Tuesday, May 03, 2011

What Decision Will You Make?

In my sermon this past Sunday, I talked about the decision we all have to make about whether we're open to believing in the God revealed in Jesus Christ or not.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran pastor and theologian martyred for his Christian opposition to Adolf Hitler and Nazism, has a chapter called, "The Decision," in his classic, The Cost of Discipleship. Here's some of what he wrote there:
The time is short. Eternity is long. It is the time of decision. Those who are true to the word and confession on earth will find Jesus Christ standing by their side in the hour of judgment. He will acknowledge them and come to their aid when the accuser [Satan, who wants God to give him authority over us in eternity, by virtue of our undeniable sinfulness] demands his rights. All the world will be called to witness as Jesus pronounces our name before his heavenly Father. If we have been true to Jesus in this life, he will be true to us in eternity. But if we have been ashamed of our Lord and of his name, he will likewise be ashamed of us and deny us.

The final decision must be made while we are still on earth...
God loves us desperately. That's why Jesus died on the cross. That's why Jesus calls us to repent and believe in Him. When we believe in Him--meaning, when we trust in Him and Him alone for life, we are given an undeserved share in His resurrection, His Easter victory over sin and death.

But, as mentioned in this past Sunday's sermon, God leaves the ultimate decision between eternity with God or eternity in hell to us. We are the ones who decide the judgment rendered over our lives the moment after we draw our last earthly breaths. Jesus says of Himself to Nicodemus:
"Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:18)
What decision have you made? Do you believe in Jesus Christ as your God and Savior?

And if you've made the decision for belief, do you love your neighbor enough to present this critical decision for or against faith in Christ to them?

Your eternity and the eternal destinies of others depend on how you answer those questions. What decisions will you make?

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