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|Vol. 15 No. 9 September 2013||
Guy Orbison, Jr.
Paul wrote this to the Corinthians… “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols…” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16).
The terms, “bound together,” literally mean “unequally yoked” and have several applications for us. The basic message is that we should not be so associated with the world to the extent that the world dictates our behavior. The idea of being “yoked” together reminds us of how animals are yoked so as to help one another pull a load. We must not help in pulling sinful loads with the world, and we must not allow ourselves to be dominated by the world as to feel obligated to pull its load.
From a personal standpoint, the apostle is saying that we should not listen to the world when it opposes God. This has implications for the way we talk, the way we dress and what we do with our time. Does our job take precedence over the Lord’s work and worship? Do our school activities come between us and what the Lord expects? If so, then perhaps we are bound more to the idols of the world than to the temple of God. It’s easy to get all tied up with the world and to loosen our attachment with our Creator, so let’s be forewarned and cautious about our worldly associations.
The title of this article is found in the words of a religious song that I have heard on the radio several times. It is a moving song – one that really makes you think. God made man in His image, and one likeness of the Creator is that man can make choices. Adam and Eve made the wrong choice and introduced sin to the human family (Genesis 2-3; Romans 5:12). The Israelites were required to choose to serve Baal or God (1 Kings 18:20-21). Jesus invites mankind to come to Him and He will give rest to all who decide to do so (Matthew 11:28-30). Our Lord also presents to us two gates to enter and two ways to travel in this life (Matthew 7:13-14). The decision an individual makes will determine the direction he will travel in this life and eventually where he will be in eternity. In this life we all make decisions small and great from day to day. Some of our decisions will bring joy to our hearts while others cause sadness and unpleasant consequences.
The young couple that commits fornication often adversely affects the conscience of one and perhaps both parties. Sometimes a child is the result of such an immoral deed, and shame is felt among members of both families. Pity the person who becomes addicted to some form of drugs and destroys both body and mind. In a moment of anger a life is taken and the guilty party has to endure the consequence by spending his life in prison or death.
On the other hand, a young person gives his life to God and commits his life to serving His Lord and Master. To him life is enjoyed, and each morning of a new day is received as being beautiful and appreciated. Love is found in the heart of a Christian young lady and marriage follows after a courtship with someone she will spend a lifetime with as they rear their children in the way of the Lord. In spite of the hardships and challenges in life they encounter, happiness is found in living for Jesus Christ and serving others. A young man decides that his true desire in life is to live in a foreign country and preach the Gospel of Christ and to train people to become productive citizens and Christians.
As long as a person has the mental ability and breath resides in his body, decisions can be made. However, the time will come when the capability to decide will cease. Eventually the spirit of man will take flight and the body dies (James 2:26). The spirit returns to God and the body goes back to dust from whence it came (Ecclesiastes 12:7). The power to choose where we will be in eternity is past. We will have no power to control matters. In life there is the ability to do things our way and to make decisions but not so in eternity. That has already been determined by the choice one made while living. In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus made it very clear that now He is the only one who has the power to decide where one will be in eternity. Those who gave their lives to Jesus and served Him faithfully in life will hear this sweet invitation, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (v. 34). Yet, to the majority who decided not to believe in and serve the Lord Jesus Christ, these terrible words will be heard, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (v. 41).
My dear friend, if you will confess Jesus Christ as the Son of the Living God, He will confess you one day before His Father and the angels in heaven (Matthew 10:32-33). As a penitent believer, be immersed into Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:36-38). It is my prayer that you will decide to confess Him now because if you do not, there is coming a day in which all mankind will confess Him, but then it will be too late (Philippians 2:9-11). When Jesus comes again and sits on the throne of His glory, judgment will have begun. Then, it will be the sheep or the goats, right or left, saved or lost, heaven or hell. Please make the choice to live for Jesus in this life if you have not already done so, that you may live with Him in eternity. This is my earnest plea and prayer for you.