Genesis 2:15-17 (NLT)15 The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.16 But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden--17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”
Death in this context is not only physical death but eternal separation from God.
Because of Adam’s disobedience all of mankind was cursed with his punishment.
Romans 5:12 (NLT)12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.
Romans 3:23 (NLT) For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
But because God loves mankind so much He put a plan in motion to save us from eternal punishment. That plan was for His Son Jesus to suffer the punishment for sin for all mankind.
Jesus allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross and while hanging there, He took upon Himself all of our sins.
Romans 4:20-25 (NLT)20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God. This is a free gift that God gave us, but it is a gift that we must choose to accept. It comes down to whether we choose Heaven or we choose hell.(Bold mine)
Romans 6:23 (NLT)23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
If you don’t believe in Christ the Bible says that you have been judged already.
John 3:16-18 (NLT)16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.
One day, we don’t know when, there will be a day of judgement and those who have believed in and trusted Christ will be with Him in heaven and those who choose not to believe will be sent away, and the place where they will be sent is hell. The choice is theirs.
God gives every person the right to choose or reject the gift of life through Jesus Christ. Those who choose will spend eternity in heaven and those who reject Christ have already been told what awaits them in hell.
We make many choices every day. We choose whether to obey or not obey our parents as children. We choose the college we want to attend. We choose our friends. We choose our spouses. We choose what car to buy, what to eat, and on and on. For some of the choices we think long and hard and even pray. For others we give little thought but there is one choice that everybody must make and that is whether to accept or reject Christ. That choice that we all must make is one that will affect us forever, even after death.
C. S. Lewis wrote in “The Great Divorce” “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done."
It’s Your Choice!
God Doesn't Force Us; He Gives Us a Choice
By Rick Warren
“Today I am giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster. I am commanding you to be loyal to the Lord, to live the way he has told you, and to obey his laws and teachings. You are about to cross the Jordan River and take the land that he is giving you. If you obey him, you will live and become successful and powerful” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16 CEV).
A lot of people have a big misunderstanding about God. They know God planned their existence and has a purpose for their lives. But they have the wrong idea that every detail of life is preplanned. They think they have no choice.
In fact, the Bible teaches the exact opposite. Yes, God has a plan and a purpose for your life, but it’s not automatic. You can miss it.
That’s because God won’t force you to enjoy the plan he has for you. He gives you the choice to accept or reject his salvation. He gives you the choice to obey or disobey his directions. He gives you the choice to follow or ignore the purpose for which you were created. Far too many people miss the purpose of their life because of their poor choices.
The Bible says repeatedly that God will not force you to do his will.
When Moses led the Jews out of Egypt and into the desert after 400 years of slavery, he told them about a land of milk and honey—a land of great, bountiful blessing—that God had promised them. It would be so different from their years of slavery.
But before they went into the Promised Land, God, through Moses, said to the people the same thing he says to you: “Today I am giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster. I am commanding you to be loyal to the Lord, to live the way he has told you, and to obey his laws and teachings. You are about to cross the Jordan River and take the land that he is giving you. If you obey him, you will live and become successful and powerful” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16 CEV).
God was giving them a choice. God wanted his people to enjoy the bounty of the Promised Land. But he didn’t make them accept it. The choice was theirs.
This is a picture of salvation—of coming out of slavery to sin into freedom in Christ. In order to enjoy life in the Promised Land, the Israelites had to choose to obey God. You, too, have to choose whether you’ll accept God’s salvation and the good things he’s planned for you.
God could have made you a puppet, but he didn’t. He gives you the ability to choose. If you choose poorly, that choice is your greatest curse. If you choose wisely, it’s your greatest blessing. Today God gives you a choice between life—choosing salvation and his path—or death. Which path will you choose?