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Why Will Ye Die?

“And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.”

(Jeremiah 21:8-9)

God spoke the words above to the Jewish people when the city of Jerusalem was surrounded by the Babylonians, whom God had brought to fight against the Jewish people because of their sin against him. They were a religious people whose heart was not right with God. God gave them two choices:

1. Continue to be religious and disobedient (in which case they would die).

2. Surrender to God’s judgment upon them (in which case they would live).

Each one of these people had a choice to make. The tragic truth is that most chose death. This was not God’s will for them, for God wants all to live.

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:”

(Deuteronomy 30:19)

For a moment, let’s look way back to a time when there was no death. It is difficult for most people to imagine that there was such a time, but there was. It was the time when Adam and Eve were the only people on earth. There was no death at all in their world, only life. But God had warned Adam that death would come in the day that he disobeyed him.

“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 shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

(Genesis 2:16-17)

We all know what happened. Eve and Adam chose death. The result was the greatest tragedy in history:

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

(Romans 5:12)

This death ultimately results in a final, eternal death:

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

(Revelation 21:8)

You see, death is the result of man’s sin. This is not God’s choice for man.

“Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

(Ezekiel 33:11)

God asks this same question of us today: “Why will ye die?” As in the days when God sent judgment upon the people of Jerusalem because of their sin, God’s judgment is upon all men in this world because of their sin. And as God gave the people of Jerusalem a choice, so we have a choice today.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

(Romans 6:23)

“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”

(Romans 5:18)

All are under the judgment of God due to sin, but because Jesus Christ took upon himself God’s judgment for sin, he has the right to offer eternal life to us.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

(II Corinthians 5:21)

This righteousness unto life is a gift...a free gift.

A gift must be received in order to be of any benefit.

That is the choice before us.

Please choose life.

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