The Ultimate Decision
The statement of accepting Jesus Christ as one's personal Savior is quite common among the body of Christians and is considered as the most important spiritual decision to be made but I would like to challenge that line of thinking. Accepting Jesus Christ as one's personal Savior, is a very important decision but let us consider how it is packaged. There are many doctrines that preach of Jesus so what are we to believe, which brings in another point for serious consideration. All people, believe what they want to believe, and I am no exception. We are all "right" in our own eyes therefore it is quite obvious that placing our trust in the beliefs we want to support may not necessarily be the correct decision. Let us consider that there are many reasons for believing what we believe and some of the reasons are almost subliminal. I would say that most of the beliefs that are supported are also the beliefs of those that we love and or admire but joining in a belief that is common or so to be accepted is not necessarily taking on the right belief before God. Consider this word of Jesus.
Matthew 7:13. "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14. "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Based upon that word of Jesus in the above verse, it is my opinion that any belief that is shared by many, should be flagged for serious scrutiny. Now let us also consider the following word of Jesus.
John 14:6. Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Here is the revelation that God has given us. The truth! Is the truth foundational in making the right "Ultimate Decision". Absolutely! "Jesus Christ" and "truth" are synonymous. One cannot have one without the other. Just accepting Jesus as one's personal Savior without a willing heart to accept truth, is a belief held in vain. The truth is not always what man wants to hear. We all have a desire to live out our lives according to our own desires and normally look for beliefs that will fit in without too much interruption.
In the following verses Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus that one needed to be spiritually born again. In other words, one's heart has to be opened to the truth that is given through the Holy Spirit, that spirit of truth that Jesus later spoke of in John 14
Jesus said:"You must be born again"
John 3:1. There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.'' 3. Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'' 4. Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?'' 5. Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7. "Do not marvel that I said to you, `You must be born again.' 8. "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.''
What Spirit was Jesus talking about? Was He not talking about that Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit?
John 14:16. "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, 17. "even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
Is not that Spirit of Truth the source of "all truth" the source of divine direction?
Jesus said: "So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
John 16:13. "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
What was Jesus really talking about with Nicodemus? Let us take a close look at the development of our character. From the very beginning of life we are given the opportunity of having choices and making decisions. Each decision is a foundational block to the building of our character. Our decisions are our beliefs, regardless of being right or wrong, are who we are and are deep-rooted and, apart from Christ, impossible to change. What Jesus was telling Nicodemus is that to be born again, one must be willing to give up some of those old foundational beliefs, making a sincere decision to open their heart for all the truth that is available through the Holy Spirit. If one's heart is not open to the truth that is in Christ, one can not be born again for they are not willing to listen and be obedient to the Holy Spirit of God and become a new creation. As God has formed us in the wombs of our mothers, He can also reform us and mold us in the womb of truth. Therefore it is my opinion that the "Ultimate decision" is one's acceptance to seek and accept the truth that comes from God through His Holy Spirit. This anointing of the Holy Spirit comes from God.
1 Corinthians 2:12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
But the baptism of the Holy Spirit is given through His Son, Jesus the Christ.
John the Baptist said in Mark 1:8. "I indeed baptize you with water, but He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.''
It's through the Holy Spirit how we are to worship God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior to those that are His. The Truths that God has reserved for those that are His does not come from our local churches, our background beliefs or any of the other beliefs that one may desire. There is "a smorgasbord of fashionable paranormal beliefs" that many have selectively picked according to the desire of their own hearts and have been taught and accepted to be true. Although when one decides to seek the truths of God, God removes the veil, and the truth in all things are revealed.
2 Corinthians 3:15. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
You see, the "Ultimate Decision" to seek truth has to be made before one's eyes are opened to truth. When one sincerely seeks the Lord, rather than salvation, they are seeking truth. Consider the conversation between Daniel and the angel, Gabriel, how Daniel, from the first day that he had set his heart to understand, seeking truth, his words of prayer were heard by God, and were answered.
Daniel 10:12. Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.Jesus said: "true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth"
Today, many are confused as to which church to attend and this was the same problem back in the day that Jesus physically walked the earth.
John 4:19. The woman said to Him (Jesus), "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20. "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.''
