Jack Price - Milltown, WA - August, 2003

"The Law doesn't make someone good. The Law is like a mirror, it reveals our sin." Fifty-seven years ago I stood for the first time on this platform. I understand this is a different platform now because many years have passed and a new platform was built. The going hasn't been smooth, there have been some rough spots and I imagine I will have a few more rough spots along the way. But I am thankful for God's keeping power, and I hope you believe that God can also keep you.

There are just two possibilities for our lives. Either our lives can end as a "warning" or our lives can end as an "example."

How do we start? We start with a choice. We can't finish right unless we start right. Joshua 24:14, "Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." The verses we read say, "Serve him in sincerity." It is not enough to serve the Lord in sincerity. We must have truth.

Let's say we were out here driving the freeway to Vancouver but we headed toward Seattle. We went the wrong direction but we sincerely believed that we were heading toward Vancouver. We were sincerely wrong. That is the way it works with the gospel. If we don't have truth, we will never arrive at the right destination. "As for me." This suggests it is an individual matter. No one can choose for us.

The next part of the verse says "my house" and that speaks of influence. Our choices can influence other lives in our house for good. My parents heard the gospel in 1918 and I was part of that house. Our lives changed, our house changed and our family changed. We need to make a definite choice. Some of you would remember Harold Stewart. He would often speak about the crossroads but he would use the term-the "Y" in the road. Two different choices: either we go to the left or the right and there are consequences from our choices.

There were two sisters whom we knew and they had a special dog. The time came when these sisters plan to go their separate ways. What were they going to do with the dog? Which sister would get the dog? They decided they would go out to the "Y" in the road, and one sister would go to the left and the other sister would go to the right. Whomever the dog followed - that is who would get the dog. And, sure enough, the dog followed the one sister and she took the dog.

We know we can't serve two masters. We can't live for the world and serve God at the same time. There needs to be a choice. I was thinking about Pilate's choice. When I was in Rome I took the same stairway that Jesus took when He was led to the judgment hall when Governor Pilate presided. Pilate visited with Jesus and he inquired of Jesus, "What is Truth?" He listened to Jesus and he admitted He was innocent, but he turned to the multitude that day and inquired of them, "What shall I do with Jesus?" We all will have to answer that question sooner or later. Even Pilate's wife interceded and told him that she had a dream and she told Pilate, "Have nothing to do with this just man." Pilate took some soap and washed his hands but he couldn't wash away the guilt of rejection, Matthew 27:24. Even if you took all the oceans in the world, you still couldn't wash away the guilt of the rejected Christ.

Pilate made a choice that day. He ordered that Jesus should receive 39 stripes save one. That whip was the kind of a whip that would take the flesh right off. The crowd cried, "Crucify him, Crucify him." Pilate made a choice and chose to take a pathway that brought condemnation. He was in a bind because of his political position, and his pride wouldn't bow. He was more taken up with opinion and he missed it.

We know a certain mother who was dying of cancer where we have been laboring. Her husband wasn't a believer just then. They had two children and she begged her husband to take their children to meetings after she was gone. She tucked her children in bed one night, and then she stepped outside for some fresh air. She heard one of her children singing to himself, "I've a friend who meets my every need." Since then her husband committed his life to God, and at our recent conventions we saw that little boy make his choice also.

Many years ago we knew a young teenage girl who came to our meetings. Her parents didn't come to those meetings. That teenage girl was really moved by those meetings. One night there was a 'dance' the same evening as our gospel meetings. Her parents told her she had to go to that dance. She left her home that evening and she didn't know what to do, because she wanted to go to our meetings. There was a "Y" in the road. But she didn't want to disobey her parents either so she went to the dance. It was warm in the building where the dance was held, and she got overheated and she went outside in the cool air and she came down with pneumonia. Those unsaved anxious parents called us with the news of their daughter. They told us she was dying. She was heard crying, "I'm dying and I'm not saved."  Parents, we would like to remind you that you are responsible for your children.

