Text: Phil. 1:21-26
Title: "What Shall You Choose”
Subj: Every decision is a vote for something

Intro:  I have been asked by the school administration to speak to you on the importance of voting.  As you know, the presidential elections are coming up in Nov.  There are at least 6 parties putting forth nominees, but the two main ones are the Republicrats represented by Bush, and the Demopubs represented by Gore.  As you know, in our democracy, we have the freedom to vote for the candidates of the power broker's choice.  Once the two candidates are chosen, the news media makes sure we do not stray from the two party system!  This was not what the founders of our country intended, but this is what we have come to 200 years later!  And so your vote is important.  Not as important as you have been led to believe, but important nonetheless! 

The reason, you see, is that the vote you register in the voting booth has consequences way beyond the election of a president or representative.  The policies that they bring into law will affect this country, and yourselves for the rest of your lives.  We are still living under the socialism put into place by Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930's.  70 years later it still infects your freedoms and your wallets!  It does matter how you vote!!

Now, how many of you are planning to vote in this year's elections?

You are right, you are not of sufficient age to vote in the upcoming election.  But that does not mean that you do not choose, or vote, everyday of your lives.  In fact, the votes you cast in every day life are going to color everything else you do.  Every moment of every day you vote by your actions for one of the two candidates that are always running--the Lord Jesus Christ, and/or Satan.  Every decision that you make shows your allegiance to the policies set forth by Christ or the policies set forth by Satan.  Every choice that you make shows you to be either a citizen of Heaven or an inhabitant of this earth.  And these decisions will not only affect others around you, but will follow you the whole of your life.  It does matter how you vote!!

Jesus Christ allowed the apostle Paul to see and experience this idea of daily voting, only in a slightly different context.  You see, Paul was already committed to serving Jesus Christ.  And, in fact, Paul is imprisoned for his obedience to Christ.  Though Satan tried to work his wiles upon Paul, and was able to buffet Paul, Paul never knowing voted for Satan.  He never knowingly chose Satan's program over God's program.  I wonder if you have made that determination today?  Never to knowingly vote for Satan, but to always vote for the Lord Jesus Christ and His platform.

Phil. 1:21-26 -- "What Shall You Choose?" --prayer

A. Life is Summed Up in Christ
1. Your life will be summed up according to your obedience to Christ
a. By friends at your passing, by Christ at bema seat
2. Paul's was to find in Christ, life's inspiration, its aim, and its end! 
3. Christ's choice was to live in and through Paul.  Yet there is always a limitation when in the flesh
4. Satan's choice is for you to say, "For me to live is self."

(How are you going to vote, which will you choose?)

B. Death is Swallowed Up In Christ (v21b)
1. Paul's choice was to live in Christ and to die in Christ
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1
a. For the Christian, death is gain or profit for it removes the limitations of the flesh, removes the stain of sin, and transports us into the very presence of Christ
2. Satan's choice is for you to live your life as if death is nothing to worry about, or that it is simply the end of your existence

 (How are you going to vote, which will you choose?)

A. The Present Condition
1. We live in the flesh, and in this world's system
a. Christ's choice for you is that though you are in the world, the world is not in you
b. Satan's choice for you is not just to live in the flesh, but to live fleshly and be full of this world
2. Yet Christ lives through us so that our living on earth produces the fruit of our labor for Christ
a. Fruit is always the end result of labor.  It is the reward for staying focused and faithful to Christ
b. For the Christian, fruit is always spiritual and not material
1) Christ's choice is that you abound in every good work
2) Satan's choice if for you to devote your life to amassing this world's goods
3. A Christian's life is lived in the providence and protection of God
a. "I wot not" = I do not make my desires known
1) Christ's choice is that you trust God for your needs
2) Satan's choice is for you to live under the providence of luck and chance--the lottery lifestyle

(How are you going to vote, which will you choose?)

B. The Choices (v23-24)
1. The true Christian life leaves us in a strait, or hemmed in on both sides, with both sides exerting equal pressure
2. We are left with two choices
a. To depart or to stay

Note:  Isn't it interesting that the Christian life does not give us three choices?  1) To depart,  2) to stay, and 3) to serve Satan!  No where in the Bible are we taught that we have the option of serving Satan.  Yet many Christians do just that when they live in disobedience to Christ.

2. The first choice is a desire to depart and be with Christ
a. Which choice is far better (than the other choice)  (Just because something is better does not mean it is the best for you)
b. Satan's choice causes us to be earthly minded  and unwilling to depart and leave our possessions
3. The second choice is to abide (be actively busy) in this world
a. It is better for you to go, but it is best for others that you stay
b. Satan's choice causes us to abandon Christ's life for a more selfish physical life.  Satan's choice is that we not serve others, and in so doing, we are serving him.

(How are you going to vote, which will you choose?)

A. Christ's choice is that you have a life of "confidence" = to be persuaded (v25)
“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day"  2 Tim. 1:12
1. Satan's choice is that you are undecided

B. Christ's Choice is That You Experience A Life of "Knowing" = understanding (v25)
1. This knowledge is gained through the Bible and prayer.
2. Satan's choice is that you are confused & bewildered, therefore he wants to in ignore your Bible and prayer

C. Christ's Choice is That You Have A Life of Abiding and Continuing.
1. A life of activity, action, and eternal worth!
2. Satan's choice is that you squander your life on worthless goals and meaningless pursuits

D. Christ's Choice is That You Have A Life Dedicated to Others and Christ ("with you"; "for you")  (v26) 
1. For others "furtherance" = progress, advancement
2. For others "joy" (gladness) of faith.  A life of seeing others progress spiritually, and find inner joy in their faith in Christ
3. Satan's choice is that you slip backward and lose the joy of your salvation.  That you not be a testimony to others.

Note:  As great as Paul was, he was nothing compared to Jesus Christ!  And as great as Paul was, it was all because of Jesus Christ!  And as great as Paul was his purpose was to glorify Jesus Christ!
(How are you going to vote, which will you choose?)

Concl:  Here are the choices:

1. Will you live up to your privileges in Christ, or will you allow Satan a strong foothold in your life?

2. Will you determine that your life will produce spiritual fruit, or will you allow materialism to be your crop?

3. Will you desire to be with Christ, or will your life be rooted and grounded in this world & life?

4. Will you live a life of confidence in Christ, knowing His plan and purpose, or will you be swept along by the ever changing winds & whims of this world?

5. Will you live your life for others, or will you life your life for self?

(How are you going to vote, which will you choose?)

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