Dangerous Kisses

 •  10 min. read  •  grade level: 6
"Hey, everyone watch me kiss my rattlesnake on the lips," John announced to the group of friends at his house. He puckered his lips in a mock kiss. His friends gathered around to watch the show.
"Don't do it!" his friend Robert protested. "That's crazy! The snake will bite!" he warned.
"Don't worry. I've done it many times before, and my snake has never bitten me," John said with a cocky smile.
As his friends all watched, John reached into the glass aquarium where he kept his pet snake. He picked it up with one hand behind its head and the other under its body. The rattles were silent. The snake was a little over two feet long and had only two rattles at the end of its tail—a young snake.
John held the snake up for his friends to view for a moment and then moved it towards his face to kiss it. The small crowd gasped as the snake suddenly struck with an open mouth and sank its fangs into John's upper lip. At that instant, the snake's poisonous venom was sent through its long, hollow fangs and into John's lip before the snake was pulled away.
In astonishment, John dropped the snake to the floor and cried out, "I'm going to die! I'm going to die!"
Dangerous Kisses Robert, the same friend who tried to discourage John from kissing the snake, quickly killed the snake that was coiling on the floor as if to strike again. Then he turned to help his terror-stricken friend whose upper lip was already swelling. In a firm voice he told John not to panic and that they would get help. Someone quickly called 9-1-1 and were told that paramedics were on the way.
At the hospital they treated John with antivenin for the snakebite. After a severe illness he recovered from the poisoning. The doctor credited his recovery due to the rattlesnake's small size and being young.
It's dangerous to keep a poisonous creature for a pet. It's even more dangerous and foolish to kiss such a creature. Most of us don't have to be told, "Don't kiss a poisonous snake." However, there is something very dangerous that you and I easily get accustomed to, and that is sin. Sin carries a poisonous bite with it that is far more deadly than that of John's rattlesnake. "When lust hath conceived, it [brings] forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, [brings]
No one has escaped the bite of sin. "There is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:22-2322Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:22‑23)). Therefore, every one of us needs God's life-saving remedy for sin, which is available only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus suffered and died on the cross and became the only sin offering God will ever accept. "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:14-1514And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:14‑15)). Sin's deadly poison has been defeated by its remedy in God's beloved Son.
Won't you recognize that sin is deadly and believe that the Lord Jesus died on the cross for your sins? He will give you the gift of eternal life. God says there is no other way to be saved from sin's deadly sting.
BALTO’S RACE FOR LIFE
Even in our modern times, no roads exist that connect Nome to the rest of Alaska. In 1925 traveling conditions were even more difficult. In summer you could travel there by ship, and if you were adventurous, you could fly there by plane. But not in winter.
In January of that year, Dr. Curtiss Welch, the only doctor living in Nome, diagnosed an outbreak of diphtheria. Diphtheria is a highly contagious disease that especially attacks children. It begins with flu-like symptoms and then worsens... until the person dies. The only cure then was an antitoxin serum. Sadly, Dr. Welch had none of the serum in Nome. He sent out an urgent telegraph pleading for help. Could the antitoxin serum be located and then delivered before many people died? Every hour that passed without the serum increased the death toll.
This dreadful disease reminds us of sin. Sin has infected each one of us, and if we don't use the right treatment for it, sin will eventually cause our eternal death. The Bible makes it clear how dangerous sin really is: "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:2323For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)). Most of us don't realize the danger we are in because of sin. If we did, we wouldn't wait another second before we sent out an urgent plea to one who could help.
What is the name of the only one who can remove the problem of sin? Before His birth an angel announced, "Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matt. 1:2121And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)). Jesus is His name, and when He died on the cross, He shed His precious blood. His blood has the cleansing power to remove all your sins and mine. "The blood of Jesus Christ [God's] Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:77But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)). The danger is great and the time is short. "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:1313For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)). Will you call to Him before it is too late for you?