Take note that the woman and the Jews were depending upon their background heritage as to where to worship. But Jesus told her it was not a physical place but a spiritual place where the children of God are to worship.
21. Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22. "You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23. "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.'' 25. The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming'' (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things.'' 26. Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He.''
When Jesus said that He was the "Way", the "Truth" and the "Life", He is the Way that God the Father has set for us to worship, for the anointing of the Holy Spirit comes from God through His Son Jesus for those that have made that "Ultimate decision" to worship and seek the truths that God has reserved for them. For all the other apparent truths of this world are laced with deception and many will be led to their destruction because of their unwillingness to submit to God and His righteous truths.
1 John 2:26. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. (2 Timothy 3:3. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4. and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.) 27. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
What John was saying is to believe God through the anointing that God had given us through His Holy Spirit and one will be assured of being included in the "few" that find the truths of God that lead to life.
Today, many look for the "right" church to attend rather than seeking the truth that comes only from God. They are seeking a place to worship rather than seeking God and worshiping God through His indwelling Holy Spirit, one's guarantee to all truth.
Jesus said: "whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him"
Lets take a closer look at Matthew 7:13. "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14. "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Accepting truth is not always easy and normally difficult to accommodate for it requires a change of heart. The reason there are "few" is because the "many" were not willing to believe God and trust in His Holy Spirit. Many will think they are trusting in God, even trusting in the blood of Jesus for their salvation but if they have not made the "Ultimate decision" to open their heart to only the truths that come from God through His Holy Spirit, they are not taking advantage of Christ. This coldness of heart would include all that trust in the beliefs of their families, their pastor or any other belief that was not given to them by God for their heart is not listening to the Holy Spirit of God but rather to those they want to believe.
Jeremiah 17:5. Thus says the Lord: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.
The Holy Spirit is a very precious gift from God for it is His Spirit that He has given to those that desire His divine presence. The bible teaches us that physically we are absent from the Lord in this life but we do have His divine presence through the Holy Spirit as our guarantee.
2 Corinthians 5:5. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
And this gift is not to be taken lightly. Because through this wonderful gift we have divine direction and the fruit of this Spirit will be demonstrated in our lives as good fruit.
Matthew 12:30. "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. 31. "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32. "Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. 33. "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.
In my opinion, in verse 30, Jesus is talking about His spiritual presence and assistance in the "gathering". One cannot gather without understanding spiritual truth. Without accepting and understanding truth, one will be scattering rather than gathering. Making light of the Holy Spirit to any degree, even in one's heart, is blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. For without this divine direction one might, at the end, find their place with the "many" that leads to destruction. Therefore, an open heart for truth through Christ is the "Ultimate decision" for life. Without "Truth" one will never recognize the presence of Christ Jesus and will never experience a deep and sincere love for the Lord God Almighty.
Romans 8:12. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Jesus said: "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.''
Matthew 8:11. "And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12. "But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.''
In this message, Jesus used the words weeping and gnashing of teeth. I believe He carefully selected these words to signify the two categories of those that would refuse divine direction. There are some that have no use for God and on that day of judgment will continue in their hatred for God. I believe much of this hatred will be identified by their "gnashing of teeth". But for the "many" that chose the "broadway", thinking they had salvation in the doctrines they chose to believe which was pleasing to their "itching" ears are very likely to be the "weepers" for they will be in great sorrow for on that Day they will realize their error and their destiny.
Today there are many interpretations of the bible with many of the bibles being rewritten, losing some of the original language, so to more align with the deceptive teachings of today. The only way to avoid all the deception is to make that "Ultimate Decision" of seeking for all the truths that are revealed through Christ, from God. The "Ultimate Decision" is to believe God and His truths rather than man, for God will reveal all truth, leading His children to salvation!
It's in the flesh of man to resist the Holy Spirit of God as Stephen pointed out to those that thought they were right in the eyes of God that moments later stoned Stephen. Listen to this word of Stephen:
Acts 7:51. "You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
In Conclusion, once the "Ultimate Decision" for Truth has been established in the heart, then that decision paves the "Way" for Christ. For Christ and truth are synonymously entwined within one's walk with God.