The shooting that killed two students (and the shooter) at Marysville (WA) High School last week shocked everyone. At first when it appeared 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg was the shooter, that made it all the more shocking.
He wasn’t the typical loner, bullying victim, outsider. He was the Homecoming prince, football player, popular guy.
But, it turns out, there were hints of the anger and anguish in his soul.
If you live on the East Coast, there is one word that’s pretty sure to get your attention–hurricane. Yeah! I’ll tell you, Hurricane Hugo was one of those mega storms that really got our attention. You could watch the news for several nights before Hugo arrived. And they would show you this cyclonic circle inching across the weather map toward, well at that point, an uncertain destination. Half a million people were evacuated from Florida to the Carolinas, not knowing where that destructive little circle on the map was going to land. Finally, it became clear that Hugo’s 130-mile-an-hour winds were going to slam ashore at Charleston, South Carolina.
Now, the challenge for public officials was to convince everyone that it was time to move. The mayor at the time gave a very solemn warning to the people there. He was quoted as saying, “Hugo is a killer! If you stay, you may very well die.” That was true then; that’s still true today.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Dying From Doing Nothing.”
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from the prophet Ezekiel in the Old Testament. Chapter 18, beginning in verse 30, he says, “Repent! Turn away from all your offences; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offences you have committed, and get a new heart; a new spirit.” And then God asks a very pointed question. He might be asking you this today, “Why will you die?” Then He turns it around and He says, “Repent and live.”
In the Bible the word repent always refers to changing your mind about your sin. Whatever you have been cuddling and tolerating in your life that’s wrong, displeasing to God, you turn your back on it. You change your mind about God and you pin all your hopes on Him instead of on you.
Remember that mayor of Charleston who said the hurricane was a killer? Well, God’s trying to tell us here sin is not to mess with. It’s a killer! With a hurricane, those who don’t leave might survive. But when it comes to sin, there are no survivors. There are eternal consequences of not dealing with our sin. But sin kills us even now. It kills marriages, it damages the people you love with your temper, it ruins the beauty and purity of sex and it destroys your reputation.
See, the people who die in a hurricane don’t have to do anything to be killed by it. No, they die from doing nothing; just staying where they are. And that’s how it is with sin. All you have to do to have this life cheapened by sin is to do nothing. All you have to do to spend eternity in hell instead of heaven is to do nothing. Stay where you are and sin will kill you.
God says, “Rid yourself of your sin. Get a new heart.” And you can only do that in one place – the cross where Christ died for you; where He took all the fury of all God’s judgment, for all your sin and paid for it out of His love for you. He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” He was forgiving you and me when He said that. He was giving us the possibility of a new beginning; that new heart the Bible talks about.
God’s been warning you. He’s saying, “If you stay where you are, you’ll die.” In the words in the book of Hebrews, “How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?” Don’t flirt with disaster. In fact, that’s why He brought us together today I believe. That’s why he had me talk about this. He wants you ready to meet Him.
If you want to be sure you’re ready for that appointment with God that you will keep on His schedule; if you want to be sure you have a love relationship with Him; if you want to be sure you’ll never meet your sin on Judgment Day, this is your day to get started with Jesus Christ, the One who died to pay for your sin and walked out of His grave so He could walk into your life.
That’s what our website’s all about is how to have this most important relationship in life. And it’s rightly called ANewStory.com, because that’s what can start there for you today, your new story. Would you go there?
Move away from living your own way, because the storm is closer than it’s ever been to your coast. It’s time to flee right now to the safety of the cross of Jesus Christ.