March 20, 2020
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I can't begin to count how many hundreds of thousands of miles I've flown commercially. And I don't think I've ever missed a flight where it was my fault. Well, almost never. Recently, I was on a ministry trip with one of our young Native American leaders - not a very seasoned traveler. We had one more connection to reach our destination. It was a smaller plane - so our gate was at the far end of the airport with flights being called right and left. No call yet for our flight. So I excused myself to go to a nearby counter for some health food - actually, a pastry. There are different kinds of health, don't judge me. There's like emotional health you know. When I got back to our gate, I went to check on our flight. That's when I saw the dreaded words I had not seen before - FLIGHT CLOSED. NO FURTHER BOARDING. My young associate was quite impressed with Mr. Seasoned Traveler. No way we were going to get on that plane!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When Waiting is Deadly."
Eventually, we got another flight that day. But it felt awful to realize we had gotten to that one flight too late - the scheduled one. My mind raced to another "missed flight" - another closed door. It's actually in a disturbing scene described in the Bible in our word for today from the Word of God.
We're in Luke 13, beginning in verse 25, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many will try to enter and will not be able to." So Jesus is talking here about entrance to heaven. "Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.' But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from."
Then later it says, "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God - but you yourselves thrown out." That is the ultimate "flight closed. No more boarding." Someone's final opportunity to go to heaven. Missed. Door closed. How does this happen? Is there a worse nightmare then missing heaven for all eternity?
Jesus came here because there was no way we could ever open heaven's door. In the Bible's words, "All have sinned and fallen short of God's glorious ideal" (Romans 3:23). Rebelling against our Creator, running our own lives is punishable by forever separation from Him. "Your sins have separated you from your God," the Bible says. And I think we can feel that in our heart.
But God loves you too much to leave you lost. So in the Bible's words, "He gave His one and only Son" so if you would "believe in Him," you "will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). On that cross, Jesus was absorbing all the guilt, all the penalty, and all the hell of your sin. That's why He said, "I am the way...no one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6).
The Bible actually pictures Jesus knocking on our door - giving us a chance to open the door and let Him come in to be our Savior from our sin. But He won't knock forever. That's why the Bible says, "Today is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2). And, "seek the Lord while He may be found. Call on Him while He is near" (Isaiah 55:7). Which would seem to say He won't always be able to be found. He won't always be near.
But if you feel a tug in His direction, He is today. He's knocking today. That's Him, giving you another opportunity to open that door of your heart. There's no guarantee there'll be another opportunity.
If there's never been a time when you've pinned all your hopes on Jesus - and told Him so - please don't risk putting it off again. Let this be the day when you say, "Jesus, You died for my sin. You walked out of your grave so you could walk into my life. The door is open, Jesus. I'm Yours!"
If you want to be sure you belong to Him, I encourage you to check out our website as soon as you can - ANewStory.com. It's a roadmap to a life-saving relationship with Jesus.
Today, He knocks on your door. Some day you will knock on His. Grab Him now - before the flight is closed. And there is no further boarding.