Our grandson was three years old and he found something he really liked in the Christian bookstore. He brought it to his Daddy and he told him he really wanted it. Our son-in-law said, “Well, do you have any money?” Sadly, our grandson said, “No.” But his disappointment was quickly replaced with determination as he went over to this display area where they have this fake money you can buy. He marched up to the cash register with the prize he wanted and the “money” to pay for it. Dad re-entered the scene at that point and said, “Is that really money?” Finally, our grandson faced the sad reality. He said, “No. It’s not really money.”
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Nothing to Pay With.”
All our grandson was able to come up with was woefully inadequate to pay the price, which, by the way, is a problem lots of folks have with God with trying to get their sins and their mistakes forgiven, with trying to be good enough to get into God’s heaven when they die. But it’s “not really money.” As sincere as many of us may be, we don’t have the only thing that will get us into heaven – a way to pay for all the sins of our life. Because the Bible makes it clear that the price for our sins is a spiritual death penalty; being cut off forever from the God we’ve disobeyed; the God we’ve neglected.
There’s only one payment God can accept and that He will accept. And it’s clearly spelled out in our word for today from the Word of God in Hebrews 9:22. Here’s what he says plainly: “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” I’ll tell you what, it should be my blood; it should be my eternal death that pays for my sin. But I will thank God forever He made another way with the greatest proof of His love for me and you that we could ever conceive. He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to die so we don’t have to! He paid for what I did. He paid for what you did.
Here’s how God describes the payment He has made available. It’s in that same section of the Bible. It says Christ came “to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Hebrews 9:26). And here’s the miracle Jesus’ sacrifice makes possible: “We have been made holy.” Wow! That means our sins have been forgiven; they’ve been forgotten by God! We’re right with God. “We have been made holy,” it says, “through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” There’s no way you can be forgiven without the shedding of blood; without your death penalty being paid. And Jesus died for that.
But we come to God with our little handful of religion, of being a good person, of Christian beliefs and rituals and activities. And we say, “Here, God. Can I be forgiven and go to heaven now?” And God says, “You can’t use that to pay for your sin. The only way to pay a death penalty is someone has to die.” That someone was the Son of God for you.
So the life-or-death, heaven-or-hell issue isn’t how good you are, how religious you are, how long you’ve been doing Christian things. No, it’s this: has there ever been a time when you told Jesus Christ you were going to depend on Him and Him alone, to have your sins forgiven and to go to heaven when you die? You can’t say, as many do, “Well, I’ve always been a Christian.” No one’s always been a Christian. You may have always been in a Christian church or family, but you don’t belong to Jesus until you consciously grab Him to save you like a drowning person would grab a lifeguard. Because He walked out of His grave. He’s alive! He’s waiting now to forgive you, for you to pin all your hopes on Him.
That breakthrough moment could come for you this very day – right now actually, as you tell Jesus with all your heart, “Lord, I’m Yours. I can’t contribute a thing to being rescued from the penalty for my sin. You did it all, and I am all Yours, beginning right here and beginning right now this very day.”
Look, there’s some great information for you about how to begin this relationship and to be sure you have at our website. Please take that next step. Go to that website and check this out. It’s ANewStory.com.
My grandson got the prize he hoped for that day, but only because someone else – his Daddy – paid for it. That’s the only way you’ll ever get the forgiveness and the heaven you hope for. What you could never pay for, He paid for it. So this is your day to claim what He paid for for you.