Friday, April 6, 2018
Download MP3 (right click to save)
We hear millions of words in our life...especially if you spend much time around me or our family. We forget most of the words we hear, don't we, except for some that are just too important to forget. Like our baby's first words, or the last words of someone we love, or the words that end up changing our life. Our five-year-old grandson called me one day and he said, "Granddad, I stayed up extra late tonight till I could talk to you and tell you what I memorized." It took me a while to recover from what he said, and I'll never forget it.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Twenty-Six Words That Can Change Everything."
What my grandson quoted to me happens to be from the Bible, and perhaps the most important words in that whole book that's filled with important words. And they're our word for today from the Word of God. It's 26 words - words you may have heard a thousand times, or maybe you've never heard before. Whatever the case, would you listen as if your life depends on them. It does. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." Those words are the key to everything you've been looking for your whole life...the answer to your greatest need...the deciding factor in whether you will spend eternity in heaven or hell. They really are the 26 words that change everything.
Nearly a century ago, a ruined man was walking along South State Street in downtown Chicago. He headed for Lake Michigan where he was going to end his alcoholic, drug-addicted life. Suddenly he heard a familiar song coming from a building that he was walking by. The building was Pacific Garden Mission and the song was one his mother had sung to him as a little boy. As he entered, one of the workers greeted him and began to share with him those 26 life-changing words from John 3:16.
That night Bill Ward opened his life to the Man who died for all his sin, Jesus Christ. And he would testify for the rest of his life that, from that moment on, he never needed or wanted another drink or another drug. My wife is Bill Ward's granddaughter, and she would not have ever been here if it were not for the night he traded death for life.
For years, Bill Ward and his wife traveled this country, pulling a trailer with 26 words lettered on the side: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." The same words his great-great grandson quoted to me on that wonderful night I'll never forget.
When I told him that every time I tell a group of people about Jesus, I tell them those words, he said, "Well, if I keep going to Sunday School and learning more Bible stories, maybe someday I can be a preacher and I can tell them those words."
Well, now those words have come to you, demanding the same verdict that they have demanded for 2,000 years. God's Son has died to pay for your sins. Now what are you going to do with Him? There are only two choices. You can abandon all hope in any religion or self-righteousness and you pin all your hopes on God's "one and only Son" who paid your death penalty.
See, agreeing with Jesus won't do it. Liking Him, knowing all about Him isn't enough. Either you grab Jesus in total trust, or you reject Him and you pay forever for the sins He already paid for. This is your life-or-death decision - eternal life or death. Would you let this be the day that you commit yourself totally to Jesus, making the same choice that has transformed five generations of our family and so many lives for so many years?
Just tell him right where you are, "Jesus, I'm yours." And let me urge you to go to our website, because there you're going to find the information I've put there that just simply explains how you can be sure you have begun this relationship with Jesus Christ. The website is ANewStory.com.
Right now Jesus is waiting with open arms to welcome you home to the relationship that He died to give you.