Published: Tuesday, 09 February 2016
Choices Have Consequences
When we make decisions we commit to those decisions based upon our principles with due consideration of the consequences of our choices. Choices have consequences.
I have made many bad choices in the past. In those choices I have often “paid the price”
for making those bad choices. Some decisions prove to be very costly in terms of pain and grief. Experience is certainly an excellent teacher.
There is one choice in life that everyone must make. How will you deal with the Lord Jesus Christ? Will you own Him as your Lord and Savior or will you reject Him?
This is not a minor decision. The consequences of your acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ has eternal consequences. These two consequences are as opposite from each other as “opposite” can be. They are the most life-impacting consequences that exist in human society.
Both of these consequences are eternal. Both consequences are irrevocable after death.
Eternal life is received for those who will follow Christ and trust in Him and His righteousness
“for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 NKJV
Eternal death and punishment is the consequence for those who will not own Christ nor serve Him.
There is no gray area here. Either you trust in Him or you don’t.
I spoke earlier of having “paid the price” for making bad decisions. Christ Jesus is that ONE
who has “paid the eternal price” for my sins, so I do not have to pay that price serving a sentence in hell for eternity myself.
“He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Hebrews 9:26
“Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.” Hebrews 9:27b NKJV
He died to pay the penalty of sins for those who will trust in Him.
He is freely offered to you in the Scriptures.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.“ Matthew 11:28-29 NKJV
That rest refers to rest in heaven as it is stated in Hebrews 4.
“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
“So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ” Hebrews 4:1-4 NKJV
Those who have faith in Jesus Christ will enter into heaven, which is Christ’s everlasting rest for those who trust in Him.
“the righteous [who have Christ’s perfect righteousness credited to them will enter] into eternal life.” Matthew 25:46b NKJV
Those who do not have faith in Jesus Christ will not enter into Christ’s everlasting rest in heaven. They will be cast into hell for eternal punishment.
“These will go away into everlasting punishment.” Matthew 25:46a NKJV
Which of these consequences will you face?
“It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27a NKJV
You stand in the valley of decision regarding Jesus Christ.
Christ will address those who choose not to follow Him in this manner:
“I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:23 NKJV
But to those who love Him and trust in Him will be addressed in this manner:
“Well done, good and faithful servant ... Enter into the joy of your lord.” Matthew 25:23
The decision is yours to make, but consider well the consequences of your choice.
Ruling elder, Terry Miller
Do you do things in an orthodox fashion ?
You might ask - What does “orthodox” mean?
It is a cognate of two greek words – “orthos” which means “straight” and “doxa” which mean “teaching” or “opinion”.
An orthodontist is a tooth-straightener.
An orthopedic doctor is a child-straightener. He makes sure that a child’s skeleton is straight.
Metaphorically, this word “orthos” (straight) means “true”. A straight shooter is someone who speaks truthfully to you.
Our church denomination is the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
Our denomination was established in 1936 to bring the Presbyterian Church in the USA back to orthodoxy or “right teaching” or “true teaching and preaching” of God’s Holy Word.
In this era of relativistic thinking, absolute truth (orthodoxy) is abandoned.
Since God is absolutely true, His declaration of Himself to man is absolutely true as well.
Do you desire to worship in a church which has “true teaching and preaching” ?
Worship with us at Westminster Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Bartlesville.
One of the major reasons the Orthodox Presbyterian Church was established as a new denomination in the 1930’s was a reaction against modernism.
Many of the minsters of that era in the Presbyterian Church USA, the body that this new denomination withdrew from, subscribed to a modernist document called the Auburn Affirmation.
The reason the Auburn Affirmation was so offensive to many conservatives in the Presbyterian Church USA, was that it was a direct attack upon some of the central truths of Scripture.
What were these attacks against the Truth of God’s Word ?
There were five major attacks upon the historical and God-breathed miraculous truths revealed in the Bible regarding Jesus Christ.
The authority and inerancy of Holy Scriptures, the factuality of the virgin birth of Christ, His miracles, His sacrifice on Calvary to satisfy divine justice and reconcile us to God, and His bodily resurrection were all questioned by those who signed this Auburn Affirmation.
Yes, the truth of the Word of God was placed under the scrutiny of man’s reason and understanding, instead of accepting it as the very truth of a transcendent God, whose understanding and ways are higher than man’s ways.
Since God is absolutely true, His revelation to man in the Scriptures must also be true,
God is without error, nor can He ever be otherwise, else He would not be God.
Sinful man tries to make God’s truth subordinate to his own understanding and rationale.
Any attempt to do this must necessarily lead one away from the truth, into chaos.
God humbled Job with these words, “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Were you there when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Shall the one who contends with the Almighty One correct Him?”
Job 38:2-4; Job 40:2.
“Let God be true but every man a liar” Romans 3:4.
God IS absolute truth!
1,300 ministers in the Presbyterian Church USA placed their names upon this Auburn Affirmation, which was a direct attack against the truth of God’s Holy Word.
Does truth matter? Is it essential for a Church ?
When heaven and hell hang in the balance, it ABSOLUTELY MUST matter!
Terry Miller, elder, Westminster Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Barltlesville, Ok.
We have Good News to give! Your labor is not in vain, Christian! Christ has risen, just as he said.
1 Corinthians:15 NKJV:
Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.
All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.
There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.