It’s Up to You :: by John Lysaught

It’s up to you. It’s your decision. This is a decision only you can make. No one can make it for you. No one can force it on you. This decision will turn your world upside down. It will affect all aspects of your life. The decision you make has consequences, eternal consequences.

The decision you must make is to accept Christ or reject Christ.

I think it’s safe to say that most people, Christian and secular, have heard all or part of John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

“Blah, blah, blah” and “So what?” is what secular people say. Some so-called Christians don’t understand, so are on the same level as secular people, too.

What Christ did for us was from a place of unconditional love and of innocent blood. Raise your hand if you would be nailed and hung on a cross for the wrongs (sin) of others so that they may live.  I don’t see any hands. That’s okay, I didn’t expect any and my hand was down too. Look at it this way, would you take the punishment of death for a murderer so that he can walk free? I assume you would not.

See the difference here?

Christ laid His life down for all of us, for all the sins that we did and would commit—so that we may have an opportunity to spend eternity with Him (if we accept Him in our hearts.) This is the choice we must make: To accept Him or not. It’s up to you to decide. The middle ground lukewarm theory does not apply here. It is either yes, or no; that’s right…no maybes or “what ifs.”

Let’s say that you don’t want to believe or have faith that Christ died for our sins; that He was buried and rose up after three days to give us the opportunity to have eternal life with Him. That’s okay, I guess—for you. It doesn’t mean your life will crumble and it doesn’t affect my faith at all. You may still be successful in life, have a great family, a big house, etc.

Your life may be one of goodness and compassion for others. You may volunteer for the needy. You may do everything right in life. Then you get old and die. Your spirit is released from your body and the decision you make here on earth while still alive determines where you go.

You may believe in God, but only as a notion of something greater than the world or yourself. You may feel or believe the lie that by living a good life it will get you through to the pearly gates. But when you grow old and die, you will be surprised at what your eternity will be without Christ because you never really made a decision to accept or reject Him, to follow Him or walk away from Him.

“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2b).

In your life right now or in the future before you die, it is up to you to accept or deny Christ as your Lord and Savior. It doesn’t matter how good a person you are now, were, or ever will be in this life. It’s all nil and as valuable as a peso unless you have accepted Christ into your heart and life and are saved.

“Whoa! Wait a second,” you may ask.  “Who are you to tell me what God to worship or what it takes to go to heaven?” I can tell you this because I am a Christian who knows Christ is proven as true in the Bible, and that He the truth and the way to eternal heaven, because I’ve accepted Him.

I made the decision to accept Christ into my heart and life. Before I did, I was just like the secular and unsaved people, aimlessly wandering through life. Yet, finally, after many times of being introduced to Christ and denying Him, I finally awakened out of my self-indulgent self-righteous slumber and decided to invite Him into my life.

I want to offend you and tell you that you are stupid if you pass up this opportunity with Christ.

At some point or another you have probably been introduced to Christ or have contemplated your destiny in the afterlife—where you will go after you die—to heaven or hell. I will offend you some more: You will go to hell without accepting Christ, without being born-again from above:

“Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (John 3:3).

I know, I know, hell sounds like a harsh word to say in the politically correct world in which we live now, but it is meant to be harsh. When you think of hell, you should have horrid images and feelings of fear.

Now you don’t want that kind of eternity do you?

Your life without Christ may seem okay or you may think it’s great but I tell you that you are wrong. I’m betting that there is something missing in your life. It isn’t a outward thing, but an internal thing you are feeling inside your gut or heart. Maybe trust is an issue—understandably so in this deceptive world but Christ is the One you can always count on and trust. He is the friend you can count on no matter what:

“But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24b).

You may have an emptiness in your heart that you think can be filled with the things of this physical world, such as money, material possessions, lifestyle changes (usually bad ones), drugs, etc. (All the things you try to do to fill that emptiness and that internal thing you feel you are missing.)

I’ll tell you this, from personal experience and from the testimonies of many others, the feeling of emptiness you feel inside, that thing you feel you are missing to make your life happy and complete—that is Jesus tugging at your heart. He is knocking at the door of your soul. This is clearly stated in Revelation 3:20 from Jesus:

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

Christ is ever ready to come into your heart to fill the void you have that you can’t quite put your finger on. He is there knocking on the door of your heart, waiting for you to answer. The feeling you have that you are missing something in your life is Jesus knocking on your heart, just waiting for you to open and invite Him in.

