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Never give up Hope

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Dear Friends,
I trust you are doing well and looking forward to Sunday.
Earlier this week in Surfside, Florida, in the middle of the night, the Champlain Towers South collapsed without warning. As of this writing more than 159 people remain unaccounted for. Rescue workers are painstakingly going through the rubble looking for survivors.  The 12 story beach side of the building sheared off for unknown reasons, pancaking into a pile of concrete and metal more than 30 feet high.  The Mayor of Surfside said on the news they are holding onto hope that people will be found alive in the rubble.  With each passing hour, that hope fades, but the brave first responders, firefighters, rescue workers are not giving up. Their bravery and dedication is exemplary. The cause of this collapse remains a mystery and speculation at this point is completely premature.
There are many spiritual reminders and lessons from this tragedy. Let me just share 3 simple truths.  One, the words of James come to mind: “You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14).  No one in that tower went to sleep thinking something like this could happen.  They all thought they would see the sunrise. They did not. Their lives on this earth are over and they have entered eternity. 
Second, because of life’s uncertainty, God is reminding us all that we need to be ready. The Bible says “Today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). People must not put off the decision of their eternal destiny. 
Finally, people we meet everyday need to be given the gospel message of salvation. 
This past week I talked to 2 people who are interested in the position of Associate Pastor of MBC. One of the questions I asked them is a question I was asked in 4th year Theology, taught by Dr. Charles Ryrie. Everyone in the class was in their final semester at Dallas Seminary. The class involved Dr. Ryrie calling on students and asking them questions.  You were put on the hot seat! Dr. Ryrie would often drill down on students till he was satisfied with their answers. He wasn’t being mean or difficult; he was probing to see if we knew the truth. One of the questions he asked was, “You just came upon a man dying on the side of the road from being in a auto accident. He has 3 minutes to live. What are you going to tell him?”  Good question!  You’ve heard me say it may times, but in light of life’s uncertainty, here’s what I would tell him:
Man Problem: All men are sinners, and sin separates us from God (Isaiah 53:6; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10; Romans 3:23).
God’s solution: Christ’s death and resurrection is God’s only provision for man’s sin (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 3:18).
Our responsibility: Exercise saving faith. Saving faith is claiming by personal choice that we are going to rely exclusively on Christ death on the cross and resurrection as our only hope for eternal life (John 1:12, John 3:16; Romans 3:24-25; Romans 4:20-21, Hebrews 6:18).
None of us know what tomorrow will bring for us or our neighbors. Let’s be ready to give them the gospel.
See you on Sunday in person or join us online
In the light of His glory and grace,
Pastor Doug