Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Taking Serious Chances:
Walking Too Close to the Edge
by Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
    It was a beautiful Spring Day in April, 2017. Six young hikers were enjoying their walk on top of Mount Harvey north of Vancouver, British Columbia. One hiker fell behind. When he arrived at the summit, his friends were not there. The five had stepped onto a large ledge (cornice) and it broke loose plunging them 500 meters down to the ground and their death.
   It was such a tragedy! Those hikers didn't realize the serious situation they were walking onto, until it was too late. The young men were unsuspecting, thinking that they were on solid ground. Gradually, they had moved from safety to uncertainty. Then, suddenly, the end came!
     Unfortunately, there are many people today who in a spiritual sense, are “walking too close to the edge” and are unknowingly in great danger in their personal lives and even their soul's salvation! They feel they are quite alright but have left God out of their lives and have in their own minds constructed a new theology, a feel good religion of being kind to their neighbour or protecting the environment.
     What a shock for them when they finally stand before the Living God for judgment, without the covering of Jesus' blood and the assurance of Eternal Life! A ticket of 'Good Works' is worthless without the Salvation of God that is given us through Jesus Christ alone!
     There are a lot of young people who fall into a similar trap. In their quest for action and fulfillment, they will try anything different, trust a new acquaintance or get hooked on dangerous drugs! Many become obsessed with lustful habits, involved in illicit sex, drunken parties, gambling or crime!
                        OTHERS ARE SEDUCED BY THE OCCULT!
    Others are seduced by the spirit of the Occult and become deceived by demons of witchcraft, spiritism, mind reading, clairvoyance, yoga and spirit travel. Suicide demons prey on the minds of the simple until 'a Lying Spirit' convinces them to do it, luring them to a devil's Hell forever.
    Multitudes have lost their way in the fog of political correctness and in a spiritual sense, have fallen off a cliff because the ground where they were walking was unsafe, shaky and treacherous. The tragedy is that many are ignorant of the pitfalls and the fact that they are throwing away their lives, by listening to the Tempter.
    Eve thought she was listening to a very intelligent and honest being when she heard Lucifer talking to her through the voice of the serpent. She was deceived and got Adam to partake of the forbidden fruit, thereby plunging the entire human race into rebellion, chaos and wickedness.
     Listening to that evil, lying voice was the greatest tragedy ever to befall mortal man!
Many more are being deceived today in exactly the same way. They think they are hearing very knowledgeable voices telling them that they will get rich if they spend more time at the casino. One more poker game and they will reclaim everything they lost. One more throw of the dice or one more night of revelry and everything will change for them. It was the voice of Satan, the Liar!
     During the early days of the USA and the opening of the Western frontier, the Stage Coach was the fashionable way to travel. The amazing stories were often told of the expert drivers who would maneuver the winding mountainous trails, driving four horses at top speed. An error by the driver could send the stagecoach and the passengers over the edge!
    An advertisement had been placed in the newspaper that a represent of the Stagecoach would be interviewing prospective drivers at the hotel at a certain hour. Three applicants arrived at the given hour and were interviewed one by one. Finally,the last driver took a seat and the interview began. The representative began by talking about the great horses and stagecoaches they owned, their record of safety and being on schedule.
    Then he asked pointedly: “There is a very winding road up in the mountain pass. Looking over the edge, it's hard to see the bottom. Have you ever driven on such a road.” The driver nodded that he had. The interviewer said: “I've asked the other drivers, how near could they come to edge of the road at a full gallop and still be safe. One said that he could drive within two feet of the edge and the other said that he could come within 12 inches.”
      The young driver stood to his feet, put the hat on his head and said, “Excuse me sir, I am not your man. I would stay as far away from the edge of that road as I could.” As he was walking toward the door, the Stage Coach Representative jumped up, saying, “Stop. You are man we want. You have the job.”
                                  TOO FAR FROM THE SHORE!
     In 1924, Charles E. Moody wrote the beautiful Gospel song : You're drifting too far from the shore? It has been popularized by many singers such as Hank Snow, Vince Gill, Dolly Parton and others. Here are some of Charles Moody's wonderful lyrics:

Out on the perilous deep
Where danger silently creeps
And storms so violently sweeping
You're drifting too far from shore

Drifting too far from shore
You're drifting too far from shore
Come to Jesus today
Let Him show you the way
You're drifting too far from shore
Today, The Tempest rose high
And clouds overshadowed the sky
Sure death is hovering nigh
You're drifting too far from shore.

    What an amazingly true statement! Far too many have loosed from their moorings and are drifting toward open seas with no compass and no map. Jesus is
our Way Maker, His Word our compass and guide.
     To the multitudes who have thrown caution to the wind and have thumbed your noses at moral norms and are now in big trouble, there is still hope for you. If you call out to Jesus Christ for deliverance, He will answer you.
     He will rescue you from the angry waves. He will liberate you from the powers of sin, fear, sickness and evil spirits. You will become a new creature in Christ Jesus. He will wash you in His blood, forgive your sins, remove the fear and fill you with His blessed Holy Spirit! JESUS will give you His peace!
     If you do not, you will continue drifting farther from the shore and the waves of fear, bondage, despair, despondency and confusion will overtake you and you may never come back.
                            COME BACK HOME TO JESUS!
     Dear friend, if I have described your situation, remember Jesus waits for your call this very moment. He invites: “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Matt.11:28). Again He said: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh unto Me, I will in wise cast out.” (John 6:37).
      There is only ONE Who has the mercy and grace to reach out to you and the power to liberate you! He said: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” (John 14: 6). Amen.