The word of God never ceases to amaze me. With that being said, some people can continually baffle, frustrate, and leave us in utter bewilderment. So it’s time to unravel this ethical conundrum. I have chosen to parallel this paper entitled ‘Joyous Choice or slippery slope’ with a topic which has been around. I am speaking on a particular question of all ages. Which is the correct way we should live?
Whether you see this as a moral or an ethical challenge; many see this choice we have been given as being very difficult.
Others see it as cruel and feel a loving God would not do this and it’s seen more as a church mandate. Yet some simply shrug it off as nonsense and do as they please.
We know right from wrong, good and evil, and despite your religious views, most people know these two forces coexist.
Yet there are those who chose not to believe and live the way they want.
If you open God’s word and read: from Genesis to Revelation. One thing that never changes is God. His love is constant; His expectations are set in stone. And the way He deals with people, His creation, His children; is unwavering.
You see when God created us, that wasn’t the end, only the beginning. God has a plan and purpose for each of us. How do I know? Well for one, Jeremiah 29:11 says:
“For I know the plans I have for you” —this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
From the old testament prophets to the new testament disciples and apostles, each of these individuals had knowledge from the Holy Spirit and wanted it known.
The prophet Ezekiel wrote:
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
– Ezekiel 36:26
Knowing the issues of people through observation of their lifestyle and hearing from God, there was Hope. Simply stated: God says do this, you do it. If God says do not do something, therefore, you don’t.
God protects us, He loves us, and is patient with us; very patient.
Regardless of those facts which can be backed with scripture, people are seemingly stubborn, arrogant, and ignorant.
We’ve all encountered those type individuals.
The stubborn like the way things are and see no reason to change.
The arrogant have it all figured out and do as they please.
Then there’s the ignorant (I’ll raise my hand) despite knowing the right choice, would rather go along with the crowd for acceptance. Yes, I was once guilty of this however, I’ve been forgiven, saved and set free!!!
Oy vay, what a mess society has become. Judgment and wrath are both reality and God has the final say. He will judge us based on how we live. And we Will feel His wrath based on the choice of lifestyle we partake in.
The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:10:
“For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless.”
Goodness, just look at the Bible, countless recollections of how God deals with humanity based on the way people live.
The flood: was this just because God could do it? Nope. Read the story and learn the reason why God ended His creation yet spared a few.
The Israelites wandering in the desert: coincidence? Nope. Read the story and learn the reason for 40 years. This track is roughly 250 miles and could normally be done in 12 days.
Sodom and Gomorrah, again we see how God destroyed some and saved a select few.
Why? Again, the answers are there for those who seek them.
As I was reading through the book of Revelation, I was literally on the edge of my seat. Not so much gripped in mystery or suspense but in utter bewilderment.
When the tribulation is spoken of, people are recorded as still being in utter denial and refusal to repent.
Revelation chapter 16 speaks of the final seven bowls of the wrath of God. These seven bowls represent climactic moments of God’s punishment for sin. For the first time I really studied this and what I learned was shocking to me. During this time there will be those who are still blind, have hard hearts, and will continue to be deaf to the truth.
There is the one particular passage which I can not seem to fathom.
“The fifth poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues because of their pain and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, yet they did not repent of their actions.”
Hold on, you mean to tell me there will still be people who are going to be in pain due to God’s wrath? Under judgment and they would sooner blaspheme God and gnaw their tongues rather than repent!
So rather than know God, receive forgiveness, be set free from guilt, shame, and condemnation, people would rather live in sin which offers no real and lasting Joy or Peace. Sin which ultimately leads to death and destruction…seriously?!??
I recall a song from a band DC talk entitled “What if I stumble”
The song begins with this thought:
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today
It’s Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips
Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.
That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable…“
We have a choice and quite honestly that is not a design flaw, it is by design. God created us in His image. Yes, you read correctly, the angels and us share in the ability to make a choice.
Lucifer who was an angel, actually one in which was of the highest order, who felt at one point he could usurp God’s authority and kingdom. Yet there is only one God and therefore Lucifer was cast out of heaven. Just a little history/understanding of Satan. Now, back to the point of this paper.
We can Love the Lord God with all our heart or chose to love our self. If we love God, our desire is to please the Father by living the way he designed us to which is in a relationship with Him. This predestined way of life is selfless.
Likewise, if we love self we choose to please self. By choosing self over God, we ultimately take Him off the throne and in place, put ourselves. Sounds pretty selfish huh?!
As I stated earlier, God has the final say regarding our choice, our lifestyle and our eternity. The Bible is very clear of His wrath and what to expect if living so. Thereby His judgment should come as no surprise.
There comes a point where each of us decides to make the choice. Either to do our thing as we have chosen, or live as God desires. I pray that you have made the correct decision based on facts and not on persuasions or temptations. Fully know what is the correct way to live.
One more important verse which seems to sum up the right choice:
“But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.”
Self-check, Ask yourself:
Does my lifestyle reflect Jesus?
Do I live according to the word of God or way of the world?
Your answer is between you and God.
That my friend is a joyous choice or a slippery slope.
The choice is yours.
Michael T. La Tulippe