John #48 Indecision Impossible
That you may Believe and have Life #48
Ralph Waldo Emerson said
We are always getting ready to live, but never living
That’s what indecision can do to us. We make plans we have great desires. But we won’t pull the trigger and make it happen. We won’t make the decision to pursue the things we say we want. We are afraid of losing our “cracker jack prize” and so we don’t take hold of a diamond ring.
Elie Wiesel said
the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.
What do YOU want?
Love or indifference?
Art or indifference?
Faith or indifference?
Life or indifference?
Place your finger in Revelation 3 and then Go back with me to our text in John, chapter 19:6
We have been reading about Pilate’s encounter with Jesus.
Has Lord of Heaven and Earth, King of the Jews, Son of the Most High God, in front of him, but he doesn’t know or won’t act on his knowledge of what to do with him.
He asks “what is truth?” but he doesn’t listen to Jesus’ answer instead he asks the people what THEY want him to do with Jesus.
Now as we have read, he sits down in the “judge’s seat” but still doesn’t make a decision for himself about Jesus
The people continue to cry out for his crucifixion so he gives them what they want.
Matthew tells us that he took an additional step “when Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood,’ he said. ‘it is your responsibility!’”
One of the Greatest acts of Indecision in History happened that day as Pilate, at least in HIS mind, made no decision regarding Jesus …
And throughout history people have tried to make the same decision regarding Jesus … not a decision against him, not a decision FOR him, but no decision really …
Let’s talk then, about indecision for a few minutes. Ok, more than a few minutes, but not too long …
Let’s make some observations about indecision … First …
1. Indecision is a Tough Decision
1. Saying No is easy
2. Saying Yes is Easy
3. Indecision is Hard
Turn to Revelation 3:15,16
Revelation 3:15-16 (NIV)
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Jesus says I know what you do … and it’s NOTHING and it makes me sick
Do you know how hard it is to do NOTHING?
Have you ever tried to do NOTHING?
Have you ever tried to do nothing?
Have you ever tried to think about nothing?
Do something, and it’s done
Whether that’s something good or something bad if you do it, it’s done
Say yes, and you are done
Say no, and you are done
But say “I don’t know” and you’ve done nothing, you haven’t decided … that’s hard
A. Why are people indecisive when it comes to Christ?
There are many reasons, but let me give you a few
1. deception – many have been deceived into believing they don’t have to choose God. Hosea 10:2 says of Israel their heart is deceitful, and now they must bear their guilt. The Lord will demolish their altars and destroy their stones
Israel knew that God was the only God but they deceived themselves into believing they could serve other gods AND God Almighty, or that God wouldn’t mind if they didn’t choose him so they remained in their indecision
2. Fear – John 12:42-43 says “many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God
So many remain in indecision knowing Christ is the way, but failing to embrace him with heart and life for fear of job, of popularity, of love, of success, of failure …
3. Concerns of Self – IN Haggai 1:2-11 God poses the question why his people had gone so long without rebuilding his Temple. “It’s not the time” was always the response. Yet God scolded, you have time to build beautiful houses for yourselves, to take care of yourselves, to do all you need and want, but no time to rebuild my house. What they were saying to God was, “we are far too concerned with ourselves to make a decision about the things of God” … They weren’t saying NO to God … They weren’t saying YES to God they were saying, after we finish with our concerns
4. Another reason is Time.
Two classifications – I need more time or there’s plenty of Time … One or the other or both was the issue in Acts 26:28-29
Agrippa said to Paul “do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” Paul replied, “short time or long – I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”
Agrippa didn’t need more time, he knew everything he needed to know, that is he was a sinner separated from God, in need of a Savior, and Jesus Christ was that Savior.
But he wanted more time and thought he had more time.
The greatest tool of Satan is NOT convincing people there is no God. Most people are too smart for that
The greatest tool for Satan is not convincing people that the Bible isn’t God’s Word, most will accept that it is.
The greatest tool for Satan is not convincing people that Jesus is not the Savior or that they don’t need a Savior, though some believe that.
The greatest tool of Satan is convincing people that while there is a God, and we have his Word and they need a Savior, and his name is Jesus, but that there is PLENTY of TIME!!!
Not today, don’t make the decision now, there is PLENTY of Time
B. Why Indecision is tough
1. You have to resist the natural urging in your heart
God is drawing you if you are even thinking about Christ and so you are fighting against God when you make no decision
2. Indecision is ultimately a tough decision because Indecision is IMPOSSIBLE …
3. Indecision is denying the truth
4. Indecision is standing alone against God
2. You Can’t Put it On Someone Else
Pilate tried to Place it on the People
1. oh he put on quite a show bringing water, washing his hands …
“I am innocent of this man’s blood” “it is your responsibility!”
2. He asked the people, “do you want Jesus or Barabbas” – “what do you want me to do with Jesus”
3. Folks, Pilate is wandering through Hades wringing his hands as if washing saying “I am innocent” “it is YOUR responsibility” “why can’t I get this blood off my hands?”
3. IT was THEIR fault … That’s what Pilate will want to say … But Pilate had Truth standing in front of him
4. Adam and Eve tried to blame their decision on The Serpent but they were responsible for their actions
And if we are responsible for our decisions we are also
A. Responsible for our Indecision
1. Some believe that if they just don’t do anything wrong, they’ll be alright
But James 4:17 says “he that knows what is right and doesn’t do it, that is sin”
2. It’s not just what you’ve done but what you’ve failed to do.
B. We must recognize our situation –
1. so many people think they are rich in deeds, they are good enough, they know enough, they are healthy enough … and what does God say to us?
