Theology Corner

Addressing commonly asked questions about Christianity from the perspective of a non-theologian

95. IS GOD PLEASED IF WE MAKE A 'DECISION FOR CHRIST'?

In the words of Oswald Chambers:

 

“The phrase we hear so often -- Decide for Christ – is an emphasis on something our Lord never trusted.  He never asks us to decide for Him, but to yield to Him – a very different thing.”

 

To unpack this commentary, consider the Beatitudes (Mat 5:3-10).  They are aimed at unsaved persons long past the age of accountability.  The first three Beatitudes can be expressed as:

 

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

 

and interpreted as:

 

  • On the right track are those who confess their sin nature and behavior and acknowledge that their heart, will and intellect are completely in bondage to sin, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

  • On the right track are those with remorse in their heart because of their own sin, for they will be comforted.

 

  • On the right track are those who submit to the will of God and want God to cleanse them of all sin, for they will inherit the earth.

 

Only by acknowledging the poverty of your own soul can you enter the kingdom of God; those who are baptized with the Holy Spirit have a sense of absolute unworthiness.  You cannot enter God’s kingdom as a good man who puffs out his chest and says, “I have made a decision for Christ over the many options available to me; I am to be admired!”  No one should doubt that within each of us is a monster from the Id feeding on evil from deep within our sin nature and telling us that we are intrinsically more valuable than those around us; surely we would be doing Jesus a favor to choose Him! 

The ultimate food for the monster from the Id is offered by Reformed Theology.  The Calvinist can rejoice as he proclaims, “God chose me, before I was born, to be one of the elect, a joint heir to the Kingdom of Heaven; I am surely among the most favored of all men.”  He can look around at the vast sea of humanity and say, “I am infinitely more valuable than these reprobate scum who God selected for eternal damnation before they were born.  I rejoice that God is glorified by their eternal punishment and by having me occupy my eternal place near the throne of glory.”  With food like Calvinism, the monster from the Id can become a behemoth.