Summary: This message is about making a decision and acting upon it, especially as it pertains to our relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.
Is It Really Settled?
The title of my message this morning is “Is It Really Settled.”
How many of you have ever been in a meeting where topics were being discussed and there were differing opinions as to what the decision should be. You had some who believed one way and others having an opposing belief. After much discussion a decision had to be made. Finally, when it seems that there will be no agreement between the two opposing views, the leader of the meeting makes the decision. When the decision is made it is said that the issue is “settled.” What happens after the issue is settled? There is no more discussion on the topic. Even those who were not in agreement with the decision now get behind it because they are part of a team and they must move forward as a team.
There is a legal term called “double jeopardy” and I am not referring to the game show. Double jeopardy is a “procedural defense that forbids a defendant from being tried again on the same (or similar) charges in the same case following a legitimate acquittal or conviction.” In other words, when a decision is reached the case is “settled.” The person cannot be retried by the same court (state or federal) for the same crime that they were either acquitted or convicted of. The court cannot change the decision (unless the decision is appealed to a higher court) and the ruling stands. Even if it’s appealed to a higher court, once that court has ruled, the decision stands. My point is this: at some points in the legal process a decision will be made. When that decision is made there will be no turning back – everyone must abide by that final decision. I was talking with Ariana about her college choices and I asked her about something she had said to her father. In her consideration she talked about if she considered one decision that would be the same as learning to ride a bicycle and then trying to go backward to training wheels. Her point was to not to go backwards. Many of us are not moving forward because we are still looking behind us. We have not settled the issues within our lives so that we can move forward with them being settled. One of those issues is our relationship with Jesus the Christ.
This morning I want you to consider if that issue (your relationship with Christ) has been settled. Are you secure in your decision or do you find yourself wondering back and forth when it comes time for you to put your “final” decision to the test. You see it’s one thing to accept Christ as your personal Savior and something else to walk in that decision. Accepting Him was the easy part, living the life is where we reflect back on the impact of the decision that was made. Some Christians accept Christ as their personal Savior but live a “modified” life of acceptance depending on the situation. If we look at our salvation as a final decision that can’t be changed and therefore we must live within the confines of that decision, our walk would be different. If we were acquitted in a court case by a jury of our peers, would any of us choose to live a modified life as if we were found guilty? Absolutely not! Once that not guilty verdict was delivered and we were set free, we would resume our lives and put the trial behind us. We would not live in the shadows as if we were guilty! This is what Jesus Christ did for us when we accepted Him – He delivered us! He set us free! Jesus said in John 8:36, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” So back to my point, if our Lord and Savior has set us free why are we still trying to live modified lives? If our decision to accept Him is settled, we need to start living as if that decision is settled. Let me give you a few examples.
When Joshua brought the Children of Israel into the Promised Land he had witnessed how they continued to change their minds as it related to what they believed about God. They witnessed the miracles of God and been privy to His blessings and yet they operated at times with minds that wavered. They would believe fully one day and waver in that belief the next. One day they had faith, the next day they would doubt. Joshua had witnessed this behavior for years so when he was close to death he called the leaders to him and asked them a question. This is what is recorded in Joshua 24:15: “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!” Joshua made a declaration of a decision that had been made as it related to his house. There was no doubt, wavering or remorse in the decision. He knew God and knew what God had done for him. He had witnessed the awesomeness of God and he knew that there was no other god(s) that existed beside the one true God whom he served. So after asking them to make up their minds about whom they would serve, he said “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!” Joshua was preparing the people to walk with God after his death but he knew that they would have to make up their own minds. He put a stake in the ground for himself though. When he used the word “will” there was no other discussions to be made. He had settled the issue, He and his family “will” serve the Lord.