By Viv White
Every day we are bombarded with thousands upon thousands of choices and decisions. Many of them we don’t give much thought to. Yes, of course I’m going to put clothes on today. I don’t even need to think about that one. Others, might require a little bit more thought like, what should I eat for breakfast?
More complicated choices arise throughout the day as we interact with other people and make plans for the future.
When you think about all the choices that we make over the course of the day, it can be pretty overwhelming. But thankfully, God has made things wonderfully simple. He has given us two choices on which to focus and center our lives around. Life and death. These are the two choices that we had in the beginning, when God created the world for man to inhabit. He formed, made and created man in His very image, to fellowship with Him and to have dominion over His creation. He told mankind to be fruitful and multiply. But He also warned them:
Gen 2:16-17 NKJV
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
So He set two choices before the first man and woman. And we all know which one they chose. They chose to rebel against God, rejecting his fellowship and sovereignty. God also gave the Israelites these same two choices. Moses is addressing the people in the book of Deuteronomy right before they enter the Promised Land.
Deut 30:15-16 NKJV
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.
So once again, we see God revealing the two choices that we have – life and death.
Deut 30:19-20 NKJV
I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
God’s desires still haven’t changed. We, and the rest of the world, are still faced with the same two choices. Life and death. But God makes it pretty simple which one he wants us to choose, Life! And he tells us how to choose what he wants – by loving, obeying, and following His ways. And He even tells us why! He wants us to choose life so that we will live, be blessed, and to possess the land! It’s the choice that He wanted us to make in the beginning.
We are truly confronted with the reality of these choices because of Jesus Christ. Maybe you’ve never really thought of it before or done any research about it, but scholars almost unanimously agree that Jesus was a real historical person. He is not just some made-up character in a 2000 year old book! He is a documented historical person. Scholars also agree that his tomb was found empty. They have proposed various theories as to why, but none of them really hold up under scrutiny.
And so the most reasonable explanation is that Jesus was raised from the dead, just as he said he would be. And so Jesus is alive today, seated at the right hand of God our Father. The resurrection of Jesus proves that he was the Son of God. We know this because Romans 1:4 says, that he:
Romans 1:4 NKJV
and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
And this has enormous consequences for us. It proves that everything that Jesus said was true. It proves the reality of the Good News about the Kingdom of God that Jesus preached. And this Kingdom is something we would not want to miss out on.
Revelation 21 and 22 paint a wonderful picture of what life will be like in the kingdom of God. And it’s not even the whole story. You can find more about the Kingdom if you read the prophets, like Isaiah. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 2:9 Paul quotes Isaiah 64:4 and says that:
Isaiah 64:4 NKJV
For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
Suffice it to say, it’s going to be awesome in the fullest sense of the word!
John writes in:
Revelation 21:1-4 NKJV
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
God wants us to be a part of this future reality. He allowed his only Son to be crushed and die on a cross, so that we might be forgiven for our sin and rebellion and have the opportunity to choose life.
But we have to make a choice. And so does the rest of the world. Jesus’ resurrection proves that he is the Messiah, the future King of the renewed Israel. And God has said that we must listen to His Son, and obey him because he is our King. In Acts 3:22-23, Peter applies an Old Testament prophecy to Jesus, saying:
Acts 3:22-23 NKJV
For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’
So there is our choice. To follow our Lord Jesus, or to choose to go our own way. Jesus was really serious about this Kingdom. He really wants everyone to be a part of it, but if we don’t listen to him and we rebel against him we can’t be part of the great plan that God has laid out for us. And so I encourage you to choose life – to seek to know God and His Son, to love them and obey them and hold fast to them. God has demonstrated His love so clearly and abundantly through His Son. And the world needs to know this.
And so it’s our job, as ambassadors for Christ to share the future hope that God has in store for those who love him and choose to follow him. Romans 10:13 says that for:
Romans 10:13 NKJV
For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
The Apostle Paul brings up a good point in the following verses:
Romans 10:14-17 NKJV
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ” How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Study the Holy Scriptures, and equip yourselves to be disciples for Jesus, our Lord. Remember, it is written:
Ephesians 4:22-24 NKJV
“that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
So I want to encourage you to share the hope that you have. Life is difficult and there is a world out there in desperate need of hope. They need to know the love of God and Christ, they need to know and understand and obey the Good News, for in it is LIFE, not death. They need to experience and live God’s Holy Word, the healing, the love and realize that there is so much more to the life of this world. And the best way for us to do this is to love them like God the Father and Christ Jesus loves us.
There is such a big harvest! Study, Equip yourselves and bring them the GOOD NEWS.