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Salvation – Plain and Simple 

A great eastern philosopher once said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” Eastern meaning eastern New York, and it was the Yankee philosopher named Yogi Berra. He had lots of them. “It gets late early out here;” “When you come to a fork in the road, take it;” “You can observe a lot by watching.” Yogi-isms are humorous on the surface, but they’re supposed to make you think. Which is what the bible purposes to do from Genesis to Revelation.  In 1 Kings 18:21 (KJV), Elijah came unto the people and asked “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him: but if Baal, follow him.”  Essentially, how long will you have a divided heart toward God and the things of God? In the time of Elijah, God’s people had developed this strange worship of the pagan god Baal, mixed with their offering of worship to the true God. God warned his people through his prophet Elijah that what they were offering as worship was an abomination to the true Living God, and the people wouldn’t listen. So God’s people (Israel), suffered under judgment. Their crops failed, their cattle and horses died of hunger and thirst, water was scarce and if you could find some it was worth a fortune.Worst of all, the Word of God was absent! Yet despite all the suffering—hot, dirty and irritated—the people would not repent and turn from their wickedness.  When Moses brought the 10 commandments to the people, their response was, “All the words which the Lord hath said, we will do!” (Exodus 24:3 KJV)  Again, when Joshua brought God’s word to the people, the response was, “God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods!” (Joshua 24:16 KJV)  But when Elijah asked, “How long will you falter between two opinions?” the people answered him not a word. All that could be heard was the sound of silence. God’s people, his chosen people, teetering back and forth in their relationship with God, like some hideous religious dance.  Still today some jump from one god to another, and then another, sometimes leaning toward the One True God of Israel, and then tipping back the other way. That’s what it means to have a divided heart (straddling the fence).  Old Elijah is telling us if the Lord is God then follow him with all your heart, but if you choose to serve other gods (i.e. worldliness, immorality, greed, pride, etc), then serve them with all your heart, but you can’t serve both. The divided heart tries to hold on in part to what the scriptures command while keeping a foot in the world.David wrote in Psalm 86:11 (NIV), “Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”The question for us today is not “How were you raised?” or “What traditions have you received?” or but rather “What do you believe?” Is the Lord of the bible truly God, then love him and receive his plan of salvation for you today. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

Pastor Dick Nichols

Cedar Creek Community Church

2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta

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