Summary: How little choices sometimes have huge consequences.
October 18, 2017
“See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.”
“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”
“Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death.”
“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
This last week we have been devastated by the results of choices some people have made. What would influence a Christian man to take, not only his own life, but the life of the one he loved most in life? What would influence a man to diabolically plan and methodically carry out that plan to kill dozens of innocent people he didn’t even know? We don’t know and probably will never know this side of Glory. But there are a few things we do know; a few things we do understand; a few things that have been revealed to us.
First, we know we have been given the gift of choice. Another way of saying it is that we have free will. Unlike the rest of Creation we have been created in God’s image and included in that is the ability and responsibility to choose life or death. What a wonderful thing to have the power to make a life. We don’t create life – only God can do that – but He has given us this ability to make life. Virtually all of mankind has this ability and can make a life just about any time they want and often even when they don’t want to. Unfortunately we still live in a fallen world with a fallen nature and many people create a life irresponsibly and choose to abort that life or choose for someone else to take over the responsibility of raising the life they have created. Or they may choose to raise the child they made and not do a good of nurturing that gift of life like they should. We will talk more about that in a few minutes. Right now I want us to understand this wonderful ability God has given us. We have the power of choice. We have the power to choose life or death. Any of us have the power and ability to take life – and we do. We kill millions of innocent lives every year through abortion. Thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of lives are taken each year through murder and war and euthanasia and suicide.
One of the awesome abilities we have is, not only the ability to take our own lives if we wish, but we have the power to choose our own eternal destiny. Our Nazarene Manual says,
“We believe that glorious and everlasting life is assured to all who savingly believe in, and (choose to) obediently follow, Jesus Christ our Lord; and that the finally impenitent shall suffer eternally in hell.”
We have the power to choose heaven or hell as our finial destiny. It doesn’t matter how smart you are or how dumb; it doesn’t matter how gifted you are or not gifted; it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor – you have the power or ability – call it a RESPONSibility – to choose heaven or hell. And NOT to choose Heaven is to choose hell. How do we do that? The Bible says,
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:11-13
What an awesome ability we have! What power has been given to us! We choose our destiny and we choose the kind of life we live.
I think it is important to understand 2) the process of our choices. We are influenced in making choices, aren’t we? Parents influence kids; bosses influence everything from when we get up to how long we work. Our needs often influence our choices.