Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

06/27/2018

Harold Akridge

 

CHOICES and CONSEQUENCES

 

  Robert Frost wrote in his beautiful poem, “The Road Not Taken,”

 

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made the difference.

 

  In the beginning, God created a perfect world. In His omnipotence, He gave His ultimate creation, man, this perfect world to live in. He named His human creation Adam and Eve, provided them with everything they needed, and promised them they could stay there forever. They only had to follow one command: “And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:16,17).

 

  Adam and Eve’s perfect life included, natural beauty everywhere, a perfect climate where clothes were not necessary, and they had all the food and other necessities to sustain them forever. Then one day a fourth entity entered their garden of perfection, “the serpent.” The serpent, Satan who God also created, brought something new – a CHOICE.

 

  The serpent told Eve, “Did God really say,‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Eve said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.”  The serpent replied to Eve, “You will not certainly die.” “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1-5).

 

  Eve was presented with a simple CHOICE, obey this ONE simple command God gave or choose what the serpent said? Eve’s CHOICE was made, she believed Satan. When presented with the same choice, Adam could have chosen differently, but he didn’t. He also CHOSE to disobey God.

 

  From the beginning God gave man “FREEWILL” allowing him the freedom to make his own choices, but also receive consequences for the wrong choices. The perfect world on earth was destroyed forever because Adam and Eve used their “FREEWILL and made the wrong choice.They accepted what Satan said, “if you eat of this fruit you will be like God!” Their decision was simple - choose to obey God or accept Satan. We can envision a man with both hands extended out in front of him palms up, in his left palm is God and his right palm is Satan. He stands weighing each hand, up and down. Which do I choose? He might be saying “eenie, meanie, meinee-moe,” or Mickey Mouse - Mickey Mouse, how many nails did it take to build your house?”

 

  By this one CHOICE, resulting in the decision to follow Satan, Adam and Eve received their CONSEQUENCE. God promised them life forever if they obeyed Him or death if they didn’t.  A very simple CHOICE - believe God or Satan. By their free will they chose to disobey God and believe that He wouldn’t punish them.

 

  One CHOICE, one DECISION, one CONSEQUENCE. Adam and Eve’s CHOICE and DECISION not only impacted them but all of mankind forever. God our creator, had no CHOICE but to do what He said He would do if they disobeyed. He evicted them from the garden and the ultimate consequence was that man was contaminated forever by sin. Sin entered the world because of this one CHOICE Adam and Eve made.

 

  Through the history and narrative of creation, man has many questions: Since Adam and Eve were the first they had no examples to know their consequences? Were they innocent victims of Satan? Did they really mean to challenge and break God’s commandment? Since they were like babies, why didn’t God just overlook this one infraction? God made man in His image, why did He give him freewill? Why would God punish man, His ultimate creation?

 

To be continued – Consequences For Our Choices

 

  "Father, I have made many bad choices in my life. My decisions have been no different than Adam and Eve. I have allowed Satan to influence me in one simple, effortless way – I have chosen not to ask Your help first. I have decided that I can make both small and large choices without Your help. This is Satan’s trap for me, to think I don’t need Your help. I pray that through the Holy Spirit You will give me the strength to come to You first for every choice, small or large. I ask this prayer in Jesus name. Amen

 

—Harold Akridge

    Bella Vista Church of Christ