Friday, July 8, 2016
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I was speaking for an Easter Sunrise Service in the Ozarks, and I saw something that seemed strangely out of place. In front of this church, there's a 10' section of a brick wall with a sign in front of it that says, "Berlin Wall." I was thousands of miles from Berlin, but here was a chunk of what used to be the most famous, and maybe the most infamous wall in the world. Many of us remember how the Berlin Wall represented for decades the Cold War division of our world into Communist and free. The Communists built it on the border between East Berlin and free West Berlin. In spite of that wall, many people still risked everything to scale it and escape to freedom. A few made it. Many died trying.
Then came that amazing day – a day few of us could have ever imagined – when the revolution taking place against Communist rule allowed Berliners to start tearing down that wall. All night long, they went after that wall with everything from sledge hammers to their bare hands. And then there were 100,000 Berliners, celebrating in the square, and they were chanting four incredible words over and over again, "The wall is gone! The wall is gone!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Wall You Cannot Afford."
For many of us, there's a wall that's still standing that is costing us the most important things in life. It's a wall between us and the God who made us. In fact, you probably didn't need me to tell you there's a wall. We know there's something between us and God. What we may not know is what that wall is keeping us from; like the meaning and purpose of your life. The only person who can show you why you're here is the One who put you here, and He's on the other side of the wall. The only love that can ultimately satisfy the loneliness in your heart is God's love. If we die with that wall still there, it's there forever. The Bible calls that hell.
The Bible describes the wall this way: "Your sins have separated you from your God" (Isaiah 59:2). The bricks in the wall between me and God are all the countless times that I've chosen to do things my way instead of His way – my sins. Every wrong thing I've ever done, every lie I've ever told, every person I've ever hurt, every mean thing I've ever said, every selfish thing I've ever done, every dirty thing I've ever thought or done, and everything and everyone I've ever let be more important than God in my life. I'm cut off from God because of that sin-wall. And there's no way you or I can tear it down no matter how decent, how religious, or how sincere we are.
The only One who can do that is the very God we've rebelled against, and that's what He did the day His Son, Jesus, paid for our sin on the cross. For centuries, God's people, the Jews, had worshipped in a temple or tabernacle which had at its core, the Holy of Holies – God's place. Between them and that place was a curtain through which no man could ever go, except once a year when the High Priest entered to offer a sin sacrifice on behalf of the people. Our word for today from the Word of God, Matthew 27:51, describes the astonishing thing that happened the moment Jesus died: "At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom."
The curtain separating man from God could never have been removed by man from the bottom to the top. Only God could let us into His presence. So He split the curtain from top to bottom. There's the picture of what can happen to the wall between you and God this very day. God will tear it down forever if you'll bring the sins of your life to Jesus to be forgiven; if you'll tell Him you're putting your total trust in Him and what He did on the cross for you.
If that's what you want, I want to be all the help I can at this decisive moment in your life. That's why our website is there – ANewStory.com. I urge you, please go there today so you can be sure the wall is gone between you and Him.
This could be the day you celebrate the greatest, most liberating miracle of your life; the day you can finally say, "The wall is gone!"