See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. Hebrews 3, verse 12.
We choose to believe. Our choice to follow God is an act of will, of human willpower. We select it. We consciously decide on it. We act in ways that we believe are faithful to Him and this choice we’ve made. The longer we choose to live like this, the more we see that this choice isn’t about us: it’s about how God Himself chose us and lives for us. He chose us when He didn’t have to, and He chose us because eternity – being a part of forever with Him – matters more than anything else here on the Third Rock from the Sun.
You can choose today to not have a sinful, unbelieving heart. It’s one of the reasons why I keep arguing with my atheist friend. Faith is an active, living thing that we choose to feed. Atheists can choose to believe in Jesus. Skeptics can choose to allow His reasoning to penetrate their intellect. Agnostics can choose to turn from the no man’s land of ignoring pure evidence of Jesus. And those of us who live in hurt can choose to live in peace, choosing to put off the hurt and guilt and shame and the past and live now in each moment, thankful and glad for what Jesus does in us now.
Or we can choose to not do this. We have free will. Each of us has the free will to freely choose whatever spiritual belief we want. That includes rejecting Jesus Christ, rejecting all that He offers through His free salvation. You’re free to choose to believe or not believe whatever faith you want, especially if you live in the West. I understand the physical and political ramifications of going against ISIS, militant Islam, and the peer pressure of keeping mum when other faiths dominate the local culture; that’s all valid. Yet the fact still remains, people are free to believe in Jesus or not to.
And when we turn away from Jesus, when we reject Him, we have sinful, unbelieving hearts. That turning away, that choosing not to be a follower of Jesus, is a conscious choice that becomes an attitude of the heart. In the aspect of choosing to do it or not do it, dis-believing in Jesus is as much a conscious choice as deciding on a menu item at a restaurant or deciding whether or not to ‘do the deed’ with that hot married person you see every day at work. We choose those things. We have other choices available, other paths we can take, but even if those other choices are difficult or objectionable, we always have the choice of whether or not to choose sin.
Per the verses, not choosing Jesus is a sin. In fact, it’s the original sin. It’s the same thing that Adam and Eve chose before they ate that forbidden fruit. They chose something other than God to put first in their hearts. When we choose to not believe in Jesus, we’re doing the same thing. It’s wrong. It’s a sin. Just two verses before these, the author implores us to follow God because the consequences of not doing so are dire. Here, he reiterates that, reminding us that not only are we morally bankrupt if we reject God, but that it’s a sin, a behavior accountable to God if we choose to disbelieve.
Choose wisely, my friend. And choose not because of fear, or because of angst, compulsion or pressure. Instead, choose Jesus because He has proven Himself trustworthy and true throughout the Gospels. He proves Himself God over and over through His revelations and the nature He created. He proves Himself worthy of your choice because He is all love; what is the opposite of that? And, Jesus proves Himself to be the only logical choice because, to paraphrase CS Lewis, He’s either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord. But most of all, choose Jesus because He chose YOU to live, love, die and live again for.
For more reading: Matthew 16:16.
Lord Jesus, I choose You and You alone.