July 6, 2020
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When you're the parent of a little kid, you know that one of your great challenges could be getting that little one to sleep at night. When you are the little child, you know why it's hard to get to sleep at night. First, there's that prayer. You know, the one where your Mommy has you pray, "Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray the Lord my soul to keep." OK, that's good so far. Then, "If I should die before I wake..." Wait a minute! Hold it! Not going to sleep! Who in the world put that line in that prayer? Then there's another reason little kids have a hard time getting to sleep. The monsters, you know the ones in the closet. Oh, I know we had them in my room, how about yours? See, parents never really seem to get it. But all of us kids knew that once the lights all went out, there was a really scary monster waiting in that closet. So, you lie there with your eyes wide open, afraid of what the monster might do if you fall asleep.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Monster In Your Closet."
Well, fortunately we've all grown up now. Huh? Right? And in a sense, there is still a monster in our closet that makes it very hard for us to be at peace. And this one is not imaginary. It is all too real; life's ultimate, inevitable reality. Our deep, nagging fear of that monster is actually expressed in the possibility raised in that childhood prayer, "If I should die before I wake..."
The monster of death actually comes out of the closet every time we have to go to a funeral. It comes really close to us when the person who died is like someone our age. It's not meant to be a morbid thing, but the reality is that one day it will be me in that casket and it will be you. And we know it. And the longer we live, the more quickly our years seem to slip away, right? One day the monster will catch every one of us. Beyond our last heartbeat is a lot of unknown and whatever it is, it's forever.
Of course, the only one who can really speak with total authority about death is God. He's the only One who knows what's on the other side. And in our word for today from the Word of God, there is some very good news about the monster - the monster that lurks in all of our futures. Hebrews 2:14 - "(Jesus) shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death - that is the devil - and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death."
Wow! "Held in slavery by their fear of death." Now, we know it's inevitable. We don't know where it will take us. But we can. If you'll put your life in the hands of Jesus Christ, you can be liberated from the fear of death. Why? Because you'll know for sure that death for you is going to mean heaven forever. How can you know that? By having the only thing that could keep you out of God's heaven removed forever, and that is your sins. There is no way you can enter heaven with your sins. And there is no way they can be forgiven by anyone but the One who died to pay for those sins.
This same Bible chapter says that Jesus tasted "death for everyone," and that He made "atonement for the sins of the people." Your sins have been paid for. You don't ever have to pay for them if you give yourself to Him. And death will just be your graduation to eternal life in heaven. But if you've never totally trusted Jesus as your Savior from your sin, you have no hope of heaven.
So, I urge you, if you want to begin your relationship with Jesus, tell Him that now while you know you've got the opportunity. Don't risk your eternity by waiting. Tell Him today, "Jesus, I've been running my life. I resign. I'm yours because you died for me. You drive from here on."
A lot of people have found help in beginning this relationship by visiting our website. In fact, that's how we've set it up. I hope you go there today. It's ANewStory.com where your new story might begin.
That monster of death was put to death when Jesus died on the cross. And you can finally be free from the fear that haunts us all our lives until we meet Jesus. Until we know that if we die before we wake, we'll be in heaven forever with Him.