They are the most-attended sporting events in the United States. Tens of thousands of excited, passionate fans gather in the stands and the infield to watch race cars zoom around a racetrack at over 180 miles per hour mere feet, and sometimes mere inches, from one another. The high-energy, heart-racing event is watched by millions more on television. Almost nothing else on earth can compare to the breathtaking spectacle. Yes, a NASCAR race is the ultimate thrill ride.
But with such a thrill ride, comes the threat of danger. One month ago, a terrible crash at a race the day before the Daytona 500 underscored the risk that fans and drivers take when they go out to the racetrack. One of the women who suffered broken bones from the crash described it as a “scene from a horror movie.” Not only have drivers and fans been injured at these events, but the specter of death is always present as well. The careers of some of NASCAR’s most promising drivers — such as Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin Jr., and perhaps the sport’s most notable figure, Dale Earnhardt — have been cut short by deadly crashes on the race track.
The danger of a thrilling NASCAR race also tells us something about life. Many people go through life searching for thrills in many different ways: a whirlwind romance, getting high on drugs, the perfect marriage, an expensive vacation, promiscuous sexual activity, or a concert or sporting event that they eagerly look forward to.
All of these things may sound and be exciting, but they each come with their own risks and, on top of that, they don’t last forever. Whirlwind romances often end just as fast as they began. Drug highs never last, frequently turn into addictions, and often damage a person’s body beyond repair. All marriages have their share of troubles and difficulties, and many seemingly “perfect” marriages end in divorce. As much as we may like them to, vacations don’t last forever, and one always has to return to an often mundane everyday life. Illicit sexual activity leads to broken hearts, broken relationships, and sometimes sexually transmitted diseases. And a concert or sporting event, no matter how exciting while it is going on, always comes to an end.
After going through such experiences, we are often left wondering if there is anything in life that can permanently satisfy and fulfill our heart’s desires and our deepest longings. I’m here to tell you that there is. But such satisfaction and fulfillment is not found in events or in things. It is found in a person whose name is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ said, “I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
I know for certain that Jesus Christ does indeed make life full, complete, and worth living because I was once a young man in the Air Force looking for purpose and meaning in life, seeking thrills in the wrong places, and looking for a cause to live and work for that would make my life count. I found all of those things one night when a man by the name of Michael Lewis came to my dorm room on Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, and showed me how I can have new life in Jesus Christ. After I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour, I embarked on the most thrilling ride of my entire life. And I want to show you how you can have that experience as well.
The first thing that Michael Lewis showed me is what the Bible says about my condition and the condition of every person in the human race. Romans 3:23 says that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” That means that you and I have done wrong things and disobeyed God in our lives.
The second thing he showed me was the consequences of my sins. Romans 6:23 says, “for the wages of sin is death.” This is not just physical death, but eternal spiritual death in a place called Hell.
The third thing he showed me was that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, loved me and all of us enough to die on the cross for our sins and take the punishment that we deserve upon himself. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Because of what Christ did for us, we do not have to suffer eternal punishment, instead, we can have eternal life through Him. Romans 6:23 says that “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The fourth and final thing that Michael Lewis showed me is how I could receive the salvation that Jesus Christ provides. Romans 10:9 says, “that if thou shalt confess thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, all we have to do is believe in Him, trusting His death as the payment for our sins — and we will be saved! Romans 10:13 reiterated this when it says, “for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
After I accepted Christ into my heart, my life changed forever. I no longer sought meaning and satisfaction in the temporary pleasures that this world provides. I had found permanent peace, love, joy, and fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Life with Christ is indeed a thrill that keeps going and going and never comes to an end. It is the only thrill that is without the threat of danger and death and the only one that gets better and better with time and eternity.
Would you like to have this kind of life as well? You can accept Christ’s free gift of salvation just as I did over thirty years ago right now today. Why don’t you pray a short prayer to let God know about your decision to trust him as Saviour? Just repeat after me and mean it from your heart.
Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today and forever. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God and congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your new found faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!