By Lou Coleman
Jesus said, “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” [Matthew 3:2; Mark 1:15] What part of that do you not understand? Running around like a chicken with your head cut-off! What’s wrong with you? You are threading on dangerous grounds! Make up your mind! God wants wholehearted dedication or nothing! I tell you, in our foolishness we prove what we treasure the most; delight in the most; and what we desire more than anything. We gather and gather but we become more and more foolish. Time out for foolishness!
Listen, God is NOT SLACK! We MUST understand that! He WILL PERFORM His good work, and WILL bring His Word to pass! And He says that He does not want ANY of us to perish, but that we should ALL come to REPENTANCE! “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise men, redeeming the time…” [Ephesians 5:16]. The good news for us is that God just didn’t let his people go into sin [2 Chronicles 36:15] He sent messenger after messenger, prophet after prophet, judge after judge, king after king—to warn them. And He is still sending warnings. Let him that has an ear hear what the Spirit is saying. Warning comes before destruction!
You know, I believe that our world has just about reached the limit of God’s mercy and forbearance. Man’s pride and arrogance, his greed and selfishness, his violence and brutality have reached a level which is intolerable. Surely, the end must come soon. God, of course, will not destroy this world without first warning us of the impending doom, which most of us will ignore the warnings, just as they did in Noah’s time. Noah preached to the people for 120 years, trying to warn them of what was going to happen, but none would listen. They mocked and ridiculed as he gave the warning that rain would fall to such an extent that the whole world would be flooded. They laughed and insulted as he constructed the ark which carried him and his family safely through the flood. The people would not believe Noah because it had never rained on the earth before. Rain was an utter impossibility, they said; and the people continued the evil and violence so detestable to God. I want you to know that the decisions you make in this life will have consequences later. I want you to know that the decisions you make in this life will affect not only you but others close to us.
One thing that Joshua wanted to make clear [Joshua 24] to the people of God; there was no room for compromise or divided loyalties! The Israelites could serve the Lord or they could choose to serve the false gods of Mesopotamia or Canaan; but they couldn’t do both! Joshua said to the people, “If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you after He has done good to you.” Joshua’s message had come from a God who could see in their tents the various idols that they were already keeping in their possession; but in addition He could see into their hearts and know that they were “inclined” in another direction. Thus they needed the call not only to choose, but a call to commit. Joshua urged them to declare their choice by making anew their covenant with God to serve Him only. Joshua’s challenge is still a valid one [Joshua 24:14-28]. You need to make up your mind! Choose this day Whom you will serve! You say you want to go to heaven; but you want to live like the world. You can’t do both! Understand that continued faith in God would bring abundant blessings from Him; but rejection of God would bring all the harsh consequences of punishment God has already decreed (Matthew 25:46).
I want you to know that God does not invite us to serve Him “Someday;” the operative word in His invitation is “Today.” I tell you; sometimes we need to be challenged to make a choice! Sometimes we need to be challenged to make the right choice! Sometimes we need to be challenged to see the consequences of our choices! But sometimes we need to be challenged to make the choice now! Will you make it now?
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life so that you and your descendants might live.” [Deuteronomy 30:19].