Monday, July 16, 2018
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"Please help us." That's what the people stranded on the roof of their house wrote on the sign that they waved over their heads. They represented so many thousands of New Orleans residents who were left stranded and in deadly danger by the floods of Hurricane Katrina. The wind and the rain of that category four hurricane were bad enough, but it was when the levees broke that suddenly major parts of the city were underwater, literally up to the rooftops. We heard the harrowing stories that began to unfold of how people had moved from a first floor to a second floor to escape those toxic waters. Then, as the second floor filled with water, how they moved to their last point of refuge-the roof. And many were stranded there, no food, no water, and increasingly no hope. Then hope showed up in the shape of a Coast Guard helicopter, hovering over their rooftop refuge. Hope was a man coming down a cable to where they were; a man who secured their rescue and saved their lives.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Your Opportunity to Live Forever."
There was no way those folks could save themselves. Literally, their only hope was a rescuer. That's our only hope, spiritually that is. Because whether we realize it or not, whether or not we want to admit it, we are that man or woman who is facing certain death unless a rescuer comes and does for us what we could never do for ourselves.
Now we may like to think of ourselves as being in pretty good shape spiritually. After all, we're religious, we live better than most folks, and we may even know a lot about the Bible. We even listen to Christian radio sometimes! But here's how God sees our spiritual condition: "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand" (Psalm 40:2). The Bible clearly spells out that our sin has placed us in an inescapable pit, in mud and mire that we can't get ourselves out of. Our only hope, like the desperate people on those New Orleans rooftops, is if He "lifts us out."
I wonder if you've ever asked Him to do that for you. See, God has shown us in His book how deadly our situation is. All of us, including the most religious of us, have essentially hijacked our life from the One who gave it to us and insisted on running it our way instead of His way. We're spiritual rebels, defying by our lives the God of the universe. And the Bible makes it very clear that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). That's eternal death, separated from God; separated from His love. But then here comes the hope in our word for today from the Word of God in Romans 5:6, 8. "At just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Jesus literally poured out His love for you by dying for you; by taking your place, taking all your punishment for all your sin when He died on the cross. And this very day, the Rescuer from above is coming to you and extending His hand, offering you a chance to live forever instead of perishing in your sin.
John 3:16 in the Bible promises that "whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." But you have to grab Jesus as your only hope, like those people on the rooftops grabbed the one who had come to rescue them. He wants to bring you out of the pit and the penalty of your sin and to bring you into a never-ending love relationship with the God who made you.
But you have to grab the Rescuer. That's what "believing in Him" is all about. You can do that right where you are because He's coming to you right where you are. You just say, "Jesus, You're my only hope. You died for my sins. Please forgive them. I am yours."
I want you to be able to be sure that you belong to Jesus. And that's why we've got our website, and that's why I want to invite you to go there as soon as you can today to find some very valuable information for this most important crossroads of your life. It's ANewStory.com.
Your rescue cost the Rescuer His life. And now He's come to you, His hand is reaching for you. Would you grab it while there's time.