Life is filled with questions. As a teenager you might have asked the question, “Should I go to college or go straight into the workforce after high school?” As a young married couple the question could arise, “shall my wife (or I – if a woman) stay at home with my children or work to help provide a more stable income for the family economy?” As a weary college football fan, “Should I still pull for the University of Georgia and have my heart torn out each year when they will inevitably make a foolish mistake and loose the championship?” No doubt, some questions are more important than others. Some will have greater consequences than others. Some will provide a higher risk than others. In all questions, as a Christian, we should seek wisdom and find our answers from the Scriptures and the godly council of others. However, among all the questions that we face in life, I believe that there are three that stand above them all. I believe how you answer these 3 questions will determine not just the joy that you have in life, but the eternity in which you will spend it. Let’s take a look at these questions.
- What Shall I do with Jesus?
This is by far the most important question that everyone must answer in life. Your eternity hinges on how you answer this question. In Matthew 16 Jesus asks a similar question when He asks the disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” The disciples then explain, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” These were honorable answers. These were all godly men. But, the problem with their answers is that they were all wrong. They had mistaken Jesus as a good man instead of the GOD-man. There is an eternal and astronomical difference here. He is God in the flesh, not just flesh who was godly. Then Jesus turns to them and asks the more personal question, “But who do you say that I am?” It is there where Peter gives the great confession that Jesus was indeed the long awaited Messiah. Peter, as the representative of the disciples, got it right.
What you do with Jesus will determine every other thing about you and your life. When it comes to the judgment day, God will not grade on a curve. The question is a one question test. It is pass or fail. It will not be good enough to say simply that Jesus was a good man. No, He must be acknowledged as sovereign Lord. This is evidenced by personal faith and repentance that produces spiritual fruit in one’s life.
What shall I do with Jesus? All other questions pale in comparison to this one. Whether you are a 12 year old who has grown up in church, or a tribesman in Africa, the question demands an answer. This is why it is at the top of the list.
- Who shall I marry?
The Proverbs are filled with exhortation about choosing a spouse wisely (Proverbs 5:15, 12:4, 21:9, 27:15). One of my favorites comes from Proverbs 31:10 which says, “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” Here we are reminded that the value of a godly wife is of eminent value. Husbands are instructed to “love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” This means a good and godly husband is to love absolutely, and lead sacrificially, just as Jesus did. When you get married, you are committing to love this person, and live with this person until “death do us part.” This is part of our vows. You are meant to complement each other. The Lord has created you both uniquely for these roles. However, if you choose your spouse in an unwise manner, it can make for a not so joyous life.
Scripture is clear on the matter. The Proverbs talk about the quarrelsome woman that is in the home as a constant frustration, like a leaky roof that does not stop dripping (Proverbs 19:13; cf. 25:51). In fact, it says that it would be better to live in the desert or on the corner of a roof than to share a home with a woman of such character (Proverbs 21:9, 19; 25:24). Ungodly men are no better. We see the outcome of these types of men displayed in the husbandry of the likes of Achan (Joshua 7), Nabal (I Samuel 25), and Ahab (II Kings 9-10). Husbands are to love their wives and be the spiritual leaders of their homes. Wives are to submit to, respect, and be a helping compliment to their husband. If you choose poorly and without biblical wisdom there is still no out for you when things get hard. Unless there is a divorceable offense, (which there are only two) you are in it for life. This is why getting the answer to this question right on the front end makes life much more joyful and livable. When both parties go into the marriage with God as the anchor, and scripture as their guide, the answer becomes all the more clear. For it would be better to remain single, than to marry an unbeliever or to marry someone that is not a good fit. 50 or 60 years is a long time to be married. It would be wise to get this one right.
3. Where will I attend church?
You may think that this is an odd question to be on the list of the top 3 most important questions that you will ever answer, but it is here for a reason. Living in the Southeastern part of the United States, it seems like there is a church on every coroner. Many falsely believe that most all churches are the same. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a reason there are so many denominations. There is a reason that some families are willing to drive an hour, and past 30 churches, to get to one good solid church. Not all churches preach the same gospel, or teach about the same Jesus. The fact is, there is only one Gospel, and only one Jesus that is recorded in Holy Scripture. You wouldn’t just allow any mechanic to work on your car. You wouldn’t just let any surgeon to do a life threatening surgery on you. No, you would want them to be been trained, and know what they are doing. With this being true, how much more important is choosing a church when it is such a major part of your spiritual life?
It is in the church where you exalt the Lord, receive exposition, get equipped, are edified, exhorted, encouraged, and your family is evangelized. Just because a church has a beautiful building, a big children’s program, or a hip pastor is no reason to choose to covenant with them in membership. You want a church that is going to preach and teach the Word faithfully . . .a church that takes the great commission seriously . . . a church that is orthodox in its theology . . . which believes in (and practices) the sufficiency of Scripture. The sad truth is, there are many churches that are very attractive, yet not very substantive. There are some who have their orthodoxy right, but their orthopraxy wrong. There are some who love the old reformers, but seem to hate people. Solomon wrote, “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels” (Proverbs 3:10). If you replaced the word “wife” with the words “local church” I believe it would be a fitting proverb as well.
Not all churches are the same. Where you choose to be fed and serve, matters. What doctrine and practice the church has matters. You want to be fed from the Word, not man’s opinions. You want to be equipped biblically in how to live holy, love your spouse, and train your children. You want your children to be grounded in the Scriptures. You want them to be around godly men and women who will provide good and godly examples. The church that you attend has a major role to play in your life. I believe Tim Challies has it right when he says, “The local church exists to glorify God through worshipping him, edifying his people, and evangelizing the world.” If this is the purpose of the church, which it is, then where you choose to covenant yourself and family truly matters. It really, really matters. If you have to drive an hour to get to a good one . . . drive. If you have to take a different job to allow yourself to be involved in one, I would encourage you to sharpen your resume. The church you become a member of will have a major effect on you and your whole family . . . not just now, but for eternity as well.
There they are. In my opinion, these are the three most important questions that you will ever need to answer. Every other question in life can be answered with wisdom and a high degree of confidence if you get these 3 right. With many questions to answer in life, I hope you will put great a priority on these 3 if you haven’t already. It will be well worth the investment.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Adam B. Burrell