Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Endless Choices And Variety

Today people want more choices, they want more variety. People will not be satisfied with two or three choices, no, they want dozens and dozens.

Have you visited the ice cream section in the supermarket lately? Some of you are old enough to remember when you went to the store to get ice cream that you only had three choices: vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. Then someone came along and put those three together and came up with Neapolitan. That was it! That was your choices. Today when I go to buy ice cream I am confronted with more flavors than Baskin Robbins! Everything from "Carmel Pecan Fudge Swirl" to "Chunky Monkey". It can be overwhelming!

As our society modernizes it becomes more complex. Simple tastes are now turning into extravagant tastes. The restaurants that do the most business are the ones that are constantly adapting their menus. Change and variety seem to be the catch words of the hour.

What is true in the natural is also true in the spiritual. Just a few years ago there were only a few dozen different denominations and religions in the world, but today there are thousands. If you don’t like the Church you are attending, then you can go down the road and find one that fits your lifestyle. If you think the Church you attend is too strict, all you have to do is shop around and find one that isn’t. There is a flavor out there for every lifestyle. Cowboy churches for cowboys, biker churches for bikers, surfer churches for surfers. They have churches that only meet one hour a week if that suits you and they have churches that have something going on nightly. They have churches that cater to singles, divorcees, weightwatchers, youth, elders, and even homosexuals. If you don’t like the Church your in, don’t despair, I am sure there is something out there just for you.

What flavor do you want? They have plain vanilla. Or, if you want you can have Chocolate fudge chunk with pecans, or some other extravagant flavor. The list is endless.

The point I am trying to make is this: When Jesus returns to gather His true people it is going to be those that are living according to His Word. Jesus is not coming after all of the nonsense going on today that calls itself the Church. He is coming after a holy people that are completely sold out to Him.

The variety of Churches today actually tells us that people want a variety of ways to live for God. The truth is there is only ONE WAY to live for God and it is the Bible Way. This is what the scripture says:

Matthew 7:13-14
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

How much variety do you see in this verse? How many choices are there? Only two! I like the way Pastor Adolph Johnson in Liberty, Texas describes this scripture: “Two verses, two gates, two ways, and two final destinations”. Folks, God only offers a limited choice: Heaven or Hell (there is no Purgatory!).

When I was in school I much preferred the “Multiple Choice” tests over the “True or False” (that may not be true for everyone), but when it comes to God’s Kingdom, there are no multiple choices, everything is true or false.

Two opposing views cannot both be right. Two opposite lifestyles cannot both be Godly. Everyone cannot be right when everyone is different. Someone is wrong – someone is right. Who is right? God is right! His Word is right! His way is right! His truth is right! Something cannot both be a lie and true – it is either one or the other.

The complexity in religion today is the efforts of the carnal to make itself more comfortable. Comfort is not the issue, nor has it ever been. Jesus did not save me to serve me, but rather He saved me so I could serve Him.

How can you know what is right? Read the Bible! Read the Book! Someone once asked me, “How do you know what Church to go to? There are so many. It is so confusing. Each say they are right. What is right?” They were asking good questions and they sincerely wanted an answer. The answer is simple, and this is what I told them, “Read the New Testament. Especially read the four Gospels, Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. Then after reading them, read the Book of Acts carefully. The Book of Acts is the blueprint, the prototype, of the Church. What the Church was in the Book of Acts is what we still should be today. Now read the rest of the New Testament. If the Bible says they were speaking in tongues, then find a Church that does that. If the Bible says they laid hands on the sick and prayed for them then find a Church that does that. If the Bible says they anointed the sick with oil then find a Church that does that. If the Bible says the worshipped by lifting up their hands then find a Church that does that. If the Bible says they came out of the world and lived seperate and holy lives then find a Church that lives holy.  The answer you seek is in the Word of God.”  This may seem like a simplistic answer, and yes I know the enemy can imitate, but the answer to what the Church is supposed to be is in the New Testament!  The Word and the Holy Ghost will lead us into truth!

Folks, when it comes to the Word of God and His Kingdom is has always been a simple choice of two:
Light or Darkness?
Right or Wrong?
Right or Left?
Holy or Corrupt?
Righteousness or Sin?
Sheep or Goats?
Heaven or Hell?
Up or Down?
Jesus or Satan?
God or Mammon?
The Spirit or the Flesh?
Obedience or Rebellion?

I could go on and on using words to describe the two kingdoms, but I think you understand what I am saying. We do not have multiple ways to get to Heaven, there is only One Way, and Jesus said that He is that way. I want to close with this scripture:

Joshua 24:15
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

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