If salvation was pushed on you, you wouldn’t like it. God lets us choose whether we’ll go to heaven or hell. There are only two places to go when life is over: heaven for the bride and body of Christ–those who have trusted Jesus as Savior; or hell for those who reject Jesus. The Bible tells us that Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life.” You have the power to choose.
Joshua was about ready to die. He’d been a warrior and when Moses died, Joshua was chosen to lead Israel to the Promised Land. Canaan was conquered, for the most part, and Joshua’s work was done. Facing death he writes this:
Joshua 24:14 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. 15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
We’re always making choices. You have made many already today. You chose the time to get up, what to eat for breakfast (or not eat). You chose to come to church. Most problems in life come through bad choices. Lot wrecked his life and that of his family when he was offered the choice of land when he separated from Abraham. He chose land close to Sodom. He lost materially by this choice, but he also lost his testimony. There are some things you don’t have a choice in. You have to pay taxes. Children have to go to school. Some kids are made to go to church. Parents, it’s your job to get your children to church. Don’t get caught up in the “let them decide” group. You don’t let them decide whether they will brush their teeth or take a bath. Help them make good choices, and going to church is one of those good choices.
God is not a dictator. He allows us to make the right decision concerning him. In the secular realm, you choose your vocation, who you’ll marry, and the kind of life you want. You can be friendly or unfriendly, excited or calm, lose your temper or not, or be lovable or bitter. You can smile or frown. In the religious realm, you choose whom you’ll serve. The text shows us that Joshua made a deliberate choice for himself and his family: to serve the Lord. On Mount Carmel Elijah asked the people how long they were going to halt between two opinions. If God be God, then serve him. Hebrews 11 tells us that Moses chose to give up rank, greatness and riches in Egypt and embraced things we avoid: suffering and affliction, reproach and scorn with the people of God. Matthew 12:30 says He that is not with me is against me.
You choose membership in a Bible believing church. You choose the quality of your spiritual life. You choose to be faithful or unfaithful to God. I want to hear “well done thou good and faithful servant” when life is over. You choose between good and evil. Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph. He ran. She lied and Joseph went to prison. God elevated Joseph even in all his adversities. David made a wrong choice when he sent for Bathsheba. He went from adultery to murder. A bad choice. You choose to live right or live wrong. Sometimes we’re called upon to make a choice. Pilate was when faced with what to do with Jesus. His wife sent word not to have anything to do with “this just man.” He tried to put it off by sending Jesus to Herod. When that didn’t work, he offered a despicable criminal named Barabbas to the people. He thought that they would choose to let Jesus go, but they said “crucify him” and let Barabbas go free. Pilate put it off and put it off, but ultimately he had to decide.
There are some reasons you cannot ignore Jesus. He’s the Creator. He’s not just a man. He sustains us. Every breath, every heartbeat is by his mercy. He’s the only Savior. He alone is capable of saving souls. He is the only choice for forgiveness of sin. No person can save himself. God must do the changing. If you reject Jesus, there is eternity in everlasting fire. The choice is clear: eternity in heaven or eternity in hell. Which do you want? Where will you be in eternity? I want to be in heaven free from pain, suffering, heartache, and struggles. I’ll never hear the word death again. Jesus has gone to prepare this place for the redeemed. But the rejecters of Jesus will go to hell. That’s why we have this scripture: choose you this day whom ye will serve.
Do nothing and go to hell. To go to heaven, you must choose Jesus. The choice must be made. It’s a personal choice that only you can make. It’s a choice between two opposing forces–Christ or the devil. The choice must be made today. If you don’t choose Jesus, by default you choose to follow the devil. I have decided to follow Jesus. What about you?