TIME TO CHOOSE
As Joshua was nearing the end of his life, he gathered the children of Israel together at Shechem. And there, from the lips of a man who was close to death, came an appeal that throughout the centuries has moved the hearts thousands of people. Joshua said:
These words are over three thousand years old but they are as relevant to us today as they were then. It is worth pointing out that the English word "Joshua" comes from the Hebrew Yeshua which can also be translated as Jesus. Joshua was, in many respects, a type of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. As Joshua led the children of Israel to victory over their enemies in the Promised Land, so Jesus has won the victory over the greatest enemy of all -- death -- and opened the way for us into Heaven.
"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve" (Josh.24:15, NIV)
The challenge of Joshua is also the challenge of Jesus. Viewed in the light of the New Testament, Joshua's words suggest three outstanding lessons in regard to our salvation.
1. Choosing Between God and the Devil
Everyone who is confronted with Jesus receives this invitation from Him: "Come, follow Me" (Matt.4:19; Mark 1:17). It is a straight choice -- either we follow Him or we carry on doing what we were doing before. It doesn't matter what we were doing before. Jesus makes it very clear in at least 20 references in the New Testament -- either we follow Him or we don't. The choice is simple. Either we choose God or the devil. To refuse Christ's invitation automatically leaves us on the side of the devil. He does not play around with words: "He who is not with Me is against Me" (Matt.12:30, NIV) and "...whoever is not against us is for us" (Mark 9:40, NIV). Are you for Christ or against Him? There are no neutrals in Heaven.
2. It's a Personal Choice
The second outstanding lesson that we can learn in the light of the New Testament is that choosing to follow Jesus or not must be a personal choice. No-one else can tell you to follow or not to follow. One does not follow Jesus by simply following in the tradition of one's parents. Joshua said: "Choose for yourselves...whom you will serve". Through faith in Jesus Christ, we can be born again and made a child of God. But we must do the believing. And not only must we believe IN Jesus Christ, we must also BELIEVE Him .... in other words, what He SAYS.
3. The Choice Must Be Made NOW
There is urgency in Joshua's charge. He says: "Choose for yourselves this day", not next month, not a week from today, not tomorrow, but TODAY. Tomorrow may well be too late, and the longer one procrastinates, the harder it becomes to choose.
Have you made that all-important choice? Have you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour? If not, do so right now! Remember, the choice is yours. Sper said:
Salvation is available
For everyone to choose;
But if we do not take it now,
That choice we might just lose.
And what about your continuing journey in Christ? Have you responded in obedience to all His commandments? Are you trusting all that He says, or only that which suits you? Can you, with your hand on your heart, say with Joshua: "But as for me and my household, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD" (Josh.25:15, NIV)?
" Now is the time to choose -- later may never come "
This page was created on 12 May 1998
Last updated on 12 May 1998
Copyright © 1987-2008 NCCG - All Rights Reserved