I think children go to secret seminars on how to manipulate parents. They are so good - so early - especially at bedtime. See the object is to squeeze out a few more minutes before having to go to sleep - right? Let's see, there's water - hmm - and then there's getting rid of the water, and, then there's praying some more, let's pray some more (who could be against that?) - ah, there's a sudden interest in talking about things, they are suddenly communicators, and then of course, the ever popular monsters in my closet. Actually, a lot of these things are based on real needs and real feelings. I mean a lot of children really believe there's a monster in their closet - and that the monster will come out and get them as soon as there's not a Mommy or Daddy in the room. I am sure glad we're all grown up now and we don't have to be afraid of a monster in the dark anymore. Well, except for one.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Last Monster In The Dark."
Our word for today from the Word of God, the Bible, is found in 1 Corinthians 15. I'm beginning to read at verse 54 where this audacious statement is made, "Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where oh death is your victory? Where oh death is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law, but thanks be to God, He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Well, now there's the last monster - the one that lurks in the dark no matter how old we are - death.
There's a doctor friend of mine who is a follower of Jesus Christ, and he was at his 45th class reunion not too long ago, talking with another doctor friend, who has always been an atheist his whole life, since high school. But all of a sudden, he said to my doctor friend, "Can you tell me a little bit about what you believe in?" And my friend was quite surprised - this man has never cared before he said, "Well I'd be glad to, but can I ask you why are you asking?" And this man who had been an atheist all his life said, "Well frankly, I'm nervous about eternity." Well, we should be if we're not ready to meet God. God says that because of Jesus' death, death can be swallowed up in victory. Why? Well, see the only thing to fear about death ultimately is God. And that's because of the Bible's verdict on all of us - All have sinned, and missed God's glorious ideal, it says. And the sentence that follows the verdict, the soul that sins, it shall die, the Bible says. That eternal death penalty hangs over us and I think we even know it deep down inside. It makes us rightfully nervous about eternity. But Jesus came as our substitute to die the death penalty that we deserve. And anyone that puts all their trust in Him will have their sin erased - and John 5:24 says that the moment you come to Christ "you cross over from death to life."
It is wonderful to look forward to eternity. D.L. Moody, the great preacher said, "When you see in the newspaper that Dwight Moody of Northfield, Massachusetts is dead, don't you believe it, for I'll be more alive than I have ever been before." See it's great to know the Savior who's waiting for you on the other side of your last breath. If you're not sure you do, you could take care of that right now, and say, "Jesus, I'm yours, you paid for my sin. I'm trading a death penalty I deserve, for eternal life I don't deserve. I'm giving me to you."
Death, that last monster in the dark pursues us throughout our life, and we know it will ultimately catch us. But you don't ever need to fear that moment again - if you have your hand in the hand of Jesus, the One who has beaten that monster once and for all.