It’s up to you though to either answer the door to let Christ in or to keep and lock that door to keep Jesus away. You can’t deny that He is real. You can’t deny that He exists, but you can deny His presence in your life.

I often wonder why people don’t answer that knocking at the door. Jesus never gives up knocking at the door, yet many people won’t open it. I believe people are scared to open it because they will have to give up their worldly pleasures and will have to change their lifestyles.

This is absolutely true. When you accept Christ and begin to live your life for Him, you will change, and all for the better. The change is the freedom of knowing you are made whole in Christ, and  that you no longer need to be a salve to the ways of the world.

You must ask yourself that if you accept Christ into your heart and life, would He make you miserable or give you peace and joy?

Having Christ in your life isn’t a burden as you may think.  Freedom is having Christ in your heart. Some folks still ignore the whispers and Jesus knocking because they love themselves, their stubbornness, their sin and the world so much — that they can’t imagine not being able to have the so-called “freedom” that the physical world offers. They put their spiritual well-being with Christ second to the world. Their priorities are backwards.

This isn’t limited to secular people only. Some people who claim to be Christians still live in the world and put their faith in Christ second to the world. Sure, they go to church but that is where it begins and ends. The only verses they see are the ones the pastor puts up on the projection screen (if any).

Some don’t even bring Bibles with them. These so-called Christians are only Sunday morning Christians. After church they go back to their worldly lives and don’t even crack open their Bibles during the week. They don’t pray and worship the Lord, and don’t study the Word of God; they are “Christians” only on Sunday, in name only.

So you secular people see these types of Christians and wonder what is the difference between them and you, and it’s not much. I’ll tell you, being a Christian isn’t just going to church. It’s much, much more. When you truly accept and have Jesus in your heart, your life will change. Don’t worry, this is a good flip in your life. Your life will be turned upside down for the better You will be awakened spiritually. Your thoughts and actions will change, as well as your priorities.

“Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:16-19).

Accepting Christ is easy, denying Him is a conscious and purposely made decision that you make. If you deny Him, you are denying that He is the Author of creation. You are saying that you don’t believe in a correct path to heaven. And tragically, you deny your heart with the fulfillment of vast love and compassion, His gift to you.

With Christ, there is power in Him for your life. By denying Him, you are refuting His omnipotence in this universe and denying that He has given you your life, the very breath you take—all created and given to you by Him.

Christ’s supremacy of grace, mercy and love for you is something that secular people fail to recognize, and therefore miss out on the greatest prize one could ever get: Eternal love and forgiveness from Christ.

Ultimately, the decision to get saved or not is all yours.

Secular people and some misdirected “Christians” have a choice to make: Accept or deny Christ, it’s up to you. If you aren’t saved—born-again by the Spirit of God (John 3:3) you are walking on the wide road that leads to eternal destruction.

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it” (Matthew 7:13).

Some people totally reject God or have god of their own design. Some go to church simply as a ritual without ever making a one-on-one genuine commitment to Christ, receiving Him as Lord and Savior, truly repenting and following Him and not the ways of the world.  It’s up to you to make the decision to accept or reject Christ

You don’t know when your life will end. You don’t know when the clock will stop ticking for you, so the importance of this decision is great and needs to be made now.  It’s an eternal decision you are making, so choose wisely.

I suspect that the world is holding you back; I mean the physical and fallen world in which we live. As a born-again Christian you will be living in a world that is contrary to what you believe and what you know. You will begin to see every sinful thing that the world has to offer through new spiritual eyes; discernment that you will attain and grow into after you’re saved.

If you want to go to heaven, there is a tradeoff that comes with accepting Christ. The tradeoff is the worldly pleasures and sinful ways that you have been living for. This may make your blood pressure go up a bit because right now you are imagining giving up the joys and sinful pleasures in life that aren’t in-line with a Christian lifestyle.

This is the decision point for you.

You’re at a fork in the road. One path leads to heaven with Christ and the other leads to hell without Christ. Yes, heaven or hell and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Use your imagination a bit to see both paths. Which one do you want to be on? I don’t know of anyone who wants to choose hell and I gather most rational people would rather go to heaven.

You can go in to denial thinking none of this is real and true. But just because you don’t believe something does not mean that it is not true. The Bible makes it very clear: Jesus said He is the only way.

“I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me,” (John 14:6).

So… what are you going to choose? Which path does your heart lead you to?  It’s up to you to make that decision, but choose wisely: Christ or hell.