I Needed to Make a Choice
I am a big fan of the White Sox Baseball team, Deep Dish Pizza, the Willis Tower, and would be absolutely thrilled to give you a personal tour of my favorite city, you guessed it – Chicago. With all the amazing restaurants and spectacle things to see and do, I’d have a hard time narrowing down the best options! It’s a tough choice! But no, that’s not the “choice” I really want to talk about today. This choice, was a real life-changer…
As a young boy, I grew up just outside of the windy city, in northern Indiana with my family. My parents were Christians. They were faithful to teach me about God. Each week, they brought my siblings and me to church. My Dad and Mom instilled in us a fear of God, and a realization of our sin nature.
I heard preaching from my Pastor that awakened me at a young age to the truth of God’s Word. I learned that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father, but by me.” John 14:6
Scripture verses like those below, were used to help me understand my lost condition, and need of a Savior. Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
“Even at a young age, I knew my heart was rebellious against God. I feared the eternal punishment of my sin.”
There was nothing I could do to earn myself eternal life. I knew that I couldn’t get to heaven simply because my parents went to church, or because they had a relationship with God.
The Bible also says that we can’t get to heaven by trying to be good enough. In Titus 3:5, we are told “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…”And in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any many should boast.”
Even if I continued going to church all my life, and tried to obey the commands of God, I could never be righteous enough to deserve heaven. Romans 3:10 “There is none righteous, no not one.”
I had to make a choice. A choice of my own – not to follow my family, not to please my Pastor – but to personally accept Christ for myself; to turn away from my sin. Unlike the choices I mentioned earlier about choosing my favorite parts of Chicago, this choice was a serious life or death choice. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, “…it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
“The sin in my heart had made me an enemy of God.”
If I didn’t choose Christ while my heart was tender towards him, I would have risked the chance of never being saved. I could have continued down the path that eventually leads to eternal separation from God.
This all came together for me one night when I was alone in my room at home. I had heard my parents talking in the living room down the hallway. My sin weighed heavy on my heart. I knew Jesus had come to earth to die for my sins so that I could be made right with God. My heart was ready to call upon God in faith to save me from an eternity in Hell, and give me a home in heaven when I died. But no one could make that choice for me; I felt I needed to call on the Lord right away.
I stepped out into the living room and told my parents what was bothering me. They carefully led me through the scriptures, and explained salvation once again. It was clear to me what I had to do.
“I bowed my head, repented of my sins, and put my faith in Christ that night. I never regretted that choice.”
You cannot place a high enough value on growing up in a Christian home, and attending a church that preaches and lives the way the Bible teaches. I was blessed beyond measure, and knew that I wanted to give my whole life to Christ, since He had been so good to me. By God’s grace I have grown closer to the Lord, and strive to please Him each day. He forgives me when I do wrong, and helps me get back on the right path when I stray away.
Have you made your eternal choice? God gives us the choice of Heaven or Hell while we are on this earth. No one can make that choice for you. When death comes, it will be too late to choose. Don’t let time run out – come to Christ today!