FOUNDATIONS: The Great Divide of the End Times is Coming. Choose God. Joshua 8:26 – Once

FOUNDATIONS: The Great Divide of the End Times is Coming. Choose God. Joshua 8:26

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Hello and welcome to Foundations where with each video I’ll go through one memory verse from the Bible that you can learn which teaches key foundational principles about God. Strategically memorizing one or two Scriptures each week that teach foundation principles is a great way to develop a solid understanding of God and to keep yourself centered in His Word.

Today’s foundation verse is one that has great relevance for us as we are about to enter the end time tribulation. It’s Joshua 24:15:

“Choose you this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15 KJV)

We are about to enter the most monumental time of testing in human history: the period of time referred to in the Bible as The Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation will be the last 3 1/2 years of the final 7 year tribulation period that ends with the return of Christ. During this Great Tribulation, approximately half of the world’s population will die from wars, plagues, starvations, persecutions, evils and judgments. It will be God’s last attempt to convince people to turn to Him before final judgment comes, after which it will be too late to turn to Him.

Some would say, “How can a loving God allow half the world to be killed?” But the truth is that a perfectly loving God cannot allow mankind to go on forever, practicing sin, including murders, immorality and all kinds of evil. A truly loving God will bring that to an end, and so He will. There is going to be an end to wickedness and a final judgment will happen, after which God will implement perfect righteousness.

Because of all the evil in this world, God could summarily judge and destroy this world in a millisecond. But in His mercy, He will allow mankind to see just how bad it can get without Him, without His blessings and protections, all in an effort to get those who will turn to Him to do so before it’s too late. It will be God saying, “Do you really want to go in that direction? Turn to Me, before you destroy yourself.”

It is a serious thing to say no to God. And to put a decision about God off is the same as saying no.

So what does all this have to do with this verse from Joshua? Simply this: the people in Joshua’s day were entering a time of testing like never before. We learn from the very next book in the Bible, the book of Judges, that most of them fell away and failed the test. They weren’t prepared to truly commit to God.

It’s easy to say you believe in God when it doesn’t cost you anything. But what about when it could cost you everything? Will you stand or fall? In the Great Tribulation that is almost upon us, the book of Revelation says that it will get so bad that people will not be able to buy or sell anything unless they forsake God, pledge allegiance to the Anti-Christ and take his mark. People will not be able to buy food for their children unless then turn away from God. Most will fall away and fail the test. What about you?

So what can we learn from this verse in Joshua about standing firm for God? In this verse, I see 4 foundation principles.

First, there’s a deliberate choice to be made and that choice is about a person. Notice in reference to the choice that this verse uses the word “whom.” Our choice is about a person. It’s not a choice to be good or bad. It comes down to a choice about a Person, Jesus.

Second, there are only two choices. When things are going easy, we tend to think of God as being in one corner of our world and then there’s Satan and whatever is evil in this world off in another corner and we’re somewhere in the middle. Many of us live in that middle ground where we sort of believe but don’t really commit to one position or another. But what this coming time of testing will reveal is that there is no middle ground. There is no third choice of living in the middle. You are either for God in the Person of Jesus Christ, or you are against Him and, instead, are serving Satan, who temporarily rules this world. There is no middle ground. So we have to choose: which person will we follow and serve? And to not choose, to instead put if off, is itself a choice against God.

Third, your choice about God will affect everyone around you. Notice that it says “for me and my house.” If we stand for God, it’s contagious to those around us. Likewise, if we don’t stand for God but choose to live in sin, that too is contagious to those around us, including possibly missed opportunities to lead family members to salvation. The choice you make about God will have a ripple affect on everyone around you. That’s why God often told His prophets that if they chose not to speak out, He would hold them responsible for the other person.

Fourth, the choice about God is a daily act. It says to choose today, not put it off till tomorrow or some future day. How do you prepare for this Great Tribulation that’s coming so that you will stand and not fall when a choice for God may cost you everything? You prepare by getting into the habit of choosing God every day so that it becomes part of your identity. Choose every day to serve God, not putting it off till next week or when it gets really bad. Choose today to live for God. 

The Great Tribulation will bring about a great divide that will separate those that are truly His from those who are just pretending, those who aren’t really serious about being holy for God, those who aren’t willing to sacrifice. 

It’s easy to believe when it doesn’t cost you anything. But a great divide is coming where faith in Christ may soon cost you everything: your job, your home, your finances, the ability to buy food, your health, your life, your family’s lives. You are not going to have some miraculous burst of faith to enable you to stand in that time of testing unless you have built that faith up.

Paul told Timothy to “fan the flame” of his faith. Great faith doesn’t start off as a great fire but as a small flame that has to be cared for and built up. To have great faith that will enable you to stand requires a daily habit of choosing God instead of everything else, of being in His Word and communing with Him in prayer. Begin each day by choosing God the very first thing when you get up in the morning. If you have sin in your life, put an end to it today. Don’t be one of those who will be ashamed at His coming. Instead, make a fresh start with God and choose Him this day. Ask Him to strengthen you so you will stand and not fall.

Begin now, today, to walk in holiness before God, to choose Him in the Person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the “Whom” in this verse that you are to choose. And then choose Him every day after. Choose to walk in holiness before Him, to honor Him, so that when this day of testing comes you can stand and not fall. If you have been living in that middle ground, walking the fence between this world and God and not really taking God seriously, know that, just like in Joshua’s day, there really isn’t a middle ground. You are either for God and living for Him or you are against Him. What will it be? Will you be able to stand? Perhaps you need to choose God for the very first time or rededicate yourself to God. If you do, that choice is a simple as ABC.

Just between you and God in prayer:

ADMIT to God that you have sinned and fallen short of His holiness.

BELIEVE that God loves you so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus, to die on a cross in your place to pay for your sin and that Jesus rose from the dead to show you the eternal life, a much better life, that He offers you.

And then CALL. Call upon the Lord to save you and strengthen you, trusting in Him to forgive you and abundantly pardon you. If you do, you will find compassion, forgiveness and a love from God that never fades away. More than that, God’s Holy Spirit will come to live inside you, enabling you to do what you could never to before, which is turn from sin and have a changed life. Those who place their faith in Jesus will inherit eternal life and a secure foundation for a better future, one far beyond anything you can imagine. 

I encourage you to make a choice for God today and make it habit every day forward to choose God in the Person of Jesus Christ. Memorize this foundation verse to lock it into your soul. And then day by day, build yourself a foundation in God that will be there to sustain you through the great divide that’s coming.  

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