The Voice Of One Transcript

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Eternal Life or Death: Which is Your Choice?

A man who was condemned to death by the Courts, was given two options. One was that if he consented to work in the prison workshop while awaiting execution, he would be paid a monthly allowance equal to the salary of the president of the nation until his execution; and the other was that he could be released from prison immediately, although, without any money given to him; provided he promised not to commit any more crimes. For the second option, though, if he was to commit a crime again, he would be returned to prison and the sentence of death effected without delay.

While he thought about the two options, he reasoned that a living dog is better than a dead lion; that is, to be alive, even without wealth, is better than having great wealth and yet be executed afterwards. So, he called for the prison authorities and informed them that he had decided to opt for being released, even without money, and that he would no longer live a life of crime. This he gladly undertook in writing and went his way, determined not to live a life of crime anymore.

This story illustrates the options before every human being on earth. All human beings are, as it were, in a condemned mens prison, here on earth, because all men have sinned and the wages of sin is death. And all men have one of two options: either continue in the prison system of the world, while enjoying yourself, but face eternal condemnation in hell; or come out from sinful living, and live for evermore in the presence of God.

God is the Authority Who has given all men the choice of either remaining in the condemned mens prison while enjoying themselves, or be set free, on the promise that they would no longer live a sinful life. Whichever option we have chosen is clear by the way we live, and will determine how we shall end up after deatheither eternal damnation or eternal life.

Many people live continually in sin, thereby declaring that they prefer to enjoy the pleasures that this world offers and go to hell afterwards. For these people, the pleasures they seek include: wealth (no matter how it is obtained); sex (as much as they can get and with as many people as is possible); power (to be used to further their personal ambitions and pleasure seeking lifestyles), and, a free spirit (to do whatever they like without inhibitions). One thing is clear though, there is always the sentence of eternal damnation hanging over them. Some people have said that they would rather be in hell, because all the fun people will be there, than be in heaven, which is going to be a boring place!

In spite of what men may say, it must be traumatic to know that there is an everlasting death sentence hanging on your head, after the so-called good times have come to an end! If it were possible to ask a condemned man what it means to be awaiting execution; you would be amazed to know that such men are not seeking pleasure, rather, they are more interested in settling accounts, going over the life they have lived, and in many cases are unable to sleep! It is in the face of utter hopelessness that men throw off everything and seek pleasure in spite of a death sentence. Now, imagine what would happen to a condemned man, if somehow he gets a glimmer of hope that his sentence may be overturned, and his life given back to him again?

A story credited to Cicero, and curled from the internet, should help us to understand what we are trying to say here: There once was a king named Dionysius who ruled in Syracuse, the richest city in Sicily in 4th Century B. C. He lived in a fine palace where there were many beautiful and costly things, and he was waited upon by a host of servants who were always ready to do his bidding. Naturally, because Dionysius had so much wealth and power, there were many in Syracuse who envied his good fortune. Damocles, one of Dionysius's best friends, was one of these. He was always saying to him, "How lucky you are! You have everything anyone could wish for. You must be the happiest man in the world."

One day, Dionysius grew tired of hearing such talk. "Come now," he said, "do you really think I'm happier than everyone else?" "But of course you are," Damocles replied. "Look at the great treasures you possess, and the power you hold. You have not a single worry in the world. How could life be any better?" "Perhaps you would like to change places with me," said Dionysius. "Oh, I would never dream of that," said Damocles. "But if I could only have your riches and your pleasures for one day, I should never want any greater happiness." "Very well; trade places with me for just one day, and you shall have them."

And so, the next day, Damocles was led to the palace, and all the servants were instructed to treat him as their master. They dressed him in royal robes, and placed on his head a crown of gold. He sat down at a table in the banquet hall, and rich foods were set before him. Everything that could give him pleasure was provided: there were costly wines, beautiful flowers, rare perfumes, and delightful music. He rested himself among soft cushions, and felt he was the happiest man in the whole wide world. "Ah, this is the life," he sighed to Dionysius, who sat at the other end of the long table. "I've never enjoyed myself so much."

As he raised a cup to his lips, he lifted his eyes toward the ceiling, and stiffened. For, directly above his head hung a sword, held to the ceiling by a single strand of horse hair. Its sharp blade glittered as it pointed right between his eyes. The smile faded from his lips, and his face turned ashy pale. His hands trembled. He wanted no more food, no more wine, and no more music. He only wanted to be out of the palace, far away, he cared not where. He was about to jump up and run, but stopped himself, frightened that any sudden move might snap the thin thread and bring the sword down. So, he sat frozen to his chair.

"What is the matter, my friend?" Dionysius asked. "You seem to have lost your appetite." "That sword! That sword!" whispered Damocles. "Don't you see it?" "Of course I see it," said Dionysius. "I see it every day. It always hangs over my head, and there is always the chance someone or something may cut the slim thread. Perhaps one of my own advisors will grow jealous of my power and try to kill me. Or someone may spread lies about me, to turn people against me. It may be that a neighboring kingdom will send an army to seize this throne. Or I might make an unwise decision that will bring my downfall." "Yes, now I do see," said Damocles. "I see now that I was mistaken, and that you have much to think about besides your riches and fame. Please take your place, and let me go back to my own house."

And as long as he lived, Damocles never again wanted to change places, even for a moment, with the king.

How is it possible to eat and be merry when you know that certain death is upon you? Perhaps, if Damocles did not know about the hanging sword, it would have been easy to eat and be merry. But with the sword hanging over his head, he lost every desire for pleasure. Perhaps, the reason why so many of us are living without a care is because we dont know that there is a sentence of eternal death hanging over us. Well, now you know!

Indeed, the so-called pleasures have negative consequences which many people think can never happen to them, until it actually happens. For instance, most promiscuous people believe that AIDS is a mythuntil it happens to them. The criminal never believes he can ever be caught, until he is caught and the death sentence is pronounced upon him

This does not have to be your lot. You dont have to get to the end of the road, only to regret your refusal to take heed to the several warnings that have come your way in life. God said, The soul that sins, it shall die; but He also gave an offer of salvation: Whosoever believes in My Son, Jesus Christ, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Here, we have the two options: either, live as you like, and go to hell forever, or live as God wants, and live in heaven forever. God does not, and cannot, lie; neither is He joking; nor will He change His mind.

Friend, the offer of salvation is once again being sent your way through this broadcast. I plead with you not to wave it off with the hand; but to take it with both hands. Do away with a life of sin, and God will receive you and give you the promise of eternal life; even if you have been the worst sinner ever.

Let us pray!