It would be difficult to overstate the tremendous blessings that are ours merely because we have the ability to make our own personal choices. It would also be difficult to overstate the amount of responsibility that is ours because of that ability. To state it simply, I must live with the consequences of the choices I make.
Sometimes, those consequences are not great. For example, it really does not matter what color or type of vehicle I choose to drive. As long as I can afford it and as long as it meets my needs, it doesn’t really matter if I choose to drive a new car or a used car. I may have a preference for a particular manufacturer, but, in the grand scheme of things, it really matters very little whether I choose a Ford, a Chevy, or some other kind of car.
Does it really matter which restaurant you choose for a particular meal? Are there any real long-term consequences attached to the choice of athletic programs you choose to support? Are you an Apple fan or do you prefer PCs?
I realize that, in each of these areas and in so many others, we may have some very definite opinions and preferences. I also realize that many of those opinions and preferences really do not matter a great deal.
On the other hand, there are some choices that have serious consequences. There are times when a decision I make really does make a difference.
For example; let’s say that you own a house, but decide to live in a house owned and occupied by somebody else. If it doesn’t make any difference which house you live in, why not just choose one you like and move in? Would the people who already live in it mind?
What if I was to walk into a room full of people? What if some of those people were married women? What if one of them was my wife? Would it make a difference if I chose to sit with somebody other than her? What if I decided to hold hands or to demonstrate affection in some other way? Would it be acceptable to do that with just any wife in the room?
What about children? As long as you have the number of children in your home that matches the number of children who are yours, would it really make any difference whether or not the children are actually yours? Would it be just as appropriate to rear the children of a neighbor or friend as it would be to rear your own?
What if you were to go to a doctor and would discover that he/she was looking at x-rays and lab results from the body of somebody else? Would it not make a difference to you? Would you not insist that the doctor look at results of x-rays taken of your body?
At this point, you may be asking yourself what all of this has to do with anything. My suggestion is that it has a great deal to do with where I spend eternity.
You see; I chose the scenarios above purposefully. Each of them relates in some way to the relationship that God has with His people. Each one of them, in some way, points to a choice that will make a difference for eternity.
The church you read about in your Bible is referred to in these terms: “…the house God, which is the church of the living God…” (1 Tim. 3:15). In this sense, the “house” in which I live does make a difference.
The marriage relationship is also used to describe the relationship that exists between the Lord and His church. One very clear description of that may be found in Ephesians 5:22-29. Since the Lord only has one bride, it appears that it does make a difference in this instance as well.
Repeatedly in the New Testament, the relationship between the God and His people is compared to the relationship that exists between a Father and His children. That would mean that the identity of my Father really does make a difference. Surely none of us would want to find ourselves in the position of some of the religious leaders to whom Jesus said these sobering words, “You are of your father, the devil…” (John 8:44).
Please consider carefully these passages:
“…Jesus answered and said…I will build my church…” (Matt. 16:17-18).
“…the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved (Acts 2:47).
“And He [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church…” (Col. 1:18).
“There is one body…” (Eph. 4:4).
There are some choices that do make a difference. Some of them make a difference for eternity.
It is my prayer that each of us will choose wisely.
AUTHOR: Jim Faughn