Greetings and good morning brothers and sisters This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series
where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years,
the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them
with you. This morning we seek to understand the meaning of the final decision.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Final Decision
"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead,
and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." John, Chapter 11, Verses 25 and 26.
Brothers and sisters, we know that the mandate to become one with the Father eternally is not given
until the human self has made a final decision. This decision is an eternal decision, for once it is
made, it is final and no amount of time or traversal of space can undo this decision. Whether this
decision is for survival or for self destruction, it is final in all of its ramifications.
As you might surmise, such a decision is never made until the self has had time to think of all the
ramifications of it. There must simply be informed consent before such a decision is acknowledged
as final. This final decision is not emotional, nor is it intellectual. It is spiritual. But even though
there must be this process of informed consent, a final decision can be made. We know that we have
the power to decline survival while living the initial life in the flesh. And we also know that we have
the power to choose eternal survival while still living in the flesh, as demonstrated by those souls
who were translated.
The process of making a material decision is fairly straightforward. Some material decisions are final
in the sense that the consequence of the decision cannot be undone, and this is what we mean by a
final decision. It is a decision of such nature that the consequences of it cannot be undone. A material
decision can be made without thinking about the ramification of the decisions, and some material
decisions have no apparent consequences at all. Let us look at one such material example. We know
that women are very concerned with the way they look. They want to look their best, and lots of
efforts go into making sure that they appear the best that they can. Let take the case of choosing a
dress for an evening out.
The process of choosing this dress is subject to such influences as how the woman is feeling
emotionally. She will want to select a dress that agrees with her emotional state. If she is single and
available, she will want to make sure that the dress emphasizes her most prominent physical assets.
She will want her physical assets to appeal to the kind of person she is trying to attract. Now it is also
true that this dress may attract men who may be interested in her but she has no interest in them. A
wide fishing net is thrown, so that a suitable selection can be chosen from. Great care goes into the
make-up that she applies; when she is satisfied that all this preparation is the best that she can do,
she makes the decision to wear this particular dress.
Now when we analyze this process, we find that the person has brought to bear not only her past
experience with such matters but also her future projections. She is looking ahead to anticipate the
effect that this particular dress will have on her goal. Thus we see that the past, present and future
are considered in this final choice. Not until these processes are integrated can an informed final
decision be made. The decision to wear the dress can be made without going through this reflective
process of course, but it can hardly be considered an informed consent. An informed consent can
only be had after the past, present, and future are correlated. And when such a one makes a decision
with informed consent, there is no regretting the decision.
Another example is a person who is considering having a surgical procedure. Here we can gain
greater insight into an informed consent decision because of the irreversible nature and consequences
of the surgical procedure. Getting dressed to go out on an evening and choosing the right dress--
thinking or not--may not having any lasting consequences upon the individual, but undergoing a
major surgical procedure that might end in one's death does. The person who is contemplating having
a surgical procedure most certainly tries to understand what the past results of such a procedure have
been and what the future prospects are of surgery. In other words, will this surgery enhance his life
or detract from it? Sometimes this information is not available to the satisfaction of the person
seeking it, but the wise person certainly seeks information to the fullest extent possible. It is not
unusual for a person to seek a second or even third opinion before feeling that he has have enough
information to make a decision.
In the moral arena, we have a similar process taking place. Moral decisions are real even though they
may not be discerned by the physical senses. They are discerned by the moral sense, that aspect of
the human self that knows right from wrong, that aspect that allows a human to recognize his duty
and empower him to choose it. The ability to discern moral reality is the one thing that makes us
truly human and lays the foundation for our spiritual development. Moral decisions are always
reflective. It requires some thought to discern one's moral responsibility in moral situations. Moral
responsibility grows out the relationship that we have to one another, the way we are linked together.
This linking together carries a responsibility of each of the linked parties. When making a moral
choice, we find again the process of evaluating our past experience with the particular issue at hand
and also projecting the effect that such a decision will have on the future character of the individual.
Once this process is completed, an informed moral and final decision is made. The consequence of
making a moral decision is irreversible as concerns that particular moral reality.
Either we choose to obey our duty or we do not. If we choose it, than a certain decision is made,
followed by an irreversible act. If we do not choose it, this is an irreversible decision as well. But the
consequences of not choosing moral decisions--unlike the consequences of not choosing a material
decision--carry huge consequences. We not only demonstrate our character but also grow the same
character. When we choose a moral decision, our character becomes stronger and stronger. When
we fail to choose a moral decision, we weaken our moral character, becoming less reliable and
dependable. But there is another reason for making moral decisions: each time we do so we allow
and make it possible for the divine spirit to further invade our souls. The more our souls are invaded,
the more possible it is for us to make final spiritual decisions.
Now in making the final spiritual decision, the decision to be one with our divine spirit, the decision
to abide by the Father's will, we must also have informed consent. But unlike the material decision
which has only temporal significance and is made on behalf of a part of the self, or like the moral
decision that is made from obligation, the spiritual decision must be made on behalf of the whole
self, and the only decision that commands the loyalty of the whole self is the decision made by and
with faith. The final spiritual decision is a faith decision.
We must be aware of all the ramifications of choosing an eternal decision, for this choice by a
temporal creature makes him eternal, and all eternal decisions are irreversible. The forward thrust
of eternity does not allow for mistakes. The decisions of eternity are always true, beautiful and good
and therefore are never reversible. In making this eternal decision, the soul must have informed
consent. But how does the soul accomplish this?
Jesus says, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, and
whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." By believing Jesus wholeheartedly, thus
submitting to the Father's will, we become identified with the Father's spirit, so closely identified that
we become one with it. Our will becomes one with the Father's will. "Such a consecration of will
is tantamount to the realization of eternity-reality of purpose. This means that our purpose has
become fixed with regard to the succession of moments; stated otherwise, that the succession of
moments will witness no change in our purpose. A million or a billion moments makes no
difference. Number has ceased to have meaning with regard to our purpose. Thus does creature
choice plus God's choice eventuate in the eternal realities of the never-ending union of the spirit of
God and the nature of man in the everlasting service of the children of God and of their Paradise
Father." But how do we identify with the divine spirit?
Earlier in the discussion, we alluded to the invasion of the divine spirit made possible by moral
decisions. At some point, a sufficient amount of moral decisions are made to allow the divine spirit
to totally invade and infuse the mortal soul. At such a time the soul becomes saturated with love, and
we know the divine spirit works through love. At this point, the divine spirit is able to function
through the soul without restriction. This is the betrothal of the soul with the spirit. The soul has
been able to make an informed decision, a final decision, because it has become infiltrated with
divine love. Since divine love is eternal, the soul is able to look back, and as it looks back, it cannot
see a time or instance when it would not like to be infiltrated by this divine love. As it looks to the
future, it cannot see a time or instance when it would not like to have this divine love infiltrating his
soul. Having reckoned with the eternal past and the eternal future, the soul makes an eternal decision
to eternally abide by the Father's will. This decision is irreversible; the soul has become lost in the
Father's love and has no desire to ever find its way out. So united are they in oneness that the soul
cannot tell where it begins or ends or where the Father begins and ends. It has made the final
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the final decision. We hope you
find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.