During our college years, my wife spent part of a summer as a counselor at a Bible camp that was buried deep in the mountains. I mean like deep in the mountains – deep enough in the mountains that the rattlesnakes are plentiful. One day as she was hiking with her girls through the woods, they all heard what they thought was just a branch or a stick breaking. Until they realized that one of the girls had been struck in the leg by a rattlesnake. Now my wife was someone you wanted to have around you when there was a crisis – really cool head. She ran to the nearby camp and immediately went for the box in the infirmary that said Snake Bite Kit on it. But her heart sank when she opened it; the life-saving kit was empty. Thankfully, they were able to get that girl to a hospital in time to save her life, no thanks to the empty snake bite kit!
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Life-Saving Kits with Nothing Inside.”
It’s a terrible thing to realize that the thing that claims to be able to save your life really has nothing that can help. As you read the pages of the Bible, you discover that the religions of the world are much like that. Every religion motivates its followers with the same promise – some form of heaven, eternal life if you’re a good follower of “whatever” or “whoever.” But sadly, religion does not, for the most part, offer a cure for the deadly infection we have: that’s sin and its eternal death penalty.
There may be no more famous verse in all the Bible than John 3:16. It says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Interestingly enough, the verses that immediately precede that description of God’s plan for saving us talk about a snake. In John 3:14-15, our word for today from the Word of God, He says, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. God so loved the world…”
In order to understand this snake thing, and more importantly, to understand the only way your sins can be forgiven and you can go to heaven, is to go back to Numbers 21 in the Old Testament where this snake incident took place. Venomous snakes have attacked God’s people in the desert, and many of those people are dying. So God says to Moses, “‘make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live'” (Numbers 21:8-9). Their only hope was to look at what God had lifted up to save them.
For us, that is Jesus, God’s Son, dying on that cross. We’ve all been bitten by the deadly snake called sin. None of the great moralities, none of the great religions can possibly pay the death penalty for our sin. Getting to heaven isn’t just about putting enough good on one side of the scale to balance the bad on the other; it’s about satisfying a death penalty, and it took Jesus Christ’s death to do that. You have to look to Him as the only One who can save you.
Have you ever done that? If you don’t know you’ve given yourself to Jesus, you probably haven’t. And you are risking an eternity away from God, paying an eternal death penalty that Jesus already paid on the cross. But listen, this could be your day to look away from any other hope of heaven and say, “Jesus, You’re my only hope of having my sins forgiven, my only hope of going to heaven. And Jesus, I’m Yours beginning today!”
This would be the right day to go to our website. Because I can walk you through there; the steps to being sure you belong to Jesus from now on, your sins are forgiven and you’re going to heaven. That website is ANewStory.com.
Please don’t depend on something that promises life but can’t possibly give it to you. Depend on the One who loves you so much that He died so you don’t have to.