Choices. Don't we all like to have them? I know I do. Whether its something small, like what to eat, or something big, like where I want to work or live. There are definitely lots of choices to make in life. Some are minor, some are major. Some are right, some are wrong. I want to share about a choice we all have, and some of the rewards and consequences related to the choice we make.
Genesis 2:16-17 says, "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shall not eat there of; for in the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt surely die.'"
Why would God place many trees in the garden and then forbid Adam to eat from one of them? God wanted Adam to make the right choice, but He gave Adam the freedom to choose. Without a choice, Adam would have been no better than a prisoner, forced to obey.
The trees represented an exercise in choice, with rewards for choosing right and sad consequences for choosing wrong. It's the same for us today. Right or wrong; the power of that choice belongs to us and us alone. Neither God, nor anyone else can make the choice for us. When we make the choice, we cannot control what happens after. Once we make the choice, the choice chooses for us.
Ruin, separation from God and death are just some of the consequences for making the wrong choice. We are all born into Adam's family - a line that leads to certain death. We have inherited his guilt, a sin nature, and God's punishment. If we choose wrong, we will remain in ruin, separated from God, and on a path to certain eternal death.
But how can we be guilty for something Adam did thousands of years ago. I doesn't seem fair to be judged because of Adam's sin, yet each of us confirm our own heritage by our sins every day. We have the same sinful nature as Adam, and are prone to rebel against God. When we do that, we make the choice that is worthy of punishment. That may not seem fair, but we are sinners; we don't need fair, we need mercy.
On the converse side are rescue, a relationship with God and eternal life for choosing right. God makes the choosing easy. We make it hard. Romans 5:8 says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. With those words we can see that God made the choice easy for us. Jesus died for us, not because we were good enough, but because He loved us so much. He loved us so much that He died for us even before we could make the right choice. He died for us before we could choose Him. When we make the right choice we can trade the punishment we deserve for forgiveness and eternal life.
There's always a choice, but the key is to make the right one.