Bible Reading: Matthew 12:22-30
TEXT: “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” (Joshua 24:15)
[a] I remember, when I was a child, some of the first advertisements that ever came on television, were supposedly giving someone a trial packet of washing powder to test against their usual product, and then coming back to them and asking how they got on.
Of course, the advertised product ALWAYS washed whiter & brighter, and when asked to make the choice between their OLD powder, and the one being promoted - amazingly, you can guess what they chose, otherwise, their wouldn’t be much point in screening the advert, and I suppose the actress would have been sacked. IT’S SUCH A WONDERFUL AND ORIGINAL IDEA, THEY’RE STILL DOING IT!!
[b] Every day, even without realising it, we make thousands of decisions! A friend of mine, had some problems with her nerves, and she said, in distress, “I can’t even decide whether to make a cup of tea or not!” The ability to make decisions had temporarily eluded her!
[c] Every so often, you and I have to make the momentous decision of who to vote into Westminster parliament. Will it be Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrats, The Referendum Party, the S.N.P., perhaps even the Raving Loony party, with Lord Such!! Oh in case I can be blamed for electioneering, apart from the Raving Loony Party, I put them in alphabetical order!
[d] Did you think about the fact that you had to make a decision to come here tonight? Although that’s true, I believe God opened the opportunity for you, in the same way in which He does for Salvation!
[a] Joshua assembled the Children of Israel at Shechem and DEMANDED: “Choose ye!”
[b] In the wilderness, when being tempted by the devil, Jesus had a choice to make! In the garden of Gethsemane, He had to make His choice, and ended up saying, “Nevertheless, NOT MY WILL, BUT THINE be done.”
[c] Like the Lord Jesus, we have a choice - before us we see the right and the wrong way, and because we are not puppets, and have our freewill, it is entirely up to us what we do!! BUT IN MAKING OUR CHOICE, WE ALSO MUST ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES OF THAT CHOICE!
IF WE CHOOSE OUR OWN WAY INSTEAD OF GOD’S WAY THEN WE CANNOT BLAME
HIM WHEN THINGS GO WRONG, AND IF WE END IN A CHRISTLESS HELL AT THE END OF LIFE’S JOURNEY!!
[d] If you’re here tonight, and don’t know Christ; although you made the choice to come, I don’t believe you’re here by chance: I believe God is giving you the opportunity to choose for Him! -
[e] Whether you like it or not, by the time you leave this building tonight, you will have made a decision, one way or the other!
Jesus said in Matthew 12:30, “HE THAT IS NOT WITH ME IS AGAINST ME!”
[f] If you are unsaved, this meeting is bringing you to a fork in the road - and you have got to decide which way you are going from this time forward! YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE THAT DECISION HERE TONIGHT!
THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF AN EVANGELISTIC MEETING!
[a] Joshua said, “Choose ye THIS DAY.”
[b] Maybe you believe that old lie of the Devil, that you can like the Roman Governor Felix in Acts 24:25, consider it at a more convenient time. We don’t read that he ever became a Christian.
[c] So many have ended up in a Christless hell, because of PROCRASTINATION!! “NOT JUST NOW LORD - ANOTHER TIME!!”
[d] Oh my dear friend, it is not in YOUR time!! It must be in GOD’S TIME, which isn’t at some indeterminate time in the future! IT IS NOW!!
2 Corinthians 6:2 says “BEHOLD NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME; BEHOLD NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION.”
[e] Perhaps you have a desire to hang on as long as possible to your ungodly pleasures and friendships, wanting to try to suck from them the last elusive drops of satisfaction you think they hold!
I remember reading about an eagle feeding of an animal carcase as it floated down the river Niagara. The bird was so gluttonous that it wanted to wait till the very last moment, before allowing it’s majestic wings to carry it heavenward, whilst the remainder of the carcase went over the great Niagara falls. At the very last moment, the wings flapped frantically, but the bird could not rise, for it’s talons had frozen to the carcase as the water had lapped over them - and the bird was swept to it’s death!
How like so many people, swept to a lost eternity, because they wait too long, and sin has such a grip upon them, they can’t let go!!
[g] I remember hearing about an unsaved lady in a meeting in Belfast, who heard the Gospel being preached, and an appeal being made, without making any response. As she left the hall, she dropped to the floor, and went into eternity - just like that! It was her last opportunity, but as far as we know, she treated it like any other!
If this was the last time you were to hear the Gospel, would you act differently?? It could be the last time!!
[a] Joshua says you must choose WHO you’re going to serve!
[b] There are many people who say they belong to the Lord, but it soon becomes very clear that He does not have first claim upon their lives!
[c] You remember the Rich Young Ruler who came to Jesus seeking the way of Salvation? Jesus struck a raw nerve when he went straight to that which meant more to this young man than He did - his POSSESSIONS!
[d] To some it may be a BOYFRIEND OR GIRLFRIEND! To others it could be THE OPINION OF THEIR FRIENDS! To others it could be WORLDLY PLEASURES!
[e] You will perhaps remember that Jesus, when calling people to follow Him said, “Take up thy CROSS and follow me!”
The GREEK word for “CROSS” (Stauros) also means the “STAKE” to which an animal is TETHERED!!
So if there is something TETHERING you and holding you back - pull it up and break free tonight!
[f] What is it that stops YOU serving the Lord??
IS IT IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO RISK THE DAMNATION OF YOUR SOUL!!
[g] Maybe you’re a backslider, who used to follow the Lord closely, but you allowed something or someone to split that relationship.
Whether you NEED TO BE SAVED and have your sins forgiven tonight, or whether you NEED TO RETURN TO THE FOLD - then under the hand of God’s Spirit, I bring you to that SPIRITUAL FORK IN THE ROAD, and I bring to you the Word of God, “CHOOSE YE THIS DAY WHOM YE WILL SERVE!”
There is NO HALFWAY HOUSE, or NO MIDDLE ROAD - IF YOU DO NOT MAKE A POSITIVE DECISION TO FOLLOW CHRIST, AND TO SERVE HIM, THEN MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, YOU ARE JOURNEYING ALONG THE WRONG ROAD, IN THE WRONG DIRECTION, GETTING FURTHER AND FURTHER FROM THE POINT OF DECISION.
As you stand at the FORK OF DECISION, at this moment, you can choose to take either the ROAD OF DESTRUCTION TO ETERNAL RUIN, or the ROAD OF DEDICATION TO ETERNAL LIFE!! THE CHOICE IS YOURS ALONE!
There is a moment when you’re made aware,
That God in love is drawing strangely near,
He speaks with inward voice,
And bids you make your choice,
To leave the past and for new life prepare
This is the moment that only
you can live,
There is an answer, that only you can give,
And there’s a purpose, the Saviour waits to show,
A life’s fulfilment that only you can know.
There is a moment when you must decide,
If you will have the precious Blood applied,
If you on Him believe,
Salvation you’ll receive,
And Christ Himself shall in your heart abide.
There is a moment when you’re called to choose,
And if you don’t you risk your soul to lose,
Oh can’t you hear His plea,
“Lost sinner come to Me”,
Do not reject the Lord, this chance abuse.