Tuesday
Nov102009

If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice

How many invitations to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ do you think you have read or heard in your lifetime (Romans 10:16-17)?

Seasoned Christians could answer in the multiplied thousands, but even a teenager who has been taken to church services consistently throughout his or her life has probably been witness to a couple thousand or so. And that person has heard every approach – from the dire warning to the gentle request. The speaker concludes his remarks, asks the audience to stand and the song leader takes over. Now the invitation, just like the kind printed on card stock and delivered by the postman, is in the recipient’s hands. 

Some probably do not give the invitation another thought once the song begins, but what of the one who needs to respond to it? He or she needs to put belief into practice by confessing Christ, turning from sin and asking to be baptized for entrance into the Lord’s body (see Galatians 3:27, Romans 6:1-7). Perhaps another has already done those things, but has now sinned so publicly that only a public restoration or request for forgiveness and prayer is sufficient. What about the ones who need to answer the invitation and whose souls are every bit on the line (First Peter 4:17-19)?

A few will summon the courage and find the faith to step forward, instantly subjecting themselves to the audience’s gaze. Most will listen to the devil who whispers that it isn’t worth the embarrassment and that there is always time to do it later – when the crowd is smaller and you’re a little older (Acts 24:25). Just as many, though, will simply choose not to decide, and by doing that, they still have made a choice.

Procrastination about the Lord’s invitation is a choice. Figuratively shielding your ears from the dire warnings and your mind from the potential for eternal punishment is a decision. Choosing not to choose – I’ll wait until Wednesday … Maybe after my next birthday … Perhaps when I’ve done some really big sins – choosing not to choose is a choice. 

It is a choice that informs the savior who bled and died for you that he’ll just have to wait, because six hours on the cross was not quite convincing enough. It is a choice fraught with danger for the possibility of losing your life to death or the second coming prior to the time you finally make a positive decision about the gospel is all too real. In fact, every time you choose not to decide, it becomes just a little easier to do the same thing the next time (First Timothy 4:2). Before you know it, you have changed categories and are among the number who no longer think anything about the invitation after the song begins, and doom always follows complacency.

The next time you hear or read the Lord’s invitation, remember that if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.