Tuesday, January 29, 2019
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We were waiting at a stoplight just across the street from some railroad tracks. The gates by the track were up and no lights were flashing. There was no train coming. But just beyond the railroad crossing was one of those little rail inspection vehicles, fitted with these wheels that allow them to ride on the tracks. On the side it said "Union Pacific." But believe me, this was no train. Suddenly, we heard this obnoxious and continuous honking on a horn that sounded like a train horn. The little vehicle wanted to proceed through the railroad crossing, and he was nowhere big enough to trigger the gates or the lights so the traffic would stop. So the operator just kept leaning on the horn as he passed through the intersection, hoping we would all stop for him as we would for a train. We did stop, but we weren't fooled. This was no train. This was a train wannabe!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "On the Right Track, but Missing Something."
That little guy wore the label a train carries, he sounded like a train, he traveled on the same track as a train, but he was no train. He made me think of a lot of people who are rolling along on the Jesus-track. They carry the label. They call themselves a Christian. They know all the words. Sure, they sound like a Christian. And they're active in church and Christian activities, so they're on the same track as a Christian. But they're missing one thing-the only thing that really matters. They're missing Jesus. Maybe someone who's listening right now is that person. It could be you.
How can I say that there are people who look and sound and act like a Christian but have somehow missed Jesus? Because that's what God says in the Bible. In our word for today from the Word of God in Matthew 7, beginning with verse 21, there's a scene from the Final Judgment and it is pretty sobering for us religious folks. Jesus says, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven."
Wait a minute. These are obviously people who know all the Christian words. Then it says, "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'" These are folks who are doing lots of Christian things. Surely they're going to heaven.
Then Jesus makes this shocking statement: "Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me...'" Those are words I pray you will never hear from the lips of Jesus on that day when it's too late to change it, "I never knew you." Why? Because they only knew about Jesus. There's one base they missed, that they didn't touch, giving themselves to the Jesus they knew so much about. Lots of Christianity, but missing Christ.
Jesus said that only those who "do the will of My Father" will go to heaven. John 6:40 tells us what that will is: "My Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life." It's not looking to church, or Christianity, or Christian beliefs, or Christian activities, or a Christian family that give you eternal life. It's abandoning any other hope of heaven and pinning all your hopes on the man who died for your sin and rose again to give you life that never ends.
The life-or-death question for you is this: "Has there ever been a time when I actually gave myself to Jesus in total faith?" If you don't know you did that, you probably didn't. And you probably shouldn't wait any longer to do it before your heart turns hard or your time runs out.
Just tell Him, "Jesus, I want to really belong to you. Your death for me is my only hope, and I am yours beginning today." When you do that, in God's own words, you "cross over from death to life" (John 5:24).
Look, you can check out the Scriptures that will help you know for sure you belong to Him. Go to our website ANewStory.com. This is the day Jesus moves from your head to your heart and your new story begins.
Once you know you've begun your relationship with Jesus, you'll never have to fear Him saying, "I never knew you." No, He will wrap you in His arms, and instead He'll say, "Welcome home."