TEXT: Eccl. 9 vs 10-12
Every chance in life is an opportunity to choose, but once choice is made, the consequence will automatically follow.
“YOU HAVE ONLY ONE LIFE TO LIVE, BUT IF YOU DO IT RIGHT, ONLY ONE IS ENOUGH”
In other words, every individual has only one chance to live on this planet earth. The bible even confirms this in Heb. 9: 27 that it is appointed unto man to die only once, after this, judgement.
The questions then are:
What is a chance?
What is a choice?
And what does consequence mean.
A chance is an opportuned or favourable time. Or if you like simply call it opportunity (out of many I pick this since I can’t have all).
What is an opportunity? An appropriate or favourable time or occasion for attainment of a goal.
The ultimate goal of every Christian is to make heaven, yes we all pray to be fulfilled and achieve success in life, but the ultimate goal at the end of the day is to make heaven no matter the level of our attainment or how fulfil we are here on earth, it is just but temporary.
King Solomon was the richest person during his own time, yet he has this to say in
Eccl. 2 vs 18-19 (listen to what he said)
“I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned. And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless!” (NLT)
The best the world will give one is 6ft deep, that is all. Even in some country like China, you are not even now entitle to that 6ft, because I read it sometimes ago that they wanted to enact a law that their people should dig grave deep enough so that they can burry more than one person on the same piece of land because they don’t have enough space for every man.
Every man has been given the opportunity to pass through this world once, during which you will decide where to go next whether heaven or hell.
Eccl. 9 vs 10 (international standard version) warns that whatever the activity in which you engage, do it with all your ability, because there is no work, no planning, no learning and no wisdom in the next world where you are going.
Remember the story of the Rich man and Lazarus.
What is choice? We can define a choice as an act or instance of Choosing or making a selection. When it comes to choice, it means one has more than one options (at least 2 options). In Joshua 24 vs 15, Joshua gave a choice to the Israelites to choose who they will serve. Moses also gave them a choice in Deut. 30 vs 19, but he encouraged them to choose life.
Now the most important aspect of the message:
WHAT IS CONSEQUENCE? It simply means the effect, the result or the outcome of a choice. In other words, consequence is what follows the choice when given an opportunity.
Now let us consider the relationship between chances, choices and consequences.
As I have said in the beginning of this message that every chance in life is an opportunity to choose, but once choice is made, the consequence will automatically follow.
Good choice will inevitably, even if there is problem, challenges, setback or obstacle on the way, a good choice will wonderfully attract a good outcome.
A good example is Joseph. He had the opportunity to choose between sleeping with his master’s wife (Mrs Potiphar) and continue to enjoy her delicacy, couple with be in charge in Potiphar house and being thrown into prison. But he chose the latter. We all know the outcome of his choice. He eventually became the prime minister in a foreign land. (May God grant us the courage to make the right choice at every point in time IJN.
When you make the right choice, it does not means that you will be celebrated or promoted immediately, a times in fact, it might leads to persecution, false accusations or imprisonment, but it is just for a while, it is temporary, it is a phase, it will soon phase out, you will ultimately come out triumphantly and be celebrated.
Another example is Daniel. In Daniel 1 vs 8, he chose not to defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat nor with the wine the king’s drink. Daniel eventually became special adviser to the king. He was ten times better than his contemporary.
A bad choice on the other hand, even if there is sudden success will end in disaster.
A destructive means can’t bring out a constructive end (The end always justify the means).
A typical example of somebody who made a bad choice when he had the opportunity to make a good one and repent of his plan was Judas Iscariot. He had the opportunity not to continue his plan to betray Jesus especially when Jesus told his disciples that one of them will betray Him and each one of them was asking Him is it I, is it me, and Jesus was telling them not you until it got to Judas, when Judas asked is it me, Jesus replied him you said so, that should be enough for him to repent and desist from the plan, but he still went ahead and betrayed Jesus. The rest is history.
Another example of a person who had opportunity to repent, but refused was Saul. Each time Saul was accused of wrong doing, his excuse was always the people pushed me to do it.
Listen to him in 1 Samuel 13 vs 9-12“And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. And Samuel said, what hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.”
Those who had opportunity to choose rightly, but chose wrongly, self-destroy themselves (that will not be your portion IJN). For every choice a man makes, reward will follow the consequence. As a man of God said not too long ago that for everything we do in life there is a reward.
Another way I will like to say this is that every choice a man makes in life will have a consequence which is the reward.
For instance, unfaithfulness to marriage vow is a choice which will ultimately attract consequence, if not immediately, then definitely later.
Some out of many consequences are broken home/marriage, deadly disease which may lead to untimely death.
Decision to remember your creator in the days of your youth or not to remember Him is a choice. But remember there is a consequence and most of time the consequence may be irreversible.
Like the case of Esau in Heb 12 vs 16-17 “Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears”.
Whenever you have opportunity to make a choice, please quickly consider the immediate , short and long term effects of the choice you are about to make.
Thank God for our Sunday school lessons, we have been studying the events that will take place after rapture;
THE GREAT TRIBULATION
A THOUSAND YEARS REIGHN OF CHRIST
THE CRUCIAL JUDGEMENTS
REWARD FOR THE FAITHFUL SARVANTS
ETERNAL LIFE AND PUNISHMENT
It is now we have the opportunity to make a choice whether to take them serious and do the needful or brush it aside and say that is what they have been saying and we have been hearing for the past 2000yrs. But when it eventually happens, it will be too late.
Rom 13 vs 11 “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”
Finally brothers and sisters, even if you don’t go home today, please go home with these 4 facts about life;
1. In life (in this world) you can’t have everything, therefore what is left for everyone is a choice (in economics, human wants are insatiable, there is something they call scale of preference, opportunity cost, alternative forgone, etc.). Your choice will be made based on your scale of preference. Whether to follow God and do what will make Him happen with you or do otherwise.
2. He who chooses the beginning of a road chooses where it leads to, except you reverse, turn back or leave the road. But as long as you continue on the road, it will lead you to where it ends.
Prov. 14 vs 12
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is the ways of death.” (You will not walk on the way that leads to destruction IJN).
3. When you have to make a choice, and you don’t make it, that in itself is a choice, because the decision you don’t take will overtake you. (In God’s dictionary there is nothing like neutral or indifference, it is either you are hot or cold, it is either you serve God or mammon, a servant can’t serve two masters.
4. Every time there is a choice, an opportunity presents itself to make choice.
Again Prov. 14 vs 12“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
1. Father, please do not give what I want, but what you know is suitable for my destiny.
2. Father, please help me to be wise enough to make the right choice whenever the opportunity comes.
3. Father, please help me, throughout the journey of life, let me run the race to the end successfully.