July 2, 2020
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I heard a while back about a novelty company that made a lot of money on people having birthdays that they might not be real excited about. You know, like those milestone birthdays: 40, 50, 60. I'll stop there. Of course, if you're sad about how many birthdays this is, consider the alternative. That means you've stopped having birthdays, and that's not good. This company actually produces a whole line of birthday products called "Over the Hill." Maybe you've seen them. There are these black balloons with these words on them, black banners, cards; all kinds of dark little reminders that tap into the very things you don't want this birthday to mean. A friend of mine was facing the classic Baby Boomer crossroads of turning 60 and was talking about it to an older man that he knew. And that man said something that made me laugh several times since then. He said, "Hey, how can I be over the hill when I've never even made it to the top yet?"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Time is Slipping Away."
After I stopped laughing, I realized that's how a lot of folks feel about their life. Where did it go? How can it be flying so fast? Especially when there's so much I thought I would have or do by now and I haven't. Job said it this way in the Bible, "My days are swifter than a runner" (Job 9:25).
I remember telling the quarterback of our high school's freshman football team, "Hey, Chris, you're going to blink your eyes and suddenly you'll be a senior playing your last games." He smiled, "Yeah, whatever." One day in the senior locker room, he reminded me of what I had told him when he was just starting high school. He said, "Where did it all go so fast? Wasn't I a freshman just yesterday?" I well know the feeling.
Our word for today from the Word of God, James 4:13-14 put our little journey on this planet into perspective. The Bible says, "Now listen you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this city or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."
And at that point, now I'm... this is me talking, "It's all about eternity." A friend of mine was at a class reunion where he was talking with a classmate who had become a very successful physician. As the conversation turned somehow to talking about God, the doctor just said very candidly, "Frankly, I'm nervous about eternity."
You know what? We should be, if we're not ready for the God we're going to meet on the other side. Actually, the Bible tells us that we couldn't be more "unready" to meet God. Isaiah 59:2 says, "Your sins have separated you from your God." The Bible makes it clear that we're all in deep trouble with God because as it says, "all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory" (Romans 3:23). We've been so busy pursuing the elusive goal of happiness and success that we have forgotten eternity.
And waiting to get ready for it is just foolhardy. As the Bible says, "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth" (Proverbs 27:1). How many funerals have we been to of people who thought they had more time; maybe lots more time, and suddenly it was over.
We're not ready for eternity unless every sin of our life has been erased from God's book. And there's only one person who can do that: the person who died to pay for that sin, and that is Jesus. In the words of the Bible, He "made peace (with God) through His blood, shed on the cross" (Colossians 1:20). The choice is simple. Either we put our trust in Jesus and His death for our sins, or we pay that death penalty ourselves - forever. Jesus came to give us heaven. Once you come to His cross and put your total trust in what He did there for you, death is no longer the end, it's just the beginning! All death can do, then, is take you to heaven if you belong to Jesus.
If you don't belong to Him, if you're not sure you do, don't risk another day without Him. The Bible says, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart" (Hebrews 4:7). I urge you as soon as you possibly can today to say, "Jesus, you died for my sins so I don't have to. You're my hope. I'm Yours."
Listen, our website is there to help you cross that line. And I'd encourage you to go there today. It's ANewStory.com.
The days, the years really do fly faster than we ever dreamed; each bringing us closer to our last day. There's just such peace in knowing you're ready for eternity whenever it comes.