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You Can’t Escape God’s Word

By Charlotte Dugan

As the grain mill handle goes around and around, it’s obvious the amount of work it takes to produce flour. Even if one buys flour, somewhere in that product’s past is an enormous amount of labor, from the planting and harvesting under the hot summer sun to the storing, hauling, and grinding of the grain. Some laws in life just cannot be escaped. As I worked, I was reminded of a young man I’d seen recently. Standing in the store, I overheard him make a statement that I have made myself in my youth. He looked a bit like the rebellious type: earring, spiked hair, low-hanging pants with a chain from pocket to some hidden area. I like this “type”—they are often the ones who question and think, though this day he made a statement that proved he didn’t have a solid foundation upon which to build his thoughts. He said to his disgruntled friend, employed by the store we visited, “So quit—there’s no law that says you have to work, or do anything for that matter…”

Ahh, the wisdom of the world. Somewhere in this young man’s life, he discovered his free will, said “No” to something, and found a certain delight and “wisdom” in the independence that refusal gave him. With it, he reasoned that much of our world is built upon arbitrary forces imposed by man upon man, not real forces imposed by nature and having real consequences, and he chose to live deliberately and make his life happen. As a result, he figured he could do any and every thing he wanted without recourse. With similar deduction, many people today believe such a line of logic when it comes to the Bible. They think of it as just another belief system among so many, one that they can choose or leave alone, without facing its pronouncements. It can sound so reasonable and right, and yet God has something to say about this way of thinking when applied to His Word:

1 Corinthians 3:18-20
(18) Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise.
(19) For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”;
(20) and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”

It doesn’t take many years of living to realize that “free will” is not an absolute as defined, “you can do what you want when you want.” Just consider those imprisoned in our world for speaking the Word of Truth. They are not imprisoned by choice, and if they could obtain freedom by their “free will” they surely would. While God has given us the power to make decisions, our true decision-making abilities lie in choosing between: in other words, this or that, not this or this or this… Work, or not work. Marry, or not marry. Obey, or not obey. With each exercised decision, we are choosing one opportunity and one sacrifice. If you choose to work, you are choosing to give up your time, but you give it up for the benefit of receiving a paycheck. If you choose not to work, you are choosing your time over the benefit of money. Interestingly enough, we first find this principle beautifully laid out in God’s Word by our wonderful Creator:

Deuteronomy 30:19
This day I call heaven and 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.

Now there are those among us on this earth who would argue that this verse pertains merely to the Israelites, or to those who read and believe in the Bible, and that the rest of humankind is exempt. However, in my quest to read through the entire Bible, I was perusing Jeremiah when I came across this next verse:

Jeremiah 1:12
The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”

Wow! God, Himself, is personally watching the very words He uttered to see that they come to pass. Each and every one of them. And each and every one of God’s words pertains to all of mankind, regardless of their personal beliefs in the validity of that Word.

Romans 3:9b
…We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.

Romans 5:12
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—

You cannot escape the Word of God. “You” being Christian, or non-Christian. “You” being human.

I missed a real opportunity that day, and I regret it as I write. I’d thought briefly, “You have to die…” and wished I’d uttered these words to that young man, and not just myself as it may have led to his consideration of how to get out of that one. Death has passed through all men by the sin of Adam, and now resides in each and every one of us. But according to God’s Word, which He personally watches to see fulfilled, we’ve all been given a choice to make with our free will about that impending death sentence. The choice to live or die, the choice Adam faced in the Garden of Eden, has once again been put into the lap of mankind through the grace and goodness of God and through the obedient life of one man, Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:18 and 19
(18) Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.
(19) For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

I would like to point out that Life does, indeed, contain loads of arbitrary laws and confines put in place by men. To those laws this article does not pertain, while we must recognize that the principle of choice still does pertain: you are free to not pay your taxes. Just realize that if you choose to keep your money, it’s a little hard to spend from jail. This or that. Those imprisoned for speaking the Word of God knew the risks as well: obey God, or men. I’m sure they knew the consequences for speaking in countries where imprisonment looms for speaking out on behalf of God, and they bravely chose possible imprisonment over not obeying God. God will abundantly and richly reward them one day for their decision. But to those who believe the Bible does not pertain to them, death alone stands as a stark reminder of its validity. The Bible speaks against the doctrine of many religions and belief systems that if you will just live a worthy life, eternity will be yours. Quite the contrary, it states that your acts alone, however good and righteous, will never gain for you a way out of death.

Ephesians 2:8 and 9
(8) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–
(9) not by works, so that no one can boast.

We also see this in Romans when, by revelation, Paul writes:

Romans 8:3 and 4
(3) For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,
(4) in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

God showed the way of redemption for sin through the giving of the Law, and all mankind had to do was fulfill all of the requirements of the Law. Yet, no matter how good you could ever be, you could never complete the Law and obtain your own righteousness and way out of death. No one could do the Law perfectly! Enter Jesus Christ—he fulfilled all the requirements, as a man, to make it all the way to God, bridging that unbridgeable gap for us.

This is why Jesus is Lord. He willingly took upon himself, as a sinless man, the consequences of Adam’s sin, suffered and died, and was raised to life again—for all of mankind. If (a tiny word with great consequences on either side), you choose to acknowledge his Lordship instead of your own, believing that he is who he is, and that God raised him from the dead, you are, in essence, letting him take your place at the guillotine and walking away freely from eternal death.

Romans 10:9-13
(9) That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
(10) For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
(11) As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
(12) For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,
(13) for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

What about you? Do you think the Bible does not concern you? Do you think that Jesus as Lord and Savior is just another choice among many? Do you think that if you just live a nice, good life, that when you die that will be enough to redeem you and raise you from death? Do you really want to bank so much on a doctrine of men or on happenstance? The Word of God is very clear. You might want to reconsider, for just as in Deuteronomy, God gives you free will to choose between two things, so today you have one choice between two options:

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Choose wisely.

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