Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 20 As For Me!!! And You???
After Joshua had served God with Moses, led the nation of Israel across Jordan into the promised land after the death of Moses, conquered the land as God used him to lead the nation to possess their promised land, and divided the land as an inheritance to each of the tribes, then took his own possession in the new land of promise. As he neared the end of his life, he called his people to faithfully serve God—this people, who like us, often rebelled against God, needed this mighty leader to call them to earnest devotion to God. Among other things he reminded them of his own faithfulness to God and called them to make a choice that would secure their future by relying on God’s faithful provision to those who would obey, he reminded them of God’s words and challenged them to choose wisely!
“And I sent the hornet before you,
which drave them out from before you,
even the two kings of the Amorites;
but not with thy sword,
nor with thy bow.
13 And I have given you a land
for which ye did not labour,
which ye built not,
and ye dwell in them;
of the vineyards and oliveyards
which ye planted not
do ye eat.
14 Now therefore fear the LORD,
and serve him
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.” Joshua 24:12-15
We will choose whom we will serve but choose wisely for there is a consequence for every choice!
“Enter ye in at the strait gate:
for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way,
that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be
which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate,
and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life,
and few there be
that find it.
15 Beware of false prophets,
which come to you
in sheep’s clothing,
they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:13-15
Jesus goes on to tell us that “just saying so, doesn’t make it so”! Many use His name today for a multitude of things that really have nothing to do with the substitutionary, atoning sacrifice that Jesus came to “BE” for sinners; rather they seem to only want to capitalize or profit financially, socially or politically from the name of Jesus—nor trust Him to redeem them and to take up the cross and follow Him (it’s one reason that the cross is such a contentious issue today)!
“Not every one that saith unto me,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will
of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day,
have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you:
depart from me,
ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23
Just as Joshua made it clear to the children of Israel, who were now in possession of the “Promised Land”, they needed to be sure that they were in ‘possession’ of the “Promised One”, by faith through grace—same salvation that we can have today; they were looking forward to the coming Messiah, we are looking back at the completed sacrifice that The Messiah came to provide.
“And she shall bring forth a son,
and thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people
from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
We can choose to trust Jesus for forgiveness of our sin, and be redeemed by His blood sacrifice, or we can reject Him and pay for our own sin. Paul painted an amazing picture of the choice given to every man, woman, boy and girl! What have you chosen?
“As it is written,
There is none righteous,
no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth,
there is none that seeketh after God…
…21 But now the righteousness of God
without the law is manifested,
being witnessed by the law
and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God
which is by faith of Jesus Christ
and upon all them
for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned,
and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely
by his grace
through the redemption
that is in Christ Jesus:” Romans 3:10-11 & 21-24
When we trust to His saving grace and receive His salvation and forgiveness of sin, we can rejoice always IN HIM!
“Giving thanks unto the Father,
which hath made us meet
to be partakers of the inheritance
of the saints
13 Who hath delivered us
from the power of darkness,
and hath translated us
into the kingdom
of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption
through his blood,
even the forgiveness of sins:” Colossians 1:12-14
I find it interesting that both Jesus and Paul share the truth about dying to self and living the crucified life of devotion to Jesus, yet so many today ignore its import.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples,
If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself,
and take up his cross,
and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life
shall lose it:
and whosoever will lose his life
for my sake
shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited,
if he shall gain the whole world,
and lose his own soul?
or what shall a man give
in exchange for his soul?
27 For the Son of man
shall come in the glory of his Father
with his angels;
and then he shall reward
according to his works.” Matthew 16:24-27
We can choose to take Paul’s admonition, and find the grace and strength to yield to His work in us, dying to self and living for Him who died for us; or we can ignore God’s warnings and be one who will not believe nor receive HIS substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for sin to be saved!
“I am crucified with Christ:
nevertheless I live;
yet not I,
but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I now live
in the flesh
I live by the faith
of the Son of God,
who loved me,
and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
And it’s hard to really grasp, but I think we haven’t a lot of time to waste trying to make up our minds; or waiting to call others to turn to Jesus. I believe His return is truly eminent! What if it were today? Would you be ready? Have you chosen Jesus?
“(For he saith,
I have heard thee
in a time accepted,
and in the day of salvation
have I succoured thee:
behold, now is the accepted time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.)” 2 Corinthians 6:2
And Paul’s famous appeal to King Agrippa:
“For the king knoweth of these things,
before whom also I speak freely:
for I am persuaded
that none of these things are hidden
for this thing
was not done in a corner.
27 King Agrippa,
believest thou the prophets?
I know that thou believest.
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul,
Almost thou persuadest me
to be a Christian.
29 And Paul said,
I would to God,
that not only thou,
but also all that hear me this day,
were both almost,
such as I am,
except these bonds.” Acts 26:26-29
As the old hymn says, “…almost, but lost”! (“Almost Persuaded”, by Philip Bliss), what have you done with Jesus? I stand with Joshua, “as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”! What about you? When He returns will you shout for joy or mourn because you failed to prepare. Like it or not there is (as a great Lanny Wolfe song says) the possibility of being “One Day Too Late”!
“And then shall appear the sign
of the Son of man
and then shall all the tribes of the earth
and they shall see
the Son of man coming
in the clouds of heaven
and great glory.” Matthew 26:30
As Paul and John warned us, there is a day coming when we will all give an account. Are your sins covered in the blood of Jesus, or will you hear Him say “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity…”? I pray that you will come while there is time!
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,
and given him a name
which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
of things in heaven,
and things in earth,
and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11
And as John saw in the Revelation, there will be a Great White Throne before which all who have refused to come to Jesus will stand. It’s your choice, but choose wisely, there is a test!
“And I saw a great white throne,
and him that sat on it,
from whose face the earth and the heaven
and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead,
small and great,
stand before God;
and the books were opened:
and another book was opened,
which is the book of life:
and the dead were judged
out of those things which were written
in the books,
according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead
which were in it;
and death and hell delivered up the dead
which were in them:
and they were judged
according to their works.
14 And death and hell
were cast into the lake of fire.
This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written
in the book of life
was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15
This reminds me of the words of Jesus to Nicodemus. Like Nicodemus, we can believe and receive, or go our own way! Will you receive or reject? Will you choose to serve The Lord or self?
“For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world
to condemn the world;
but that the world through him
might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him
is not condemned:
but he that believeth not
is condemned already,
because he hath not believed
in the name
of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world,
and men loved darkness
rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil
hateth the light,
neither cometh to the light,
lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth
cometh to the light,
that his deeds may be made manifest,
that they are wrought in God.” John 3:16-21
So, I simply ask you to consider your choices, for you have the God-given privilege to choose. But just as Joshua declared, we will all “choose you this day whom ye will serve”! And please note—refusing to choose Jesus, IS choosing! I pray that you will hear His Holy Spirit speaking to your heart and open the door to Jesus—He loves you and is calling today! Ye must be born again!
I stand at the door,
if any man hear my voice,
and open the door,
I will come in to him,
and will sup with him,
and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
Amen and Amen!!!