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Sermon No: 1240-Choices



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SERMON TOPIC: Choices

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 22 September 2013

Topic Groups: CHOICE, ETHICS, ARMINIANISM

Sermon synopsis: God has given us a free will and all through life we are faced with choices.
Every choice has consequences, sometimes good and sometimes bad.
Our choices are motivated by our priorities.
The most important choice we will ever make is what to do with Jesus.

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Choices.

Deuteronomy 30:11-20

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it? Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it? No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

Choices.

Deuteronomy 30:11-20 (continued)

But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Choices.

John 3:1-7. Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him. Jesus replied, Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. How can someone be born when they are old? Nicodemus asked. Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born! Jesus answered, Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, You must be born again.

Choices.

John 3:14-21. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Choices.

God has given us a free will and all through life we are faced with choices. (Every choice has consequences, sometimes good and sometimes bad)

The Garden of Eden. (One rule)

Adam and Eve made a choice. (The consequences of which we still feel today)

Spiritual death (separation from God)

Physical death

Banished from the garden

The ground cursed

Pain during child-birth

Sickness

A sinful human nature

Choices.

The time of Noah. (The rule of conscience)

Genesis 6:9-13.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

The consequences of man’s choice: God destroyed mankind sparing only 8 people.

Choices.

After the flood. (God instituted The Everlasting Covenant)

Genesis 9:5,6&15-17.

And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.

15-17 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth. So God said to Noah, This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

Choices.

The Everlasting Covenant.

Man has chosen to break this covenant and once again the consequences of his choice are clear for us to see in Scripture.

Isaiah 24:1-6.

See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants it will be the same for priest as for people, for the master as for his servant, for the mistress as for her servant, for seller as for buyer, for borrower as for lender, for debtor as for creditor. The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The Lord has spoken this word. The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the heavens languish with the earth. The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.

Choices.

2 Peter 3:1-13.

Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Saviour through your apostles. Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, Where is this coming he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation. But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

Choices.

2 Peter 3:1-13.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

God’s wrath will be poured out on the nations that have sung the pro-choice anthem.

Choices.

During the Tribulation period, when God pours out man still chooses evil.

Revelation 9:18, 20&21. A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulphur that came out of their mouths…. The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

Choices.

Lot, a righteous man, made a bad choice

2 Peter 2:7-9.

and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.

Choices.

Genesis 13:10-13.

Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.

Choices.

Sowing and reaping is a inescapable principle.

Some of us are reaping a bad harvest at this point in time because we have sown bad seed (made bad choices)

I don’t believe in money in the slot Christianity where you just pop in a prayer and everything just comes right and falls into place.

We need to make right choices and reap the benefits later on.

Choices.

Have you got tired of waiting for your harvest?

Galatians 6:1-10.

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Choices.

The most important choice we will ever make is what to do with Jesus.

Mark 15:6-15.

Now it was the custom at the festival to release a prisoner whom the people requested. A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews? asked Pilate, knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews? Pilate asked them. Crucify him! they shouted. Why? What crime has he committed? asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, Crucify him! Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

Choices.

The words of a hymn are very true…

What will you do with Jesus, neutral you cannot be

Pilate’s choice was based on his desire to satisfy the people, not on justice.

Luke 23:4, 13&14, 20.

Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, I find no basis for a charge against this man…. Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, and said to them, You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him…. Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!

Choices.

Pilate chose.

He chose to please the people.

The Pharisees chose

Pleasing man instead of God is a costly choice.

John 12:42,43.

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

Choices.

The people chose.

They chose Barabus and today still man chooses evil over good, sin over the commands of God. They choose abortion, homosexuality, co-habitation over marriage etc

Contrary to the humanists propaganda, homosexuality is a choice.

Romans 1:18-22 & 25-28.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Choices.

Romans 1:18-22 & 25-28 (continued)

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie… Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

Choices.

As we look at Gethsemane we see people making choices.

Jesus: Not my will but yours be done.

Judas: Chose 30 pieces of silver.

If we just look at Peter we can see that starting with one bad choice leads to another and each time the consequences are greater.

Peter chose to boast that even if all the other disciples deserted Jesus, he would not.

Then Peter chose sleep rather than prayer.

Then Peter chose to cut off Malcus’s ear.

Then Peter chose to run away and desert Jesus.

Then Peter chose to deny 3 times he was Jesus disciple.

Choices.

All of us made a choice to be here at this Church service today.

For some the choice was made without even consciously debating it, but for some it was based on

Do I feel like going to Church?

Is it raining?

Is there an important sports match on TV?

Is Aunty Sussie and the family visiting?

Am I tired because I watched TV till 12pm?

Does the lawn need mowing, is the washing done?

Did the Pastor greet me properly last Sunday?

Choices.

Choices.

Our choices are motivated by our priorities.

Mary and Martha.

Luke 10:38-42.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me! Martha, Martha, the Lord answered, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.

Choices.

Virtues are based in the will and not the emotions.

Prayer is a choice.

Fasting is a choice.

Giving is a choice.

Love patience, forgiveness are choices empowered by the Lord as we yield to His will and choose to obey even when we don’t want to.

Loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength encompasses you whole being.

Choices.

Virtues are based in the will and not the emotions.

Point your will in the direction that God wants you to go and you mind and emotions will follow.

Choices.

Josh Mac Dowell the well known Christian apologist says:

You can only make 3 choices concerning who Jesus is.

He is who He says He is: The Son of God.

He is a liar and a fraud.

He is a mad man.

What will you do with Jesus?

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)




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