Pastoral Letter 09 Jan 2022
My dear readers,
“Choice - Seems Right vs. Always Right!”
Proverbs 16:25: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
A person’s life is the sum total of all the choices a person makes. Some of these choices are made for us by God, parents and governments. The choices made for us by God include our birth date, who our parents and siblings are, etc. The choices made for us by parents include the food we eat as babies, clothing we wear, schools we attend, etc. The choices made for us by governments include the system of governance, health care, economic directions, etc. Myriads of these choices that impact us are beyond our control.
As we grow older, we begin to make our own choices in life such as the course of studies, where to work, who our friends and spouses are, etc. Of all these choices, there is none more impactful and significant than the one we make in relation to God. Some regard themselves as atheists or agnostics. These unfounded notions are in reality revelations of the pride and arrogance of man and his blindness. Others worship the god of their own choosing and making. These choices made by man reveal his sinful state, although he is made in the image of God. The images of the living God that man made are basically of himself, and they are all bound by space and time. To him, this is right, just like all the choices he makes in his life.
But the problem does not stop at his mere making of his idols. His life is now lived after the idols that he makes. The fruits of idolatry are stated by God in Romans 1:28-32: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” One step toward idolatry results in a life of sin, evil and wickedness. This has been man’s way since the beginning of the fall.
The “way” (i.e. the course of life, albeit a well-trodden road) in Proverbs 16:25 is the way that many have travelled. As long as it seems right to them, they do not care one whit. They keep on walking like a blind man walking toward a precipice despite all the shouting telling him to stop immediately. He will not listen. The reason is that this path is right in front of his face. The fact that the majority of the world is walking toward the precipice does not help him to stop. His grandparents and parents have walked it and it adds to his reluctance to stop. It causes him to reject all other ways as he trusts them and has a strong desire to join them at the end. These are real and very compelling reasons that have caused tens of millions to die in their sin and to land themselves for ever in hell, a place of great torment and pain and without end.
Why are the ways of man wrong even though they seem right?
The reason is that man is finite. He is a natural man bound by space and time, and he has limited knowledge. This means that he understands only the things of nature, eg: gravity, how materials like bricks, mortar, steel, cement, etc work. This natural knowledge enables him to build tall buildings, cities, machineries, airplanes, submarines, space ships, supersonic jet planes, all sorts of electronic gadgets to transform his life and to extend it. The problem with man is that he thinks that his “conquests” of nature allows him to delve and penetrate into the spiritual. He knows that there is life after death because the image of God is still in him, even though it is badly marred by his sin. Therefore, he foolishly makes God into his own image. He caricatures for himself what he thinks heaven ought to look like, including the way and access to this heaven of his making!
He will know that they are the “ways of death” (Prov 16:25)!
He will know that because when he dies, he will be in hell, the place where all who die in sins reside! The problem is that it will be too late. There will be no escape. There is a great chasm between hell and heaven that can never be bridged. Luke 16:24-26: “And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.”
The word “gulf” literally means “chasm.” Once a person finds himself in hell, he will forever be separated from God. He will be in great pain and punishment because he died in his sin. He walked in the way that seemed right to him when he was alive, not realizing that it was the way of sin. The way that seems right to man cannot be right because it comes from a heart and a natural mind that is finite and limited to the knowledge of nature and corrupted by sin.
Do not wait to find out whether a way that seems right to man is the way to travel, for it is the way of death even though many are travelling on it. Looking at the majority is not the way to determine if the way is right or wrong. God’s Word is the right way, and all who walk along the way of God in Christ is walking in the right way. It is the way that is always right, for God is always right. Jesus reveals this truth to man in John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” If we say we are Christians, then let it be confirmed and evidenced by the way we walk. If it is the way of man and seems right to you, then it is probably one of the ways of death that you are traversing. The one who is in Christ knows for a certainty that he is walking in the way of God, which is always right before God.
John 8:12: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Yours faithfully in the Saviour’s Service,
Rev Dr Quek Suan Yew