Ah, the lost art of tying a tie. I experienced it I remember one time as the man doing the marrying at a young couple’s wedding.

It was fairly amusing watching the helpless look on the groomsmen’s faces as they were handed their necktie to put on for the ceremony. There they stood, wondering what to do with it. So I suggested to the guys my theory as to how ties came to be. I said they were invented by a woman who had a big time grudge against men. And she’s been gloating over the thought that every time men have to dress up, they would strangle themselves. (That’s not true. So much for my little tirade.)

I can do my tie easily enough. I just can’t think backwards enough to tie it on someone else. I just couldn’t leave these guys hangin’. So I tied each of their ties on myself, I loosened it and put it on them. Now, they were ready for the self-choking maneuver and the wedding.

That was on Saturday. Friday night, we all went tieless, but it did look a lot like a wedding. The bridesmaid/groomsmen couples came down that aisle, her arm in his. Beautiful music was playing and the groom and I were at the front. Then, the big moment! The bride and her father made that stately march down the aisle as people stood for the grand entrance. The father “gave away” his daughter…the bride and groom stood before the minister, and ultimately the young couple – all smiles now – marched out of that sanctuary together.

But they still weren’t married. Yeah, that was only the rehearsal. So on Friday night, they entered that church not married. And they left, uh-huh, not married. But Saturday, they entered that church not married and they left married! The difference? Well, on Friday, they were just going through the motions. On Saturday, they committed their lives to each other.

I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “How Church Folks Miss Heaven.”

There are a lot of people who walk into church Sunday after Sunday, looking all Christian but without Jesus. And they walk out the same way they came in, without Jesus, because they’re only going through the motions.

It’s all too easy to do. You go through all the motions of belonging to Him, believing all the right beliefs, doing all the right things, saying all the right words like a person who knows Jesus for real. But you’re missing Him.

That’s why God gives this warning to all us church folks in our word for today from the Word of God, 2 Corinthians 13:5. Listen carefully: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test?”

There’s something very sobering about a Judgment Day tragedy that Jesus described. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…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?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you'” (Matthew 7:21-23).

Those are some of the most chilling words in the Bible, “You knew all about Me, but I never knew you.” Because they had Jesus in their head, but somehow never asked Him into their heart. So, it’s possible to know all about Jesus, but not really know Jesus, because you’ve missed the one step that makes the Savior your Savior.

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36), the Bible says. When God says “believe,” He’s talking about grabbing Jesus like He’s your only hope. Pinning all your hopes on Him and what He did when He died on the cross to pay for every sin you’ve ever done. If you ask me, “Ron, married guy?” I’d say, “Well, I’m not sure,” then I’m not married because I’m not sure? Now, if you don’t know you’ve given yourself to Jesus, you probably haven’t, because it’s a conscious commitment.

If you’ve missed that step of committing your life to Him, then you’ve missed Jesus, and you’ll miss heaven, because you’re just going through the motions. If you’re not sure you belong to Him, today please say, “Jesus, I’m yours. I claim what you did on the cross for me; for my sin. You are my Savior beginning today.”

Our website is there for you, and at a moment like this I hope you’ll go there today. It’s ANewStory.com. It will feel so good to finally have this thing settled once and for all.