When I was sixteen, I got my driver’s license. In our family, once you turned sixteen, you were required to get a job and our parents provided each of us with a car. You were responsible for your clothing, gasoline, fun and ‘wants’ from that day forward. That isn’t to say my parents quit providing for us. They took care of our needs and wanted us to take responsibility for everything else. They also set forth rules and a curfew that we had to follow to maintain our driving privileges. We were also required to check our oil, radiator, tire pressure and other fluids. My dad wanted no excuses for any car trouble that could be avoided. So, we had a choice of freedom to go where we chose or boredom being trapped at home. No pressure was exerted. The consequences were based on our choices.
Our lives are full of choices that have consequences both good and bad depending on the choice we make. This has been true since the Garden of Eden. After God created man, He created the Garden of Eden and placed man in there to care for it. Genesis 2:8-9 in The Message version of the Bible puts it beautifully; Then God planted a garden in Eden, in the east. He put the Man he had just made in it. God made all kinds of trees grow from the ground, trees beautiful to look at and good to eat. The Tree-of-Life was in the middle of the garden, also the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. God created two special trees. The ONLY tree God told Adam not to eat from was the Tree-of-the-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. The result of eating from that tree was death. However, he could partake of the fruit from the Tree – of – Life or any other tree in the garden. How awesome is that? Enjoy fruit from the Tree – of – Life or any other tree in the garden except for the one and live OR eat from that one and only Tree- of- the -Knowledge – of – Good – and – Evil and die. Seems like a “no-brainer” choice, doesn’t it? Sadly, Adam made the wrong choice, even though he knew the consequences.
God loved man so much that He created a special place for him to live and commune with Him. He didn’t force man to live there, and he didn’t have a lot of rules that man had to follow or remember. There was only one choice to make – not to eat the forbidden fruit. God gave Adam many choices of things to eat not just the fruit from the tree of life. In doing that, GOD gave Adam every opportunity He could to NOT make the wrong decision. God wanted Adam to choose Him willingly.
Even today God gives us the choice between life (communing with Him in a special place) and death (separation from God forever). We can either have faith in God the Father and believe in Jesus Christ His Son and be filled with His Holy Spirit or we can go our own way and do what we want and worship who/what we please and choose death. He does not impose His will on us or make us jump through hoops. It’s all about faith. For those who seek Him, He gives every opportunity to find Him, just as He gave Adam every opportunity not to eat from that forbidden tree.
God has laid out His simple rules for the road and given us the keys to the car of life so we can drive it on our own terms. God will give us every opportunity to choose to do the right things and make that life or death decision. When we are finished driving that car and turn in the keys, we have either followed His rules or not. That choice has consequences that we will face. What choice will you make? Will you choose life or death?
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:16-18 NIV