12 December, 2014

The Choice Is Yours

I love the freedom of choice, don’t you? I'm the type of guy who does not like it when I am not given choices. I like being able to choose what I want to eat, do, wear or drive. When I'm pushed into situations or circumstances, while I can conform, there is a part of me that is very unsettled and unhappy. Some people take choice for granted. It is true that some choices are so insignificant that many people really don't give it that much thought. The choice of what clothes you will wear today, what you will eat for breakfast and such don't really require all that much thought and we don't really really stop to consider this is the freedom of choice. Having spent time incarcerated, I know what it is like to only be able to wear what someone else says you can wear or eat whatever they give you. Believe me, it gets old real quick.

On the other hand there are other choices that we make that have a major effect our entire life, i.e.; choosing a spouse, choosing a career, choosing a school for our education and so on. Even greater is the choices we make that will effect us for all eternity. These are things like how we respond to God’s will and Word, the choice whether we will yield our lives over to the will of God and whether we will walk in obedience to his Word. This is one of the most important decisions any of us will ever make it, yet it is also one of the most controversial subjects we will ever encounter in talking with people who are not Born Again. Yes, controversial. What I mean by that is that so many people will get angry with those of us who are Born Again. They will accuse us of being judgmental, hypocritical or filled with hate. But it really need not be any of those things, even though there are those withing the Body of Christ do in fact become all of them. 

Just this week I was talking with a someone who has been a friend of mine for more than 35 years. This person was upset because a Christian person had been rather rude and "in your face" in telling her that she was going to Hell. So she asked me if I agreed with that. I asked her if she believed that Jesus was the Son of God and had asked Jesus to forgive her of her sins. She told me that she did not need religion and she rejected my concept of God. So, I told her that while I was not God, based on what she was saying, that if she died without accepting Christ, then she would in fact go to Hell. She became very angry with me and started calling me judgmental. I stopped her dead in her tracks and I told her that I did not want her to go to Hell, but the bottom line is, that she was making her own choice. I explained that God had sent His son to die for our sin and had given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to offer eternity in Heaven to anyone who would accept His offer, but that He gave each one of us the freedom to choose. I showed her a very simple, yet powerful picture to help her understand this choice. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him and he with me."  I explained it to her this way. Jesus asks to "come in" but He does not open the door. He gives us the choice to let him or to turn him away.  I said that He loves each of us the same and He give everyone the same choice. So the fact is, God sends no one to Hell, rather people choose to go there. 

You might ask, “Why would anyone turn a deaf ear to God’s invitation?” Well, some reject God’s invitation, not so much by conscious choice, but by default. Because they "choose not to believe" as my friend stated that she did, they then, by default choose to reject God and accept Hell. Just as bad, they miss out on the privilege of being a friend of God and living under His blessing in this life! Then there are also those who once opened the door to Jesus and asked Him into their heart, yet they have crowded him out of their lives by inviting too many other guests inside who have taken up residence in their heart and as a result, there is no longer room for Jesus in their lives.

So I have a message for anyone will hear or read...
For the one who has never opened up the door to their lives to Jesus, my question is-
"Will you let him come into your life and serve him?"

The bottom line is really this simple... "The choice is yours." The ball is in your court. What will you do with this choice?  Let me be clear that I will love you no matter what choice you make. I will love you no matter how you choose to live your life. I don't have to agree with your choices to love you. Your choices may break my heart or even disappoint me, but I will still love you. Not agreeing with your choices does not equate to hate. Those who throw out that "hate" accusation are basically consumed with guilt and shame and are looking for me (and others) to validate their choice, which is not going to happen. That's your choice as well, but you will not be successful in transferring that hate onto me. That's your's to carry. It's your choice.  

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