God chose in his sovereignty to create humankind in his image. He knew that to love him we, must have a choice. He knew some of us would make good choices, and some of us would make bad choices. God, out of His goodness and mercy, made a provision through Christ for us to be forgiven for all the bad decisions and gain the opportunity to live with Him eternally. The cost to us is simply a choice to receive the gift.
God is calling you to the truth
Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me”(Revelations 3:20).
The Apostle Paul summarizes God’s omnipresence in Romans 1: 18 – 20:
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Jesus says in John 6: 44 – 51
44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Satan is calling you to lies
A powerful lie of Satan is that you are not accountable for your choices, that consequences are not tied to actions.
You have choice, free will. If not, how can anyone be held accountable for anything? How can we explain the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the hardship that followed, if not by accountability for choices?
You hold a child accountable for what they know. You continue to teach and build upon what they know. This is how they become independent, functioning adults.
In the Old and New Testaments, verses repeatedly refer to asking, believing, choosing.
Leviticus 5: 17
“If anyone sins and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, even though they do not know it, they are guilty and will be held responsible.
Matthew 12: 35-37
35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Deuteronomy 30: 15 – 20
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Joshua 24: 15
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Jesus came to earth for four fundamental reasons
- Take on our sin so we could be reconciled to God – Salvation
- Defeat Satan and usher in the Kingdom of God
- Set an example, teach us how to live through his life and ministry as recorded in the Gospels
- Leave behind the Holy Spirit so each person might have opportunity to receive His gift, be saved, and while on this earth align their will with the will of God to the greatest extent possible – Sanctification
God is everywhere and in everything. An on-going collaboration takes place between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to draw people in and speak to them. All who reach an age of consciousness can sense God at some point.
Once a person encounters Jesus through nature, a message, or urging of Spirit, they chose to answer or not. The choice to answer is just the beginning – that’s salvation. Human nature does not disappear, even though the power of Jesus lives within a “saved” person.
Believing activates an exchange whereby Christ takes on every failure, bad choice – past, present, and future. We get His power via the Holy Spirit and a ticket into eternity.
When someone gets “saved,” it’s because they opened the door to their heart when approached by the Holy Spirit.
Predestined for sanctification
Romans 8: 28 – 30
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
God “predestined” that every person who trusts in Christ goes through a process of aligning with Him and His will.
Not all respond. God chose or “predestined” that all who answer the knock or the call would go from that single moment in time (salvation) through the lifelong sanctification process.
Sanctification begins when an individual responds, and the Holy Spirit enters. It is a difficult process worked out day-by-day through choices and yielding to the Holy Spirit. Choices either expand the Spirit’s influence and work in a life or diminish it.
Sanctification is what we call spiritual growth. It is very hard, and this is where the real choice and exercise of freedom (free will) comes into play. Behavior and attitudes are the signs that you are progressing in sanctification or not. Some will be saved but never grow.
Many spirits often inhabit a person, in addition to the Spirit of God. Excessive anger, gossip, lust, and other habits and tendencies take on the form of a spirit that can heavily influence how a person operates.
God is not surprised by our choices. He has many plans for each of us. Satan has plans for us too. You chose where to put your aim and who you will listen to.
Some of us are destined for great purposes, like David, Daniel, or Moses in the Bible. Throughout more modern times, we’ve seen individuals create and impact society in miraculous ways such as Abraham Lincoln, Pablo Picasso, Bach, Michelangelo, Nicolai Tesla, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, and so many more. We’ve also seen many who did great harm to society.
Some of us have less public purposes. The plan for us is still unique.
The key for all people is obedience. To release the plan God has for your life requires obedience. Dr. Charles Stanley says, “Where you are in life is determined by your responses to opportunity.”
Many of us choose the world instead of our heavenly Father. The choices to follow the world and listen to Satan will lead to lost opportunities and missed blessings that God had stored up for you.
The world will ravage you. Jesus will never stop knocking. He’s knocking for us all. If not, why the church, why missionaries, why pray? If you ever once believed, the Holy Spirit is still within you, but you must choose to call on his help.