, you can appreciate a gift, and you can have the gift right in front of you and still miss the gift because you never took it for yourself. Could that be you? Somehow, there's never been a time when you actually reached out and personally took Jesus into your life for yourself. For all you know, you don't know Jesus. For all you've experienced, you've never experienced Him. Don't you want to?
God, in His great love for you, has laid this on my heart so you could have this chance to know Him for real. It's probably going to be hard to admit that you've missed Jesus all this time, but it's not nearly as hard as an eternity without Him. Don't let your pride, don't let your self-deception make you miss heaven. Right where you are, tell Him, "Jesus, I've never actually put my trust in You to be my own Savior from my own sin. But today I am. Beginning this day, Jesus, I'm Yours."
I want you to be sure beyond any shadow of a doubt that you belong to Jesus for now and for eternity. That's why our website is there. Please go there and make sure you belong to Him. It's ANewStory.com.
You've seen the lighthouse, but maybe you've never changed your course. This time, turn to Jesus while there's time.