Tuesday, July 4, 2017
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Years ago I heard a friend tell about a scene from his childhood that he never forgot. My friend was around on that black day in 1929 that marked the beginning of the Great Depression. One of the great traumas of America's financial collapse, of course, was that many banks just went under almost overnight. Well, my friend literally remembered seeing a neighbor at the locked gates of his bank, and he was literally pounding his fists bloody on those gates, screaming at the top of his lungs, "Give me my money! Give me my money!" There was no money to give.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Most Dangerous Place in The World".
That desperate man, and millions like him, placed their security in an institution. An institution that sure seemed safe but that ultimately and suddenly failed them. A lot of church folks are making that mistake today. Did you know that? Placing their eternal security in their church; in believing its beliefs, attending its meetings, even taking church leadership. Sadly, none of that's enough to get your sins forgiven or to get you into God's heaven.
Sometimes religious folks argue over which church is the right church. Well, in Jeremiah's time there was no argument. God's people were the Jews and their temple was God's self-declared house on earth. But even that wasn't enough.
In our word for today from the Word of God, in Jeremiah 7, beginning with verse 10, God says, "You come and stand before Me in this house, which bears my Name, and you say 'We are safe'...'But I have been watching,' declares the Lord." God goes on to point out the sin in their lives – sin that no amount of 'church' can make right. He goes on to describe His pending destruction of what God calls (Listen to these words.) "the temple you trust in."
Boy, that's the danger of being religious. You tend to trust in your religiousness instead of in Christ. Christianity will never get anyone to heaven. Only Christ can get you there. Only Christ died to pay for the sin that disqualifies every one of us from going to heaven. Jesus established the Church to represent Him on earth, to do His work on earth. But church can be the most dangerous place in the world if that's where your trust is.
Christianity is all about Jesus, but it can actually cause you to miss Jesus. It's called false security; feeling like you're okay with God because you speak the language, you agree with the teachings, and you've been around it all these years. Why, no one would even question that you have a relationship with Jesus – except Jesus. And He's the only One who matters.
Could it be that somehow in the midst of a religion all about Jesus you've missed a personal relationship with Jesus even while you've been a good church person for a long time? Jesus described some active church folks to whom He will say on Judgment Day, "I never knew you" (Matthew 7:21-23).
Somehow, they have never actually given themselves in total faith to the One who died to pay for their sins. There has to be that time when you say, "Jesus, some of those sins You died for were mine, and I have no hope of heaven except You and what You did on the cross for me. So beginning right now, Jesus, I'm yours."
Have you taken that step? I would say that if you don't know, you probably haven't. If you've missed it, don't go another day without moving Christ from your head to your heart...from being a belief to being your own personal Savior. Tell Him today, "Jesus, I'm yours."
Look, let me invite you to go to our website at your first opportunity today. Because I've laid out there a way you can be sure that you belong to Jesus Christ now and forever. And I know that's what you want. It's ANewStory.com.
The church you've trusted in, the religion you've trusted in, the goodness you've trusted in are inadequate substitutes for the real thing – putting your total trust in Jesus. Because it's all about Jesus!