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The Hitch Hiker

Today I would like to tell you a story that will give you an idea of how great the love of God is. This will not be an ordinary sermon like you might hear at church on Sunday where the pastor gives you seventy thousand scripture verses but tells you nothing about them or how to apply them to your life. This is just a simple story to give you a little idea of what God can do for you.

Once upon a time there was a guy who was hitchhiking. He was just walking down the road and thanking the Lord for everything that had happened that day. Like a lot of people out there, he didn't have a car, but he did have the Lord and the Lord did provide for him, for as he was walking along, a car pulled up along side of him. The car had been going at a very high rate of speed and so the young man thought it would pass him by, but, lo and behold, it did stop and the driver offered him a ride. Now this young man was no more than 21 or 22 years old. He got into the car and they started off down the road. There were three other guys in the car at the time and they looked to be very young, but as they were driving along, one of them took out a beer and he offered the hitchhiker one. The hitchhiker said "no thank you, I don't care for one." Another one of the young guys in the car pulled out some marijuana and offered the hitchhiker some, but the hitchhiker said "no thank you, I don't want any."

As they were driving along, the hitchhiker sat, silently praying and praising the Lord, seeing if there was some kind of an opening to be able to minister to the young men in the car with him. He didn't really see any opportunity to start a conversation about the Lord, so he just continued to pray and seek God. The driver of the car had a bit of a lead foot and he had gotten the car up to quite a high rate of speed when suddenly they heard sirens, and minutes later a police officer pulled them over. As they were pulling over to the side of the road one of the young men said, in a rather panic-stricken voice, "we're all under 21." Another one of the young men, echoing his buddy's concern said, "Oh, no! We've got beer and drugs in here."

The third young man, who had been silent up until this time, now said in a voice that was filled with fear, "We're in more trouble than you think. I have a gun in my pocket." Needless to say, they all started to freak out and they didn't know what to do, when suddenly, the hitchhiker spoke up and said, "Listen, hand over your gun and the beer and drugs. Give everything you have to me. I'll handle it."

At first they seemed not to hear the hitchhiker. The driver of the car was still in a panic and saying over and over again, "This is my Dad's car, we're all going to go to jail." Finally, the hitchhiker was able to make himself heard over the carrying on of the other young men in the car and again he said, "Just give everything you have to me and pull over, I'll take care of it." So they gave him the gun and the beer and drugs. He put the drugs and the gun in his pocket and held on to the beer, and they all put their seatbelts on and pulled over. The officer came up to the window and asked for the license and registration from the driver, which he gave to the officer, trying to be as cool as possible about it. The officer went back to his car and ran the usual check on the driver's license and the plates, and came back and said everything checked out. Then he told them that they were driving at an unusually high rate of speed and he asked them if he could search the car. The driver of the car got a little worried about this, but he said "Yes, officer, go ahead."

Everyone got out of the car and the officer did a quick search, finding nothing. Knowing there was a reason that these young men were traveling at such a high rate of speed, the officer then proceeded to pat each one of the young men down and when he got to the hitchhiker, he found the gun, the drugs and the beer. He immediately put the hitchhiker in handcuffs and put him in the back seat of the squad car, then he took everything else and placed it in his evidence kit in the trunk of his car. Having found nothing else in the car or on any of the other young men, the officer told them they were free to go, so they hopped in the car and left as fast as they dared.

About three or four days later, the young man that had originally been holding the gun came to the jail to see the hitchhiker who had saved the rest of them from being arrested. Now the hitchhiker was facing quite a long sentence in prison for possessing the drugs, having an open bottle of alcohol in the car with minors present, and for being in possession of a handgun which was not registered to him, so therefore it was classified as stolen. He also faced charges for having a gun and drugs together. All of these were felony charges, hence the prospect of a long prison sentence. The young man who had come to see the hitchhiker just had one question on his mind, and that question was, "why?" He went into the visiting room, and he sat down with the hitchhiker, and he looked at him, and he said, "You know, we don't even know you. We picked you up just to give you a ride. You don't know any of us. Why would you do what you did? Why would you take everything we had that was illegal, knowing it was illegal, and put it in your pocket, knowing that you could go to jail for what we had?" He said, "I feel so extremely bad about that. The other guys, they don't care, but I do. I want to know why. Why would you do that? Take all of that stuff and take the blame for it?" The hitchhiker looked at him and said, "The best way that I can explain it, is for you to find a Bible and read John 15:13." The young man said, "Can you tell me why?" The hitchhiker said to him, "Just read that and then come back and see me." So the young man went home and immediately found his dad's Bible which was on the table.

