Here’s a question for you: Can you be a Christian and an atheist at the same time?
I think you would probably say. NO WAY—those two things are opposites.
But how about this: Can you say, “I believe in the one true God. I trust in His Son, Jesus, as my Lord and Savior” and yet live your life like God does not exist? Well…that happens all the time.
Not too long ago, the Senior Pastor of the church where I also pastored called me into his office to share with me a negative AND anonymous letter he had gotten. (You gotta love negative letters written by someone who won’t sign a name to it.)
Anyway, one of the things this letter said was that the pastor's previous sermon from 1 Kings 18 was a bit offensive because it felt like a challenge to this person’s faith. Yet, in 1 Kings 18, that was the prophet Elijah’s whole point!
In that chapter, the old prophet was telling the people of Israel to quit wavering between two things—God and idols. In no uncertain terms, he noted that it was time to choose. Follow God or don’t. Pick a team and let everyone know what team you are on.
Elijah was just echoing Moses who, in Deut. 30:19,20, said "Today I give you a choice between life and death, blessings and curses…oh that you would choose life that you are your descendants may live."
Moses’ protégé, Joshua, would do the same thing in Joshua 24:14,15, “Choose this day whom you will serve…will it be the gods of the Amorites…or will it be the God or Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As for me and my family…we’re making a clear choice today, we WILL serve the Lord” (emphasis mine).
Jesus, Himself, repeatedly called people to a choice. In Luke 14, as one example, we find the Lord stating, "If you want to be my follower, you must deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow. If you don’t do this you CANNOT be my disciple" (emphasis mine).
There’s the choice again.
Jesus is pretty clear, "You are going to make these choices and show the world that you are mine, or you cannot be mine. You decide."
This is part of the gospel message. There is a choice. There is a challenge. There is a decision to be made.
Interested more in this topic? Check out a great book by Craig Groeschel HERE