DECISIONS

Bible Reading: Matthew 12:22-30

TEXT: “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” (Joshua 24:15)

INTRODUCTION

[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!

                   “CHOOSE YE”

[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!

                   “THIS DAY”

[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!

[f] ILLUSTRATION

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!!

“WHOM YE WILL SERVE”

[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.

APPLICATION

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!

“CHOOSE YE THIS DAY WHOM YE WILL SERVE!”

Solo ‘There is a moment’

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.