Summary: The legacy of Choice has not been a great one for mankind. However, Jesus changes our opportunity to choose life by His wonderful gift.
Choose This Day…
“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth…” God built on the earth a garden, named Eden. In the garden He placed the first man and woman.
Also in the garden, He place a tree… The tree was the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God gave a command, “Do not eat the fruit of the tree, for if you do, you will surely die.”
Man realized the power to make choice. Eve was deceived into disobeying God’s command. The sum of scripture indicates that Adam was faced with a choice… “Go with God or stay with his woman who fell into sin.” So Adam choose. He took and ate.
Over the next 1600 years, man chose, and the majority of choices were against God. Imagine, what if God wiped away the evil men and women from the earth, and just kept one righteous family. He could start over with mankind having a mindset of victory, unlike the mindset of Adam and Eve. Every day that Adam and Eve woke up, they realized what they had lost in their failure. They had children and raised them under the shadow of that failure.
What if God started over with the best of the best, with their defining moment being the victory of escape from Judgment? He would give mankind the same freedom: the freedom of choice. Things should go better, right?
This freedom and caution has rang through history. Abraham was given a choice to leave his homeland and family. The Israelites, even in oppressive slavery, were given the choice to follow Moses and the God of Israel. Joshua told the Children of Israel, “Choose you this day whom you will serve, either the God of your forefathers or the God of Israel. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Elijah ask the Israelites on mount Carmel, (1Ki 18:21) “And Elijah came near to all the people and said, ‘How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.’ And the people did not answer him a word.’"
Jesus presented the dilemma to us in His teachings. He said, (Mat 7:13-14) "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
The Apostle Paul has well explained and illustrated in early Ephesians that those living in darkness really don’t have a choice. However, once Christ moves into the heart of one, the believer now has a choice. He is saying, “Choose rightly. God has given you the power and the will to choose righteousness.” He could have as well use the words of Joshua to all believers….”Choose this day whom you will serve.”
Wednesday night, we presented the same choice, different words, to our youth. I asked them, “Who is Jesus to you? If you take what He said, you must come to the conclusion that C. S. Lewis did many years ago. Jesus was either a liar (knowing He was not God but saying He was), or a lunatic (believing He was God, but living in delusion), or He is the Lord of all.”
I did not allow the youth to answer me. I told them I would listen to their lives, but not their lips.
I realize I live under that same standard. You live under the same standard. The profession of our mouths can only go so far. What we truly believe is what is spoken out of our lives.
Eph 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Eph 5:7 Therefore do not become partners with them;
Eph 5:8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
Eph 5:9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),
Eph 5:10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
Eph 5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
Eph 5:12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.
Eph 5:13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible,
Eph 5:14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
I. THE CAUTION.
A. Don’t Be Played;
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”