Choose Life!

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
It was near the close of a long and tiring day. We had been visiting among Indians at a reserve in the north, and had spoken to all who would listen about the love and grace of God in offering a full and free salvation to any sinner who turned to God for mercy.
Many had listened. Some were already saved, having heard the gospel before and having placed their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. For such, their eternity was blessedly settled. Others we had visited had accepted gospel tracts and calendars and laminated gospel and picture texts, which they hung on the walls in their otherwise dingy rooms.
We found very few men and boys. Most were away fighting forest fires which were blazing out of control in regions to the north. A group of men would be flown by the government to the site of the fires, and after ten days of fighting the fires they would be flown back and another group would take their place.
We left this reserve in the afternoon to pay a visit to a campground some distance away. This little settlement consisted of Christian families. When we arrived in other years they would quickly gather, men and women, boys and girls, with their Bibles at a large table at one end of the camp. A fire was always burning there, over which hung kettles of stew, meat and coffee. What a happy experience to enjoy the love and hospitality of children of God in a place like this! This is truly Christianity!
Only, this time, all was different. The camp seemed to be deserted. However, on a closer look we found three young men in one of the houses, singing a gospel song. On the table was an open Bible. They were cooking on a wood stove three rabbits which had been caught in snares that morning.
When we asked where the others were, they told us they had just returned from ten days of fire fighting, and sent the women and children to the nearest town to spend their checks on clothing and staples. (Such would not have been the case before Jesus Christ came into their lives!)
We were offered a cup of hot coffee, and then spent a happy hour talking about the Word of God, but it was too late in the day for us to wait for the return of the others. As we left we thought of the marvelous change in that group as a result of salvation. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:1717Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17).
As we returned to our rented cabin, we drove through the reserve where we had spent most of the day. The men of that place had just returned. They too had been paid. Some of the checks were as large as $1,500, which is a great sum of money in that part of the country. But Satan was in command there, and his evil work was already visible.
We stopped at a home where the wife and mother was a Christian, although her husband was not. That house was now filled with intoxicated people, not only men, but even boys and girls. Shouting and swearing could be heard for some distance away.
Rock music was blasting out of the windows. All was in disorder. Alcohol and drugs were taking their toll.
As we sat there in our car, hardly believing the change that had taken place in such a short time, the front door flew open and a young man, about nineteen, came staggering out into the front yard and toward our car. His eyes were red and blurred, his hair badly mussed. He was wearing a new T-shirt, no doubt a gift from his Christian mother, for on that shirt in large letters was this:
God says
"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...and... live!
"But if thine heart.turn away, so that thou wilt not hear... I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish."
All in that house had heard, but most had turned their hearts away and would not hear with an ear of faith. Except they believe God and accept His offer of a free salvation, they "shall surely perish."
And God is saying to you today: CHOOSE LIFE, and LIVE!