Now this young man had never picked up a Bible in his life. He had used the Lord's name a lot, but he didn't know who He was. He opened up the Bible to John 15, verse 13, and the verse that he read was "Greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends." Well, he knew what this meant, but he didn't really understand the fullness of it, so he went back to the jail and he asked the hitchhiker, "What does this mean? I read it and I grasped what it was, but I didn't really understand what it meant."

The hitchhiker looked at him and he said, "Let me tell you about a Man who lived about two thousand years ago. That Man's name was Jesus." The young man said, "Yeah, I know who He was, I've used His name many times. I've never used it for good, but I've used it, but I really don't know who He is. All I heard is that He was some guy that died on a cross." The hitchhiker said, "No, He wasn't just some guy that died on a cross. He was your Father, is your Father and will be your Father." The young man looked at him and said, "My Dad is at home." The hitchhiker said, "I'm not talking about your earthly father, I'm talking about your heavenly Father." He asked the young man if he had brought his Bible with him and the young man said that he had. The hitchhiker asked to see it and he opened it to John 3:16, and he read this to the young man; "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

The hitchhiker asked the young man, "Do you know what that means?" "Not really," said the young man. The hitchhiker said, "That means that God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to be crucified on a cross, to die, to have nails driven through Him, not small nails, but large, large spikes, to hang from that cross for hours and hours until He died just so He could take away all your sins."

And then he said, "I was sitting there in your car that night praying and seeking God for a way to minister to you guys, and if I only reach one person in my life with the good news about Jesus, then I will have done more than I could ever hope to do for God. You came to me, which tells me that at least I have been able to reach you in some small way." The young man answered him and said, "Well, at least you made me stop and think about it." The hitchhiker said, "To bring that scripture a little closer to home for you, let me put it this way. I took everything you guys had, all your alcohol and drugs, even your gun. I took everything , let the cop arrest me and take me to jail."

The young man said, "Yeah, now I'm beginning to understand that scripture" and the hitchhiker said, "You see what I mean? God took every sin you ever committed or will commit and He hung with it on that cross, just like I'm going to be in jail, and He did it just for you, just like I did it for you. I don't know you, but God knows you. Scripture says He knew you before you were born, and God knows you now. God loves you enough to let you do what you want and I love you enough to try to make you see how much you need God." The young man said, "I think I'm really starting to understand it now. I've never really though about God, or about heaven or hell that much. To tell you the truth, I didn't even really think they existed." And the hitchhiker said, "Oh yes, they exist and the choice is up to you, you can pick whichever one you want."

Now the thing I want to ask everybody out there is, if that story touched you at all, if it affected you in any way, then what you are feeling is the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The Lord is convicting you of something, I don't know what, but you and God know what it is. Jesus Christ died on the cross to save you. He let His own life go that you may live forever. The Lord wants you to be with Him in heaven, He doesn't want you to be in hell. The choice is yours. If you want to be in hell, then you might as well just go ahead and not listen to what I have to say, but if you want to be in heaven, if you dearly desire to be with the Lord, to honor and to worship Him, to take everything you do right now, all of the drinking or drugs or whatever problems you might have, if you are willing to take it and cast it at the foot of the cross, and give one hundred percent total devotion to God, to honestly love Him, to work toward being closer to Him, to not be ashamed to tell everyone you know about the Lord, to work every day toward being with God in heaven, then I would ask you to please, wherever you are at right now, bow your head, and if you are not saved and have never prayed before don't worry about what to say. God does not need long speeches to hear you. It doesn't matter what you say, He hears you.

For those of you who may already be saved or thought you were at one time, and who are realizing that God has put conviction upon you, I ask you to please just repeat after me: "Father God, I ask You Lord to come into my life, and to cleanse me of all that I have done, Lord. I repent, Father, I am truly sorry for what I have done. Father God, I ask You to strengthen me, to show me the way that is right. Lord. I don't want to end up in hell. I want to be in heaven with You. I ask you Father, just touch me right now. Put Your hand upon me and show me what it is I need to do, Lord. Father, I ask You to put others around me who are of like faith, and who also believe in You, Father, that I may study with them and learn with them. Father God, I ask You to strengthen me, that I may testify to everyone I know and to all those I see that You are the one true God, that You live in me, and that You love me. Father God, I ask You to help me to show, in everything I do and everywhere I go, that I believe in You. In Jesus' mighty and holy name, I thank You God for the essence of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen, and for the faith to believe. In Jesus' name. Amen."

Before I go I would like to leave everyone out there with one last scripture: Revelation 22:14 - "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter through the gates into the City." What it is talking about there is the city of Heaven. Blessed is everyone who obeys the Lord's commandments, who does what He tells them to do, who studies His Word, and who loves God. You have a right to the Tree of Life, and you have a right to enter the City.

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