There is an old saying that you can choose your actions, but you can’t choose the consequences of your actions. For example, and please don’t do this, you can jump out of the tenth story window of a building. You can’t choose to walk away without a scratch from such a jump. You can choose to drive 100 mph in a 30 mph zone. You can’t choose not to get a ticket. You can choose not to pay that ticket, but you can’t choose to stay out of jail if you don’t pay that ticket. In other words, actions and decisions always have consequences. Consequences may be good or bad, but they will always be there.
Responding to God has consequences too. God calls on our lives in different ways. Sometimes, very rarely, He speaks directly to us. Sometimes, He reveals Himself to us in nature or the circumstances of life. Sometimes He uses other people. In each case, His purpose is to draw all people to acknowledge Him as the One, True God. When you accept that truth and base your life on it, the consequences involve peace of heart and a relationship with Him that gets you through all the troubles of life. The Bible gives many examples of people that God used to draw others to faith. In Hebrews, the story of Noah tells us what happens when people reject God’s message. “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.” (Hebrews 11:7)
I know that most of us would be aghast if someone thought we were condemning them. We want to love all people and bring them into the knowledge, love, and grace of God. There is no one whom we would shake our finger at and condemn them to an eternity of hell. At least I hope no one reading this would do that. Look at those who are persecuting the Church today, especially in the Middle East; are they any worse than Saul was in their persecutions? There is hope for those persecuting the church. Are there people steeped in the life of leisure, licentiousness, and decadent sin than Crissy Moran was? There is hope for those who think they have no time for God. Our example of faith in Jesus Christ calls on people to make a decision about God. They can decide to accept His forgiveness and grace through Jesus Christ and commit to follow Him; they can try to put things off – which rarely is a good idea; or they can decide to reject the offer of grace of a loving God. Those who reject the grace God offers receive condemnation on themselves. The greatest part of that condemnation is that they look at our faith and reject not only our faith, but also the God in whom we have faith.
And so it is that while we offer the greatest gift imaginable – an eternal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ; those who reject that faith are condemned by our faith. Noah believed God and followed Him while others rejected the God he followed. They ultimately received the condemnation that was revealed in the flood. Ultimately, those who fail to accept what we have accepted will receive their condemnation. That, is one of the saddest thoughts I have ever had. Some look at that concept triumphantly; I am sad knowing that those that I came in contact with have had the opportunity to experience the fullness of joy that comes from living for Jesus each day on earth and the eternal joy of our relationship with Him in heaven – and rejected it. I think Noah would have preferred a fleet of Arks, instead of his being the only one. I would love for all my friends, family, acquaintances, and even my enemies to come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. The choice you make has eternal consequences.
Oh Lord, if it were up to me, everyone that I come into contact with would know and accept Your grace in Jesus Christ. They must decide for themselves. Move in their hearts so they will follow You.