Robert C. Oliver Contributing columnist
November 22, 2013
For some people, making a choice is a hard thing to do. However, in some cases to procrastinate and put off making a choice is a decision within itself. The man that stands upon a window ceil, trying to decide if he should jump into the net below or face the flames that are closing in around him has made the decision to stay and be burned if he waits too long trying to decide. In the realm of Christianity, we too have to make a choice. Some would dawdle around, never committing themselves to serve God while never really denouncing the gospel of Christ. They seem to want to “straddle the fence” and have the best of both worlds, so to speak. However, Jesus said, No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24). One simply can’t have it both ways. He must make a choice. He who is still straddling the fence when the Lord returns or he dies will have made the decision to be lost, for he never made the decision to obey the Lord.
After having led the children of Israel into their promise land, Joshua exhorted them to faithfulness to the God of heaven by saying, “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:14-15). There are many gods which man may serve today, not all of them some form of idol. The apostle Paul instructed the Colossians to put away certain earthly things, one of which was “covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5). To the Romans Paul said, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness (Rom. 6:16)? As Jesus told Satan when being tempted, “for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matt. 4:10). You have a choice to make, choose wisely.
Our Lord has pointed out two ways or paths that one can take. He said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14). One might notice that there are only two ways to go and they lead to two different destinations. One way is easy to travel, little if any restriction or regulations, the other is narrow and difficult. However, that way that is easy leads to destruction while that way which is difficult leads to eternal life. It is your choice which way you want to travel. However, keep in mind that if you desire a heavenly home, you cannot travel the broad and easy way. The time will come when it is too late to make or change your decision, so choose now and choose wisely.
At one point in the earthly ministry of Jesus, some from the priests and elders came to Him asking by what authority He did the things He did. He answered them with a question of His own, “The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men (Matt. 21:23-25)? The question Jesus posed points to the only two sources of authority for the things taught, believed and done in the realm of Christianity. A doctrine or practice either has Deity as its source, or it has some man or group of men as its source. Concerning the doctrines and practices having heaven as its source, one will have to look to the written word of the Lord. Paul said concerning “the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:11-12). The thing that makes this choice so serious, as were the last three, is that the wrong choice will lead to eternal destruction. The wise man, Solomon, said, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). The Lord said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32) and, “Sanctify them through they truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Its your choice, but choose wisely.
Jesus said, “thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). In the first century, the Lord’s church was the only church, thus no need to make a choice. However, man soon began to establish his own churches. When one chooses God, walks the strait and narrow, submitting to the authority of Christ Jesus found in the pages of the New Testament, that person is then added to the Lord’s church by the Lord Himself. “The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). Paul said that we are all “baptized into one body” (I Cor. 12:13) and that Christ is the saviour of that one body (Eph. 5:23). Now, its your choice: You can choose one of those churches that came from men or the one that came from heaven. Just keep in mind, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1). Choose wisely!
(Editor’s note: Send any questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org)