We knew a young man by the name of Russell. He was seventeen years of age. He came to our gospel meetings and he was close to the door of the kingdom. We visited with him about making his choice, and he informed us that he wanted to wait for at least another year because he wanted to have some more fun. Not long after that visit we read in the newspaper where he was killed in a car accident. He was gone by the time the ambulance got him to the hospital. It was very sad. We don't know how much time we have left, and we need to make the right choices. I just came from a field where a young girl, age 17, lost her life while tubing down a river. But we are so thankful that she knew the peace of God.

Life is like a thin thread. It was a wake up call for all of us. One time I was driving along about 70 mph and suddenly a truck that was coming down the highway was coming right at me. The driver of the truck fell asleep. In a split second, I was able to turn my car and avoid a collision, and the driver awoke in time to avoid going into the ditch. It was like the man of God said, "There is but one step between life and death." We better start making the best out of the life that we have left. We don't know how many more years we have left.

We think of Moses making his choice. At 40 years of age he chose to leave Egypt. He spent 40 years in Egypt and then it took another 30 years to get Egypt out of Moses, and then he spent another 40 years leading the children of Israel out of Egypt. Moses chose five things:

1.. He refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter

2.. By faith he chose to forsake Egypt

3.. By faith he chose the riches of Christ over the treasures of Egypt

4.. By faith he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible and

5.. He finished faithfully

In Matthew 17, Moses appeared with Jesus in the promise land. This is the kind of faith we need to choose Christ and finish well. (Third Party Story # 4:) I know the Jewish twin sisters who are in the work. In fact, I was in their home in Zimbabwe. They made a definite choice. The maid who cared for the girls took them to meetings and convention and God put a love in their hearts for His servants and His people. Their father was a very wealthy man and he died unexpectedly. He left his wealth to his two daughters, but the stipulation in the will said they had to renounce their faith first. The Lawyer taking care of the estate begged them to renounce their faith and the judge pleaded with them to renounce their faith for just a few minutes until papers were signed. Those two sisters refused and they were denied their inheritance. God became their inheritance. Is that the kind of choice you would make? They made wise choices because they had the root of the matter in their hearts.

In the book of Ruth we read about her and her sister, Orpha. They both came to the crossroads. It was either Moab or Bethlehem. Ruth chose to go on and Orpha chose to turn back. Orpha chose to leave her future behind and Ruth chose to leave her past behind. These are the two choices before us tonight. Which one will it be? Will we leave our future and go back to the old life, or will we leave our past behind and let God choose our future? The first chapter we read about Ruth as the disciple. In the second chapter we read about Ruth, the servant. In chapter three we read about Ruth as the friend, and in chapter four we read about Ruth as the bride. She chose redemption through her bridegroom, Boaz, and her choice brought blessing. There are seven steps in this story.

1.) Entreat me not to leave thee. She was humbly pleading with Naomi. She had sincerity and she had truth.

2.) Or return from following thee. She refused to turn back to Moab or the world.

3.) Whither thou goest, I will go. A beautiful attitude. You know God isn't interested in our I.Q. but he is interested in our "I will."

4) Where thou lodgest, I will lodge. In other words, she had the matter settled.

5) Thy people shall be my people. One man we knew always made the statement, "I want to be with these people."

6) Thy God shall be my God. She was under conviction.

7) Where thou diest, I will die. That is total resignation.

When Jack Carroll was with us, he encouraged those standing to make their choice to say two things when they surrendered their hearts. Christ for me and Christ for me forever. It was like adding a little salt to their sacrifice. Can we say that tonight?

I had a struggle when I professed. I was only 12 but I knew that this was a double choice. I knew that it meant the harvest field, too. I thought there needed to be more homes for the workers but that reasoning didn't work. I waited until the last minute and I rose to my feet and uttered those words. I meant those words and it was a choice that I made forever. After the meeting a lady came up to me and told me, "You will never be sorry." I appreciated that and I've always remembered it and you won't be sorry either.

Hymn #159