The Decisive Difference
Occasionally I see this bumper sticker that says, "I brake for antique shops." I'm not a bumper sticker guy, but I think we would qualify for that over the years, depending on who was driving-my wife or me. If it was my wife, we were a lot more likely to break for an antique shop. But my wife was not so much into collecting old stuff, it was more about finding items that she had as a girl growing up on a farm that had very few modern conveniences. And she had an eye for what was real and what was just a reproduction: Depression Glass, pottery, butter churns, even old violins. Take the famous Stradivarius violin. You know, there are relatively few originals. There are a lot of copies.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Decisive Difference."
Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between what's real and what's a copy in antiques and in people; especially people who claim that they belong to Jesus Christ.
Jesus described both the real ones and the copies in the story He told in Matthew 13, beginning in verse 24. It's our word for today from the Word of God. He said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared." Jesus said the man's servants wanted to go out and pull up the weeds, but he stopped them. "'No', He answered, 'because while you are pulling out the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"
When Jesus explained His parable later, He made clear that the wheat represents those who really do belong to Him, and the weeds; they represent those who look like they belong to Him, but they don't. That's a pretty sobering thought-sitting next to one another in church may be two people who are singing the same songs, believing the same beliefs, saying the same words, but one is headed for heaven and the other is headed for hell. And no one on earth can tell the difference. But on Judgment Day it will be very clear who was real and who was the look-alike. That's why God says in 2 Corinthians 13:5, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith."
For some of us church folks, the business of being a Christian is really more of a religion, or a performance, or maybe a belief, or a script where we've got all the right words. You can have all that and you can miss what this is all really about; a deep love personal relationship with Jesus Christ based on His dying for your sins. It is a relationship you can only begin one way. You begin it the day you tell Him you are putting your total trust in Him, consciously giving all of you to Him. With all your Christianity, it's possible you've missed Christ, even though everyone around you thinks you know Him. That's everyone except Jesus.
It's very hard to admit that you've never really given yourself to Him, but it's fatal not to. So would you let this be the day that you finally, consciously and clearly make Jesus Christ your personal Savior from your personal sin. Tell Him, "Jesus, I want to know you for real. I'm pinning all my hopes on You like a drowning person would grab a rescuer."
Then go to our website and check that out. Because there you will find the information you need to secure your relationship with Christ and know for sure you've got Him in your life and in your heart and in your future. Our website - ANewStory.com. Would you go there today?
There's all the difference in the world between someone who really belongs to Jesus and someone who just looks like they do. It's actually the difference between heaven and hell.
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