To be or not to be—those are the parameters. Even people who do not know any other Shakespeare quotations probably recognize this contemporary version of “To be, or not to be, that is the question” from Hamlet as he is deciding whether to live or die.
Simple choices are often the easiest to make, and the most profound. They can be evaluated, measured and decided quickly. When we have options galore, we have difficulty making up our minds. When I was a kid growing up in The Salvation Army, we always had a black car since that was the only color permitted. Now deciding the color of the car is as difficult as choosing the car itself.
We make simple choices each day: go or stay, up or down, in or out, yes or no, right or wrong.
There are times when simple either/or choices become more complex. When it comes to the big decisions—life or death, and most important of all, heaven or hell—the rewards or consequences of those choices are staggering. You have to decide one way or the other.
Joshua asked an either/or question of the rebellious, complaining, disobedient people of his day. They had often forgotten the Lord’s provision and blessing while traveling from bondage in Egypt to freedom in their new homeland in Canaan. Joshua assembled the people and challenged them, saying, “Fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness… but if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14-15).
To be or not to be—to be in Christ or not to be in Christ, to be forgiven or not to be forgiven, to serve the Lord or not to serve the Lord—those are the parameters. When it comes to accepting God’s way for your life and your eternal future, it is the most important decision you will ever make.
A. Kenneth Wilson, The War Cry