Summary: This sermon looks at the doctrine of "election" as described and illustrated in the Holy Word.
Text: Joshua 24:15
Election day for a nation is a very exciting occasion, especially this last election. But election day for an individual - his or her own personal election day - is of far greater importance to to them. It is the day they decide their eternal destiny.
The doctrine of election has confused and troubled many. Some have said, "If God has chosen me for salvation I will be saved; if He hasn’t there is nothing I can do about it." Some think that every person must save theirselves by their manner of life and that God has little to do with it. Still others believe that all men will be saved. In the midst of these conflicting ideas stands the clear teaching of the Scriptures: God offers salvation to all and each person decides for theirselves whether or not they will accept God’s gift. An old preacher once put it like this: "God votes for you, the devil votes for you, and the way you vote carries the election."
Let us imagine that a gigantic building represents the kingdom of God. Above it’s entrance is emblazoned the great invitation "Whosoever will may come." On each side of it’s open doors are such statements as these: "The Lord is not...willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9) "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Rev. 22:17).
Vast multitudes of people of all ages, races and tongues throng into this building. Upon entering, they find inscribed in the everlasting stone of it’s inner walls such truths as these: "Chosen...before the foundation of the world" (Eph. 1:4). "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God" (1 Peter 1:2).
Your personal election day is the day you choose to enter, or not to enter, this spiritual building; to accept or to reject Jesus Christ as you Savior. It is the most decisive day of your life.
For the rich young ruler it was a tragic day. This young man rushed to Jesus with the urgent question, "Good Master, what...shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (Matt. 19:16). Jesus knew exactly what he must do. Wealth was this man’s god. The idol must be destroyed before the living God could be enthroned in his heart. "Go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor," Jesus told him, "and come and follow me" (v. 21). Then we read one of the saddest statements in all literature: "He went away sorrowful: for he had great possession" (v. 22).
For Zacchaeus, the unscrupulous tax collector, election day was a joyous one. This man climbed a tree so that he might see Jesus from a vantage point as He passed by. The Lord spotted him and called: "Zacchaeus...come down" (Luke 19:5)! Zacchaeus came down and received Christ into his heart and into his home with joy. "This day is salvation come to this house" (Luke 19:9), Jesus remarked.
These two New Testament characters are symbols of humanity: those who receive Jesus, and with Him, eternal life and joy, and those who reject Him to their eternal sorrow and death.
Have you chosen Jesus? Have you opened the door of your heart to Him and said, "Come in, Lord and possess my life?"