Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. (Deuteronomy 11:26-28)
It Is All About Choice
C. Fields was an American comedian during the 1920’s and 30’s. An avowed atheist, the story is told when he was lying in a hospital bed shortly before his death; his good friend, actor Thomas Mitchell, visited him. When Mitchell entered Fields’ room, he was shocked to find the irreligious Fields paging through a Bible. When asked why he was reading the Bible, Fields replied, “I’m looking for loopholes.” From the beginning of time when God placed Adam and Eve in the garden, the will of the Lord has remained the same. Through the centuries as the plan of redemption was unfolded, the nature of the law changed until Christ came and cemented the salvation of man by His blood. One thing has remained constant throughout all the dealings of man and God: a choice to obey the word of God or be punished for disobedience. Adam and Eve could remain in the paradise of Eden as long as they chose to obey the word of the Lord. When they disobeyed His will, they were punished. The early world was destroyed by the flood because only eight souls chose to follow the plan of righteousness. Israel was a nation of holiness and contained in the Law of Moses was the often repeated blessings and cursing of obedience or disobedience. They eventually would choose to follow other gods and were punished for their disobedience.
There are no loopholes in the word of God. When men follow the commands of God they will be blessed beyond measure. If man refuses to follow the will of the Lord there will be consequences. The favorite tool of Satan is to convince man there will be no penalties to his actions. When the serpent came to Eve in the garden, the first thing he said was, “Has God indeed said?” Satan knew if he could get Eve to believe she had a choice to do as she desired he would have success. God’s law is simplistic at its core. Follow my commandments, statutes and ordinances and you will be blessed. If you refuse to obey the will of the Lord, judgment awaits. There is no third choice. This did not change when Christ died on the cross. The law of God is a matter of choosing whether a person follows the whole law of God.
Many religious people follow the philosophy of W. C. Fields. They look for loopholes to allow them to call themselves followers of Christ yet mold their lives after their own will. God’s law does not allow for manipulation of righteousness to fit the desires of men. He sets before all men a blessing and a curse. If we do the will of the Lord, we will be saved. If we do not obey the commandments of God, we will be lost. Simple. Direct. Eternal. It is all about choice.
We are always making an offering. If we do not give to God, we give to the devil. It is a continuous process going on all the time. (Vance Havner; 1901-1986)