19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. — Deut. 30:19-20a NLT
This choice was given to the children of Israel under the old covenant. They lived under the old covenant and the law. We live under the new covenant and grace. The covenants have changed but the choices are still the same, we can choose life or death. We can choose to accept the sacrifice of Jesus as our redeemer or we can reject that sacrifice and choose death. We were born in sin into a sinful world, we choose death by continuing that lifestyle. We choose life by accepting Jesus, loving God, obeying Him and committing ourselves firmly to Him. This choice is “the key to life”. Choosing Jesus and life unlocks doors so that we can access the abundant life. Life is more about “being” than about doing. We are called human beings not human doers. Before we do anything, we need to be in the presence of God. To be in His presence means we spend time at His feet learning His teachings and allowing Him to disciple us. Maybe that is why all the “blessed are” verses in Matthew 5 are called the “be-attitudes”. We need to learn to have the same attitude that Jesus has so we can be like Him. If we spend enough time “being” in His presence, the “doing” will be a natural outflow of our “being”. Then we can live the abundant, blessed life He desires to give us.
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. — John 10:10 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
God has not condemned anyone and He doesn’t send people to hell. People are condemned when they reject Jesus, That is a personal choice and they have to earn their way to hell; “the wages of sin are death” (Romans 6:23) It isn’t God’s will that any should perish/go to hell. We each make a choice to accept the gift of eternal life or work our way to hell. A Christian cannot be condemned since we don’t “practice evil” We certainly fall occasionally but that is not our lifestyle. Condemnation comes from satan but conviction comes through the Holy Spirit. The feelings of guilt that a Christian has are not condemnation but conviction for failing to live up to the standards that Jesus has set for us. Jesus died once for all our sins, He is not going to the cross again. So, if you are feeling conviction and we all do at some time or other, don’t wait, ask God for His forgiveness and start to walk with Him in joy once again.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.–1 John 1:8, 9 (NLT)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
We are told in the first chapter of John that “the Word became human and dwelt among us”. That Word was and is Jesus Christ. He is still alive and active. He stands at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us. His Holy Spirit searches our hearts and minds and knows our very thoughts. We can all “talk the talk” but only each of us and God know whether or not we are “walking the walk”.
He knows our thoughts and judges our intentions. We cannot fool Him, we cannot hide our thoughts from Him and we cannot physically hide from Him. He sees all, hears all, and knows all about us. And one day, “every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess” that He is Lord. We can do it now and spend an eternity with Him or we can wait until judgment day and spend an eternity in hell. Jesus wants everyone to go to heaven, but He knows that not every one will choose to go. The choice is ours.
10 But I, the Lord, search all heartsand examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”
– Jeremiah 17:10 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
In the Old Testament, God gave the children of Israel a choice between life or death based on their obedience to the law and the Commandments. Disobedience would lead to death and disaster while obedience would lead to life and prosperity. He gave them this choice just before they crossed the Jordan into Canaan. They were to leave the old and enter into the new.
He gives us the same choice in the New Testament. Only now it is based on our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. Once we have accepted Jesus, we are no longer slaves to our carnal, sinful nature. We are free to choose to live a life that is given to us through the power of God’s Spirit abiding in us. Therefore, we need to “put off” our old deceitful desires and live a new lifestyle that is Holy and pleasing to God. Then we will have life, and not just life, but eternal life in Christ Jesus.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.– Genesis 1:31a NIV
Deception and sin entered through the serpent and the battle on earth begins.
15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” — Genesis 3:15 NIV
13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”– Rev 5:13
10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. — Rev. 20:10
Each of us must make a choice and these are the consequences of our choice.
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.This is the second death.”– Rev. 21:6-8 NIV
We know the beginning and we know the end. Joshua knew the beginning. I don’t know whether he knew the ending or not, but he made the right choice.
14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” — Joshua 24:14, 15 NIV
Be a Joshua! Don’t choose the gods of this world, choose the only true and living God! Choose Jesus!
18 “I will not leave you all alone like orphans; I will come back to you. 19 In a little while the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live, too. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and that you are in me and I am in you. 21 Those who know my commands and obey them are the ones who love me, and my Father will love those who love me. I will love them and will show myself to them.”22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you plan to show yourself to us and not to the rest of the world?” 23 Jesus answered, “If people love me, they will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Those who do not love me do not obey my teaching. This teaching that you hear is not really mine; it is from my Father, who sent me.—John 14:18-24 (NCV)
Jesus was always teaching His disciples and encouraging them. He knew that until the Holy Spirit came, they would feel alone and discouraged. He assures them and us that we will never be alone. He isn’t here physically with us now, but He is here abiding in our hearts and guiding us. If we love Jesus, we will be obedient children and the Father loves all of those who love Jesus. Every word that Jesus spoke came straight from the Father, so it is Truth. Everyone has the same opportunity to answer the call to come to Jesus. It is difficult for us to understand why some do and some don’t. God doesn’t send anyone to hell, a person has to work hard to get to hell. The wages (salary, pay) of sin is death. It is hard to understand why anyone would continue on that path when the plan of salvation is free and open to all who will accept. So, each of us has a choice to make, we can accept salvation full and free or we can earn our way to hell.
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. 18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.–John 3:16-21 (NLT)
Has anyone ever asked you, “What does it mean to be saved? Saved from what?” If you have been asked that question, were you able to answer it? When you were saved, from what were you saved? We were all born in sin, born into a world that is filled with the darkness of sin. Because of that, we are condemned to an eternity of punishment because Paul tells us in Romans 2:8, “But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.” Is this fair? Yes, because God has offered each of us the opportunity “to be saved”. God does not want anyone to go to hell and he doesn’t send us to hell. We earn our way to hell. (Romans 6:23–For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.) Each person has to accept God’s free gift of salvation. When we do that, we can and must walk in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hate the darkness, come to the Light so others can see Jesus in you.