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Tuesday, October 22 2019 @ 01:24 AM CDT

Following Through on the Commitment to Serve God

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Radio transcript for the week of August 27, 2017

John Allan speaks on "Following Through on the Commitment to Serve God" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio.

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Deciding to serve the Lord is an important decision. It was a decision Joshua wanted Israel to make (Joshua 24:15), but one they had to make for themselves.

We've talked about serving the Lord in previous editions of this radio program. Today we'll finish our look at Joshua 24 by noticing that the decision to serve the Lord is one that requires our following through.

Choosing to serve the Lord should be a permanent choice. (Joshua 24:20-21)
Joshua warned Israel that they would be punished if they turned back. The New Testament has many warnings against turning back (sometimes called "backsliding.")

  • In 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul explained that he disciplined his body to keep himself from becoming disqualified.
  • In 2 Corinthians 13:5 Paul warned Christians - and reminds us - to examine themselves to see whether they were in the faith.
  • 2 Peter 2:20 uses vivid imagery to show the ugliness of going back into the pollution of sin.

Every Christian is tempted. Sometimes they even yield to temptation. But there's a difference between that and abandoning your decision to serve God so that you can go back to serving sin. The Bible is clear that if we're going to choose the Lord we should do so with the intention of following through and being faithful to the Lord for our entire lives (consider Revelation 2:10).

Choosing to serve the Lord should be a personal choice.
As we've previously mentioned, deciding to serve the Lord is a decision we must make for ourselves. I can't choose for you. You can't choose for me.

Joshua wanted the people to choose the Lord, but they had to make that decision on their own. It was their responsibility! In Joshua 24:15 he said "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve"

In Joshua 24:22, after the people had insisted they would serve the Lord, he told them "...You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the LORD for yourselves, to serve Him..."

For their part, the people told Joshua "The LORD our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!" (see Joshua 24:24) and it appears from Scripture that those people did what they said they would. Joshua 24:31 says "Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had known all the works of the LORD which He had done for Israel." (NKJV)

Your decision to serve the Lord - or not - is your own. Nobody else can make it for you, and you cannot blame anybody one way or the other.

Our hope is that you will choose the Lord and be faithful to him unto death (Revelation 21:8). We want your decision to be personal; not one that you were forced or pressured to make. We also want your decision to be permanent. God has made it possible for people who obeyed the Gospel but then strayed to return to Him by repenting of their sins and asking God for forgiveness (see Acts 8:22). But this isn't a license to sin. We don't obey the Gospel with the mindset that we'll keep right on living the same sinful way we did before (consider Romans 6:1). We will face challenges and temptations, but we walk through life with true determination to serve God and be faithful.

If we can help you obey the Gospel, please let us know.

What does the Bible say about salvation?

  • All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
  • The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
  • But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).
  • Not everyone will go to Heaven (Matthew 7:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
  • Only those who obey God will go to Heaven (Matthew 7:21).
  • Obedience means believing that Jesus is the Son of God (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6).
  • Repenting of sins (a change of life) (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30).
  • Confessing your faith in Jesus (Romans 10:9-10).
  • Being baptized for the remission (forgiveness) of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:20-21).
  • Live as a faithful Christian until death (Titus 2:12; Revelation 2:10).

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