Friday, September 7, 2018
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Each generation has its unforgettable events and photographs that sort of sear those events into our memories. So often, those images are tragedies: the falling towers, of course, of September 11, the bombed out Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City. Before either of those, came the images of the sudden explosion of the Challenger shuttle over Cape Canaveral-those horrible trails of smoke against the sky, reminding us of the deaths of all those heroic astronauts aboard. After an extensive investigation, that cataclysmic explosion was traced to a simple O-ring that malfunctioned in cold weather and started a chain of events that doomed the shuttle and its crew. Then came the more recent explosion of the shuttle Columbia; this time apparently traceable to a loose piece of foam that came off during liftoff and ended up causing the loss of everyone aboard.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "One Fatal Flaw."
Great crews, great ships, great missions-doomed by one fatal flaw. You know, one fatal flaw can be very costly. Eternally costly if it's a spiritual condition that can keep you from the God who made you; that can keep you from heaven some day.
Our word for today from the Word of God tells the story of a man whose fatal flaw almost cost him everything, and man, he had a lot to lose. It vividly represents the life of someone who's listening today, I believe, and it comes as a loving warning from a God who just does not want to lose you. 2 Kings 5, beginning at verse 1, tells the story of a Syrian military hero named Naaman, who was, in the Bible's words, "a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded...he was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy." Here's a man with a great reputation, great victories, a great life and a deadly condition totally beyond his control, in spite of all he's got going for him.
The Bible diagnoses our spiritual leprosy as sin, our rebellion against God that's caused us to hijack the running of our life from the God who gave us our life. The Bible says, "The wages of our sin is death" (Romans 6:23), as in separation from God here, and then eternal separation from Him forever in hell. Sin, like leprosy in those days, carries the sentence of death.
Someone points Naaman to God's man in Israel, the only man who can save him. And Naaman heads out with this great entourage and with 750 pounds of silver and 150 pounds of gold. He's planning to buy his cure! But God's man tells him the only way he can be saved is to humble himself and wash seven times in the muddy Jordan River and he says, "your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed." Naaman's pride almost causes him to miss God's answer, but ultimately he surrenders any efforts of his own to be saved and he does it God's way. And the Bible says that "his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy."
Many a man has been too proud to come to God on just the terms God has; to lay aside any hope of earning his way to heaven, of buying his way to heaven, of doing something great to get to heaven. See, your fatal sin condition can only be cured one way. You have to humble yourself at the foot of Jesus' cross, confessing that He, and He alone, is your only hope. Without that, you will die of your spiritual leprosy. But with that step of humble faith, you can finally be clean, and forgiven, and right with God, and you can be ready for eternity whenever it comes, however it comes.
Please, don't let your pride keep you from the only one who can save you. It's arrogance, it's stubbornness that will cost you heaven and give you hell; a hell that Jesus already took in your place. Will you go to Him today? Give yourself to Him.
I'd love to invite you to our website, because I think you'll find there some very practical information of how to be sure your sins have been erased from God's book and you belong to Jesus. It's ANewStory.com. Please take some time to go there today.
In the words of the Bible: "Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed...and get a new heart. Why will you die? Repent and live!" (Ezekiel 18:31-32).