The right choice
Life is about choices. Whatever environmental, behavioral, or genetic factors are involved, the ability to choose is what sets humanity apart from all the rest of creation.
There are those Christians who believe that humans really have no choice, that all has been predetermined. I believe that they are wrong.
In the creation account, God gives our first parents two choices: Obey God, walk with him, and enjoy a life of perfection, or choose to disobey and lose everything.
Later, an Old Testament passage would state, “I have set before you this day blessing and cursing, life and death. Choose life and live.” God is always on the side of life and he gives people freedom to choose.
In the New Testament, He declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
To choose to get to God any other way is simply a very wrong choice.
Suppose someone were to set two classes filled with liquid in front of you. Suppose that one is water and one contains poison. Suppose further that I know which glass contains which substance.
Should I let you choose without comment? What if you were in the act of choosing the wrong glass? Should I speak up? Of course I should.
What if then you were to say, “All substances will equally quench my thirst. It matters not which glass from which I drink?” Well, that would be just silly. One gives life, the other destroys.
I do not believe that all religions are equal. I believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world, the Redeemer of mankind, and the Hope of the nations.
If that seems biased, bigoted, or unfair, then so be it. The stakes are too high to simply keep silent, smile approvingly, and do nothing when I believe that “there is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof is death.”
This is not to say that Christians, churches, denominations, and parachurch ministries have not, from time to time, behaved and spoken horrifically. As one person said to me once, “I have no problem with Jesus; it’s the church I can’t stand.”
Yet, Jesus said that upon a rock he would build His Church. You can’t have Jesus without accepting his Bride.
I choose to be a Christian because I am convinced and persuaded that Jesus is who He says He is and who the Church proclaims Him to be. I have seen Him work in my life and in the lives of others for over 40 years.
I believe that He did come for the cause of love and that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them,” as St. Paul wrote.
I believe that he was crucified for us, died, was buried, and that He rose again — which is what Easter is all about.
I believe that He respects us enough to allow us to reject Him and choose the false. I also believe that He never gives up on us and will, to the end of our days, through one means or another, demonstrate his compassion and love for us in an attempt to help us make the right choice, thereby gaining peace with God, eternal life, and the fulfilling of our destiny.
The Apostle Paul described himself as an ambassador for Christ and was not above begging people to choose Christ and be reconciled to God.
We Christians are not always right. But we do believe that we have made the right choice. His Name is Jesus. And for this choice, we offer no regrets, no apologies, and no retreat.
He is the life. Choose Him.
[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA (www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese which consists of Georgia and Tennessee (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Easter services at Christ the King will be at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.]