Friday, July 1, 2011

The Valley of Decision - Part One

I enjoy talking to my friends on Facebook. Since I am a pastor, frequently friends will use Facebook to engage in conversations with me about spiritual issues they are facing. Sometimes they seem more comfortable talking on Facebook about some of these issues than in person. Perhaps this is because they can end the conversation any time they want to on Facebook, which might be more awkward to do in person.

Just in the past three weeks I have talked to several young men on Facebook about their commitment to faith in Christ. Each is struggling through various issues, trying to answer questions in their minds and decide if the whole Jesus thing is for them. I admire their willingness to ask the hard questions and wrestle with spiritual issues before making a commitment to Christ. We need more of that kind of deep thinking because it produces more thoughtful and sincere believers in the long run.

But I must confess that at times I wonder if some people use the “I have lots of questions” approach as a way to simply put off making a decision for Christ. After all, we will ever really have all our questions answered? I have been a follower of Jesus since I was ten years old. I hold three degrees from two different accredited seminaries. But I still have questions. I am still learning and growing. Trusting God when we do not understand all that He is doing around us is what faith is all about.

If we wait until all of our spiritual questions are answered, we may never make a commitment to Christ. I am not suggesting we make rash spiritual decisions, for those never last and are seldom genuine. We have enough “fake” Christians already and we do not need any more that are less than genuine. But sometimes, we just have to take the plunge and chose to believe. Peter Hitchens, brother of the infamous atheist Christopher Hitchens said, “I realized at one point that I simply had to I choose what I was going to believe.” The Hitchens brothers both had lots of questions about faith. They each embarked on a journey to look for answers. Each made a choice about what to believe. Christopher chose to reject Christ. Peter chose to embrace Christ.

We may not be famous, but we face the same choice. We can choose to follow Christ. We can choose to not follow Him. Though I do not want to trivialize the choice to become a Christian, the reality is that at some point we simply have to choose one way or the other. If we wait too long and pass from this life into eternity without making a choice for Christ, then our destination will be eternal separation from Christ in hell. Hell may not be a popular option to consider, but hell is nevertheless real. We can choose the “hell option” if we want to. But do we really want that option?

To my dear friends in the valley of decision, think issues of faith through carefully. Ask those questions. Seek those answers. But at some point, make a choice and I pray the choice will be to follow the Lord.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this entry Terry.

    I do agree completely with you. At some point you have to have FAITH and that is hard for some people, but faith is what gets us through the hard times sometimes when things don't make sense.