If you don't know how to swim, it's just not cool to let your friends know it - and it's just not smart not to. Especially if you're going into the lake with them to swim. This is not theory we're talking here. It's history - my history. The scene was Lake Michigan. The ten-year-old who couldn't swim was me. And I was too proud to tell my friends. Suddenly, as I waded deeper and deeper, I lost my footing, and I began drinking the lake. My friends thought it was funny. They just laughed and said, "Look at Ronnie. He's such a clown!" I was dying. I had gone under for the second time - and I can almost feel the terror of that moment even now as I'm telling you about it. Now obviously something happened or I wouldn't have lived to tell you about it. I was helpless. I couldn't contribute a thing to my getting back to shore. Thankfully, someone came who could. And that rescuer did it all.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You about "When Swimming Can't Help."
That day in the lake I had only one hope - a rescuer. Only one person jumped in to save me, and I'm alive because of him.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 1 Timothy 1:3. "God our Savior...wants all men to be saved...There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men." Now the saving God is talking about here is from the effects and the punishment for the way we've run our lives - actually, because we've run our lives when they were supposed to be God's to run. The Bible makes it clear that we're drowning in the guilt of our sin - in the death penalty that God attaches to sin.
And God says that when you and I were drowning spiritually, His own Son Jesus jumped in to rescue us. He loved you so much that He couldn't stand to lose you. In God's words, "He gave Himself a ransom." That means paying the price to get you back. For Jesus, that meant absorbing all the hell and punishment for your sin as He died on that cross.
But you can still go under. You can still drown, if you won't let Jesus rescue you. It may be hard for you to admit that you can't somehow swim to God on your own. In fact, you've done some very good things to make it to Him - but not good enough to meet God's perfect standard. In Romans 3:10, God includes every person when He says that by His standards, "There is no one righteous, not even one." Not even one. Not even you. Like me that day at the lake, there is nothing you can contribute to your rescue. Your only hope is a savior. And only one Person jumped in to save you - Jesus.
All that any religion can offer you is a book of swimming instructions - their way to swim to God. But it doesn't matter if they're Protestant swimming instructions or Catholic swimming instructions or Jewish or Moslem or Buddhist or New Age. Swimming instructions won't rescue a drowning man or woman. Only the Savior can do that. And only Jesus did the dying it requires to get rid of your sin and get you into a relationship with your Creator.
Even now, through these few minutes, Jesus is coming to you, offering to do for you what you could never do for yourself - save you from your sin. All you can do is grab Him as if He's your only hope - He is! You can't rescue yourself. Won't you finally put your pride aside and all the religion and goodness you thought would get you to heaven, and just reach for Jesus? Tell Him right now you are grabbing Him as a drowning person would grab a lifeguard - to be your Savior from your sin.
If you want to begin this life-saving relationship with Jesus Christ, I want to send you the booklet I wrote about it called "Yours For Life." It's available without any cost to you if you'll contact us. I hope you'll let me know you're beginning with Jesus.
The day I was going under, I had only one hope - and that one hope was enough. The rescuer had come. That's what Jesus wants to be for you, beginning right now. Please, grab your Savior and hold on tight.