Decisions Determine Destiny (2)
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Last week we wrote about how the decisions we make determine our destiny. In this article I want to share with you a few more thoughts on this subject.
Man has been given by God the ability to think, reason, and choose. Many misunderstand and/or misrepresent what the Bible teaches about election by God. The Bible teaches that God has chosen us that we might choose Him. “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” That is why we are called the “elect.” This is not an arbitrary choice, but a choice of location. All that will be saved are those who choose to enter the place designated for salvation, and that is in His Son. “According as he hath chosen us IN HIM before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted IN the beloved” (emphasis mine) (Eph. 1:4-6). In verse 3 of this same chapter, Paul tells us that ALL spiritual blessings are IN CHRIST! If you have not been baptized INTO Christ, you do not have this salvation (Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:3; 17-18).
We also need to consider that our day of choice is passing away with every breath we take. While we have “today” we need to choose to obey Christ. “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Cor. 6:2). Even in olden days, Israel was exhorted, “Seek the Lord while He may be found” (Isa. 55:6). Don’t think that you have forever to make up your mind. Death is certain; it is an appointment all will keep unless we are still living when the Lord returns (Heb. 9:27).
Now let me give you some more reasons why you should choose Christ.
(1) You can know immediate joy. Paul told the church at Philippi, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice” (Phil. 4:4). When the Ethiopian eunuch completed his obedience by being baptized into Christ, he “went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39).
(2) You may die tonight. After the successful farmer of Luke 12 had made plans to store up his bountiful crops so that he could “say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” God let him know that his plans were going to be interrupted. “But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” (Luke 12:19-20). Who knows? These words could be the last words you ever read about salvation in Christ. This could be the last exhortation you have to obey Christ before you die. There are no second chances after death. Don’t delay. Do it NOW. (3) Jesus Christ is coming back (Acts 1:11). “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” If you don’t believe He is coming, that is just a fulfillment of this verse because Jesus said He would come when least expected. Every time you choose against Him, you harden your heart and make it easier to choose against Him the next time. “While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation” (Heb. 3:15).
What are YOU choosing at this time? As you read these words, what is your choice? Is your heart moved to repentance as the 3,000 on Pentecost in Acts 2? Or is your heart hardened through the deceitfulness of sin? We close with an exhortation from Peter: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:38, 41).
Paul M. Wilmoth