Right now, while you are reading this article, the entire world is embroiled in a tremendous and unique war. Two powerful, competing armies are warring over the most precious commodity ever created. Like all wars, in the simplest of terms, it is a war of good against evil. In some places, the war is extremely violent, resulting in bloodshed, torture and unspeakable atrocities being committed against human beings. Amazingly, in other places it progresses almost unnoticed. The commodity being fought over in this war isn’t crude oil, precious mineral resources, water or land. It is a war for the souls of every living man, woman and child on this planet.
It is a war of liberation and the evil army has already laid claim to the entire world’s population. They were able to accomplish this astonishing feat by enlisting the aid of a treasonous man named Adam who, along with his wife Eve, aligned themselves with the evil army. They then handed over every human being that would ever be born to the enemy – with the exception of one man. He was born without sin, being conceived by the Holy Spirit. The evil army has never had a claim on His life and, because of that, there is good news and hope for all those that are held captive. The army on the side of righteousness and good, led by this man, Jesus Christ, is valiantly warring to permanently free those held captive, releasing them by the thousands from the enemy prisons. Still, it is a horrible war, with many casualties. Some, who were just moments away from having their souls released from the enemy’s prisons, lost their physical lives, dooming them to an eternity of captivity, torture and punishment. They may have been just moments away from hearing that message of freedom, or they may have heard the message and foolishly delayed choosing to be freed. For them, there is no second chance. Their souls are now lost forever to the evil enemy.
You probably haven’t envisioned the spiritual battle for souls as it has been written here and you may never have considered the scripture in this light; but the condemned and lost people of the world are indeed in captivity, waiting to be freed. Luke 4:18 says: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. Second Corinthians 1:9-10 states: “But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.”
John 3:16-17 conveys to us the simple but supernatural message that sets the captives free. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
God’s plan for salvation is mercy, or undeserved forgiveness. It is available to anyone who will accept God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Once this message has been heard and understood by the captives, they can choose to accept the truth and obtain freedom from their condemnation and sentence of death or, if they choose not to choose this life, by default they choose to remain under that condemnation and the pre-existing sentence of death. Right now, every unsaved man, woman and child over the age of accountability, who has heard the gospel message, faces this simple decision. Will they choose life, or will they choose “not to choose”, and die? God’s word says (God speaking), “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deu. 30:19) And again, in another passage, we read God saying, “For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” (Ezekiel 18:32)
An important but often overlooked demonstration of man’s freedom not to choose is clearly shown in the picture of Christ’s crucifixion on Golgotha. Two thieves were hung on crosses alongside Jesus, one at His left hand and the other at His right. Pay careful attention to the fact that, just like you and I are under condemnation and the sentence of death, these men had also been convicted of their crimes and had been sentenced to death. Neither of the thieves was on neutral ground where they had the option of choosing life or death — that decision had already been made for them. This principle is shown in John 3:18 which says “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Understanding that his physical life was going to end very soon, and that his soul was also in jeopardy, he simply asked Jesus to remember Him. Luke 23:42 states: “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” With a simple statement, this man chose life in Christ and his soul was instantly freed from the grasp of the enemy. The death sentence that had been spoken over his soul was commuted while the other man’s was not. By not choosing life, the other thief made a conscious decision not to accept God’s offer of salvation: it was a decision against the Lord, against eternal life. Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me. (Luke 11:23a)
If you are not born again — that is, if you have not already committed your life to Christ, as Jesus said each man must if he is to see heaven (John 3:3) — you must also make your own personal decision. Just like the two thieves, you have already been sentenced to both physical and spiritual death. Your physical death could be years away or it could be today — in the next moment. You have no way of knowing! If you are not trusting in Christ when you die physically, your soul will be given to the enemy for eternity. It is an irreversible decision.
If you are a born-again believer, you are already enlisted in the army of righteousness and good. You are commissioned to go forth and preach the Gospel message so that the other prisoners can be freed just as you were. If you are not, and you are still one of the prisoners under the sentence of death, you can choose life right now! If you believe what you have read, and you want to choose eternal life rather than an eternity in judgment and torment, simply pray this prayer out loud. It doesn’t matter how wicked you think you are, what you have done in the past, or where you are right now, God still loves you and He wants to save you.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 says: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
Please Pray this prayer:
Heavenly Father – I know that I am a sinner and I’m sorry. Please forgive me and let the precious blood of Jesus, that was shed for me, cover my sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected to sit at your right hand. I know that you poured out your wrath on Jesus, instead of me, and I ask you now to speak to my heart and to change my life. I ask you to make me a new creature and to make me one of your children. Jesus, I give myself to you. In your precious and Holy name I pray – Amen.