Summary: A call to those who are hesitating to make a decision for Christ.
“A Call to the Undecided”
It was Thursday, May 1st, five days after Aron Ralston had first entered Utah’s Bluejohn Canyon on what should have been an eight-hour, 13-mile hike. But on his way, while scrambling through a narrow section of the sandstone slot, Ralston dislodged a 1, 000 pound boulder that rolled on its pinch points and pinned his hand and forearm. His supplies—two burritos and three liters of water—were now gone, and there was virtually no chance of rescue. Unless Ralston did something drastic, he would not make it out alive.
Aron, a 27 year old experienced mountain climber, tried to rig something with his ropes and equipment to move the boulder, but it would not budge. He tried to chip at the rock with his knife, but after ten hours of chipping he had only a pile of rock dust to show for his effort. On Tuesday, day three of his ordeal, he had run out of food and water. On Wednesday, Ralston began sipping the urine he had started saving a day earlier. He pulled out his video camera and recorded a message to his parents. He next etched his name, birth date and what he was certain was his last day on earth into the canyon wall. He topped it off with RIP.
On Thursday, after he had a vision of a little boy running across the floor to hug a one armed man, he realized he had a hard decision to make. It was a decision that would mean the difference between life and death. Aron came to the conclusion that the only way he could survive was to amputate his own arm. After breaking the two bones in the arm, he cut through flesh and tendons and muscle with a pocketknife, amputating his right arm below the elbow. He used a first-aid kit in his backpack to bandage his arm and put it in a sling. He then rappelled 70 ft down a cliff and walked to get help. I can just imagine the turmoil and agony that Aron Ralston must have gone through as he tried to decide what to do in-order to live. It was a difficult and frightening decision, but one that resulted in life.
Some of you here this morning are undecided for Christ. You’re in turmoil over whether to turn your life to Christ or to remain in your sins and die an eternal death in Hell. The decision before you is no less a decision between life and death than it was for Aron Ralston the day he lay in that canyon with a 1,000 pound boulder on his arm. You have before you a difficult decision. A decision between Heaven and Hell. A decision to sever yourself from the false gods of this world and live or a decision to remain in your sins. In just a few moments, I’m going to be inviting you to make that decision that will result in life everlasting. I’m going to be inviting you to respond to God’s invitation to become a follower of Christ.
The Bible tells us of a group of Israelites who were spiritually undecided. They had a decision to make and it was a difficult one. In 1 Kings 18 the Bible tells us that for more than 3 years there had been a drought in Israel and the situation was desperate. People were starving and animals were dying. The Lord sent His servant Elijah to tell wicked King Ahab to gather all the people at Mt. Carmel along with the false prophets of Baal and Asherah. There was not only a shortage of water, but there was also a shortage of walking with the true God of Heaven. Let’s look together at 1 Kings 18:17-24. We read in 1 Kings 18 beginning with verse 17:
In this passage Elijah calls for a decision from the spiritually undecided. This morning God calls the spiritually undecided to a decision. Why does God extend that call to decision? This passage gives us three reasons God calls the undecided to decision today.
The first reason God calls the undecided to decision is because . . .
I. Time is running out!
For three years God was patient, yet His patience was coming to an end. After Ahab instituted Baal worship in 1 Kings 16, the Lord sent a drought on the land for three years and yet the people did not repent and turn to the Lord. They were starving and their animals were dying, yet they still did not turn back again to the Lord. After three years the Lord sent Elijah to confront Ahab and all of Israel. Elijah came to the King Ahab’s servant Obadiah and said, “Tell the King Elijah is here.” Elijah came face to face with the king and told him to gather all the people and the prophets of Baal together on Mount Carmel. As the people gather, Elijah pressed one question into their hearts. He said, “How long halt ye between two opinions?” “How long is this going to go on.” Elijah was saying, “how long are you going to sit on the fence? How long are you going to try to have it both ways? The time to decide is now. It’s time to stop wavering, it’s time to stop limping between opinions. If the Lord is God follow him, but if Baal then follow him.” We are told that the people did not answer a single word.