Go back to Revelation 3:17-19
Revelation 3:17-19 (NIV)
17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
OH listen … God is talking to a church in this passage, but it is absolutely applicable for everyone hearing me and especially if you do no know Christ if you are caught in the Valley of Decision, frozen failing to move right or left
1. If You think you are in need of nothing? God says “you are fooling yourself”
God says you need an accurate assessment.
2. God says you need outside help because you are “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked”
And verse 19 tells us he says that because he LOVES us enough to rebuke us and call us to repent.
3. He says you’re only hope is found in him.
This letter was written to people in the city of Laodicea, they were known for three important things, banks, clothes, and a medicinal eye salve. Jesus told them, you think you are rich, well clothed, and have great eye sight promoted by their medicine.
But Jesus said, “you are in the poor house, stark naked, and blind as a bat. And you can’t take care of it at the bank, or the market or the pharmacy. You better come get my gold, my clothes, and my medicine for your blindness.”
4. Indecision won’t take care of any of those problems.
Only coming to Christ.
But Indecision is Impossible making it a difficult decision, It is impossible because you have no one else to turn to
And Indecision is Impossible because …
3. Choose or the Choice is Made
You know there used to be tests that we would take in school that said if you give the wrong answer it is two points off but if you give no answer it is only ONE point off … so somehow it wasn’t as bad if we did nothing as bad as if we made the wrong decision.
Well we can’t think that is the way God works
We can’t think that we would somehow be not so bad if we don’t make a choice.
A. Not Choosing is Rejecting
Not making a choice is the same as choosing to reject Christ, the outcome is the same.
Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3 God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
B. We are already Condemned
1. Rejecting or failing to choose, it doesn’t matter because we have already been condemned.
2. We seem to think our destiny is determined by whether we choose to believe or not.
3. Remember that would be “coherent truth” we talked about that last week. The PHILOSOPHY of Coherent truth says that Truth is based on what you believe or propose; i.e. that if it lines up with your beliefs it is true or false. That is as if believing you can fly will negate gravity. Well you can believe you can fly all you want but if you step off you’ll find out you can’t. Why? Because it is correspondent Truth not Coherent. That is the reality that TRUTH must correspond to FACTS.
4. The Fact is you and I are condemned without Christ and our sentence has already been passed down and it is death.
Rom 3:23 says “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”
And Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death …”
So the sentence has been passed …
5. It is not that there IS Gravity and we just need to be careful not to fall off the roof
No, it is that There is Gravity and we have ALREADY fallen off the roof and have decisions to make … and choosing to fall and hit the ground, and NOT choosing to do anything will BOTH end up in you hitting the ground.
In Elijah’s day, the People of Israel had lived in the muddy waters of embracing Baal AND Jehovah. And Elijah gathered the people of Israel and the prophets of the false God Baal on Mt. Carmel. And he said to them “how long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing – 1 Kings 18:21
They stood in their indecision … until Baal proved useless, deaf and dead to his prophet’s cries and Elijah then called Jehovah God and fire Fell Down from Heaven. Oh then in verse 39 says all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘the Lord – He is God! The Lord – He is God!”
C. Well how long will YOU waver between two decisions, Jesus or anything else?
1. Don’t wait for Fire to fall from Heaven again, because then it will be too late.
Pilate didn’t make a choice for himself that day
He tried to put it to put it on the people.
2. But Pilate will stand before God ALONE he will not have Caiaphas, or Annas, Herod, or the Crowd he will stand alone … as will all who have failed to choose.
For there is coming a time, according to Revelation 20:11-15, when a Great White Throne will rise. And it says that the dead, great and small will be standing there. Oh Pilate judged plenty of men in his day, he was a great man, but he will stand alone and without his great robes. He will be judged by what he has done and what he has not done. If his name is not found written in the book of life, he will be cast into a lake of fire.
And Rev. 21:27
Says nothing gets into Heaven, except those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of Life.
So, we already have fallen, the only way to life is through Jesus, who IS life, so what do we do?
1. Revelation 3:20 Jesus said Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
2. Romans 6:23 DOES say “the wages of sin is death” but it ALSO says “the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”
3. John 14:6 - In Jesus Christ we have The Way, the Truth, and The Life
The Way is the way of forgiveness of our sins through embracing Christ as Lord, and the Truth is there is NO other way, and the Life he offers is REAL LIFE and Eternal Life … that is the ONLY way out of Death
Indecision is Impossible
You can’t put it on someone else
You alone are responsible
But CHRIST ALONE is the answer to our dilemma
Joshua was at the end of his life and he had led his people on a campaign of obedience and conquest. God had given them great things. And before he died, he laid the choice out to Israel
4. In Joshua 24:15 he said “if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord
Oh Their forefathers had become impatient and built a golden calf, and then had worshipped their own fears.
The Amorites were the Pagan Canaanites their enemies.
Listen it doesn’t matter whose way you follow, family or foe, if it isn’t the way of Christ, you will not know life
Moses told Israel and I tell you today
Dt. 30:19-20 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. 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life …”
Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and The Life, no one comes to the Father except through me”
Choose his way
Listen to the Truth
And Receive his Life