The Tragedy of Wrong Choices
The Lord our God have given us the right to make choices. He did not make us robots or programmed us to just do specific commands. The events that happen in our lives are the results of bad choices. An unwed lady who got pregnant chose to abort her baby and the consequence is she lived a lifetime of regret.
Since none of us have the ability to know the future, many of our choices are made on the ‘best information at hand’. Investments, career choices, family decisions, and many other important choices are made without any assurances of the outcome. There are no guarantees on most of our choices. We use the best information available and make our decisions.
Someone said, ‘There are no sure things that we can count on’. But that really isn’t true. We can count on God and His Word never to fail! Someone else said, ‘God said it, I believe it, and that settles it!’ But in reality, when God says it, it is settled; whether we believe it or not!
This morning we will look at four individuals in the Scripture who made tragic choices. We can learn from others’ mistakes. We don’t have to experience all the heartaches and miseries in this world. We can learn from seeing how bad choices affected others, and if we learn well enough, we can avoid those tragic mistakes.
I. The Rich young Ruler’s choice. Mt. 19:16-26
A. Earthly Riches over Heavenly Riches.
1. He was a nice decent man
2. He made an effort to come to Christ
3. This in itself is commendable; having a desire to make the right choice isn’t enough.
B. The Result of his tragic mistake:
1. “He went away sorrowful:”
2. For him the price was too great.
3. But, Jesus said, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (16:26).
4. He turned away from Christ, thus choosing riches and sin.
5. We have no record of him ever coming again to Christ.
II. Choice at the Trial of Christ. (Mt.27:16-22).
A. People’s tragic Choice
1. It was customary for the governor to release one prisoner of the Jews’ choice on each feast day.
2. They had their minds made because of the religious leader’s instigation.
3. They chose life for Barabbas, and death for Jesus. (v. 20).
4. This was not a rational group of people, this was an angry mob.
B. Pilate’s Tragic Choice
1. He knew that Jesus was innocent.
2. His wife advised him not pass judgment on Jesus.
3. He knows the wrong motives of Jesus’ accusers, but still he chose to “play safe”.
4. Going along with the crowd “playing safe” seem to be a good choice, but the results are tragic.
5. What stands between you and Christ today?
III. Felix Makes a Bad Choice: Twice! (Acts 24:22-27).
A. Paul had been arrested for proclaiming the Gospel message.
1. He was brought before Felix.
2. Felix initially put off listening to Paul until he had heard from some others concerning the charges.
B. Felix and his wife later decided to listen to what Paul had to say.
1. He was moved by the power of the Gospel; he “trembled and answered, go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee”.
2. He chose to put off his decision for a more convenient time.
3. As far as we know, that time never came.
4. The Scriptures tells us to call upon the Lord now, not to wait.
IV. Agrippa was Almost Persuaded to make the Right Choice. (Acts 26:22-30)
A. As Paul was waiting for a hearing before Caesar, he had opportunity to speak to King Agrippa.
1. He also was moved by the Gospel message presented by the apostle.
2. Like all of us, he was faced with making a decision.
3. He almost made the right choice but failed.
B. Festus tried to influence his decision by mocking Paul and the gospel message.
1. Paul refused to become side-tracked.
2. He continued his witness before King Agrippa.
3. Once again it came time for a decision to be made, and the king said, “Almost persuaded”.
4. But, almost will not prevail!
5. As far as we know this was his final decision.
6. You will make your last decision someday by merely failing to accept Christ.
Each of these individuals made tragic choices which led to tragic consequences for them all.
What will be your decision today? To those who have never been born again, will you accept Christ today? Or will you choose this temporal world rather than choosing eternity in Heaven. Will you accept Christ today, or will you choose to continue in sin? Will you accept Christ today or will you deceive yourself into thinking that there will be a better time? Will you accept Christ today or will you say “Almost”!
We make life changing choices every day of our lives. This morning you will make a choice that will determine where you will spend eternity. Trust Jesus Christ today!
To the Christian, what will your choice be? Will you choose to follow Him in discipleship, or choose to go your own way? Choices we make them by saying yes, be saying no, and by doing nothing! What will you do today?
Preached: 12 January 2014