"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision."(Joel 3:14)
From the beginning, God gave mankind the freedom to choose. Throughout recorded history, only a small percentage of people have chosen Him. As God Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, He could have made robots, programmed to worship and serve Him. Instead, He chose to make humans and give them the choice to love Him or not. At least once in history only one believed in God. Thankfully, Noah chose to obey God to the exclusion of all else. Although God's instructions and Noah's task now seem unlikely and mythical, Noah's crucial choices saved humanity and the Christ line. Everyone else in Noah's time paid the consequences for their unbelief.
At numerous defining moments, God has presented His people with choices. At the end of Moses' life, he addressed the generation of Israelites who would enter the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua. Moses' powerful and prophetic discourse culminates with a challenge. "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil." (Deuteronomy 30:15) He exhorts them to love God and to walk in His ways, and not allow their hearts to turn away to the point of worshipping other gods. Moses gives them a clue as to what to decide on in verse 19: "Therefore choose life."
Similarly, at the end of Joshua's life, he also confronted the Israelites, "Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:14, 15)
Under the evil reign of King Ahab, the people of God were led into idolatry. It had not rained for three years, and there was a terrible famine in the land. Tensions were high, and Ahab blamed God's prophet, Elijah, for all the trouble. Elijah arranged for a gathering of King Ahab, many of the people of Israel, 450 of the prophets of Baal, and 400 other false prophets. It was a standoff to end all standoffs. The drama is recorded in 1 Kings in chapter 18. Elijah, with extraordinary courage spoke to all the people, and said, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." At first, the people were completely silent. But after the fire of God fell and consumed the entire sacrifice, and the wood, rocks and dust around the alter, the people "fell on their faces; and they said, "The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!" Good choice.
The Lord desires total commitment. Nowhere is this more is bluntly expressed than by Jesus Christ Himself, in Revelation chapter 3:15 and 16. "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth." Jesus taught in Matthew 7:13 and 14, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." There is a choice to make, and there is no fence-sitting in the Kingdom of God. It's all or nothing. "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62)
In the epistle written by James, the person who wavers in faith is compared to a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. Another no-nonsense statement is made. "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." (James 1:8 KJV) James does not let up, but later states that "Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." (James 4:4 NIV) Likewise, 1 John 2:15 says, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
There is no place for compromising, no middle road, and there is no fence to sit on. The gate is narrow and the way can be difficult. Be hot or cold, a friend or an enemy. Love the world or love God. Serve the Lord. Choose life!