Think of your favorite food here for a moment and then consider that food that you detest, the one you have tasted and is repulsive to you. It is quite easy to see which one you will choose if you have a choice, is it not?
“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1st Cor. 9:27)
In this life all men have free will, the opportunity to be whatever they want to be, to choose the life that is most pleasurable to them, and most choose poorly. A drug addict, an alcoholic, one who, as we would call them, is confused about their sexual identity, the chairman of a large corporation, and sadly some who stand behind the pulpit, each of them, all of us have free will to choose. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
Every choice that we make, if it is outside of the will of God, is a choice that is detrimental to us, those who choose any other path than a life that glorifies the Living God, who chooses to deny that the only way to eternal life is through grace by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will reap eternal damnation. This is the limit of our free will, there is where free will ends.
All of life, all of the pleasures of this world, every possible thing that it offers, the fulfillment of every desire of self is available to all who seek them and can be obtained if effort is enacted. But only for a few short decades.
The Lord does not always place your favorite food on the plate He sets before you, many times it is that which your flesh detests, many times it is not the path that you would have chosen for yourself. Love, love for the One who bore our sins for us, who shed His blood for us is the reason we accept willingly, of our own free will whatever path He has set before us. Love accepts every offering from the Lord with joy.
“Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11)
God offers the cup of love with promised persecutions; Satan offers the world and all that is in it. Most succumb to that temptation; few despise it as vile to their tastebuds.
“And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.” (Rev. 10:9)
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalm 34:8)
Persecutions, reviling, mocking and expulsions from those in the world, because we have chosen, and continue to choose of our own free will not to live in Vanity Fair. But we who have been crucified with Christ at times still choose poorly.
“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:19)
Forgiveness is offered and received, for He remembers that we are but dust, He was tempted as we are, yet without sin. He understands, but we must understand as well, that every sin that we commit, every choice that we make, we make of our own free will, and each of those choices we will give an account for.
The punishment for the wicked is eternal separation from the love of God, the punishment of the Lord towards those who love Him yet go astray can only be removed by a broken and contrite heart. When we fall away from our Savior, when we willingly enter into those pleasures of the season of sin, we know a loss that the wicked cannot comprehend, there is a taste in our mouths most foul, for we have chosen for a time the way of the world and the flesh.
The most delectable feast awaits us at the marriage supper, until then, accept what the Lord offers.