The antitoxin serum was located in Anchorage and was sent by train to the town of Nenana. This small village was still 650 miles away from Nome. Using urgent telegraph messages, twenty dogsled teams were set up to cover these miles. They were spaced out along the route, like runners in a relay race, to carry the precious serum to Nome.
The crate containing the vials of serum was carefully lashed onto the first sled, and the driver yelled "Mush!" The dogsled race to save lives had begun.
At first all went well, and the serum was passed from sled to sled as each driver finished his leg of the journey. The seventeenth team of dogs was driven by a man named Seppala and led by a dog called Togo. They were traveling over Norton Sound when the dogs broke through the ice and landed in open water. Seppala was just able to stop the sled before it plunged in. Then, lying on his stomach at the edge of the broken ice, he pulled his dogs out one by one. It was a close call, and the serum had almost been lost!
The serum was transferred to the eighteenth team at a village called Bluff. They lashed the serum to Gunnar Kaasen's dogsled, and with the command "Mush!" his team of dogs sprinted away. Shortly after this team started, a severe snowstorm blew in. Snow fell so fast that Gunnar could no longer tell if he was headed in the right direction. He had to trust his lead dog to guide them. The lead dog made his way through the blizzard until he lost his sense of direction and was unwilling to travel any farther. Worried that they would never reach Nome, Gunnar got off the sled and switched the second dog to the lead spot at the front of the team. This dog was confused too and did not know which way to turn. It seemed that they must lose precious time and wait for the storm to blow over.
The snow was blowing so thick that Gunnar could barely see the faint outlines of his dogs in their harnesses. His glance fell on one of the dogs that was hitched back in the team by the sled. Instead of standing still, this dog was jumping against the braces of the harness. His name was Balto, a black Siberian husky, and he seemed to be saying, I know the way; trust me, I will get you there! Gunnar switched Balto to the lead spot. The dog paused for a moment, just long enough for Gunnar to get behind his sled. The wind was howling so loud that Balto never heard the word "Mush!" but he knew it was time to go, so off into the thick of the storm he led them.
The wind blew at forty miles an hour and gusted at twice that speed. The temperature was minus forty and falling, and the snow continued to fall fast. Through this terrible storm Balto led them. At one point, a strong gust of wind hit them and lifted Gunnar, the sled and all the dogs off the ground before it slammed them back down again. For many hours Balto led them through the raging storm.
When they neared the last relay station at Port Safety, Gunnar saw no lights in the roadhouse. The man who was to drive the last leg of the race had thought it was impossible for Gunnar to travel in the storm and had gone to bed. Instead of losing precious time in rousing the sleeping driver and waiting while he got his team ready, Gunnar decided to keep going and make the last twenty-mile leg of the journey himself. The storm slackened, and traveling was easier. Even after working all day, Balto ran like the wind.
At 5:30 in the morning, Balto led the team to the front of the tiny hospital in Nome. The serum was delivered! They had traveled over twenty hours through some of the worst conditions known to man. Gunnar put his arm around his lead dog and then noticed that Balto's feet were bleeding. "He is one fine dog!" he said with feeling to the small crowd that was gathering around them.
Despite danger and incredible hardships, Balto got the sled carrying the antitoxin serum through to Nome, and lives were saved because of it.
Do you know Jesus who came here to earth and faced dangers and incredible hardships that your soul might be saved? He left His Father's home in heaven and came to this sin-stained earth to be born as an infant. At about thirty years of age He began His ministry. The words He spoke were so powerful that they struck men deep in their hearts. Because He spoke about sin, He earned the hatred of men who "loved darkness rather than light." At last they took Him and nailed Him to a cross. They meant it for evil, but God overruled it for good, because God knew that it was only through the death of His dear Son that sin could ever be put away. In His own body at the cross, He carried those sins which, like a terrible disease, were bringing us down to death and judgment. "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed" (Isa. 53:55But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)).
The Lord Jesus Christ died for you on the cross. After His death He was laid in a grave, but a grave couldn't hold Him, and He rose from the grave. And if you believe on this Savior who won the victory over sin and death, you will receive the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of eternal life. Won't you trust the Lord Jesus to save you?