Everything’s Negotiable, EXCEPT….
It’s hard to imagine a society where negotiations do not exist. As long as the world has been extant, people have negotiated a myriad of things that include birth rights (Gen. 25:27-34), peace treaties, voting rights, job salaries, consumer goods, credit card fees—you name it. We don’t have the space to make an exhaustive list, but believe me, negotiations are embedded in the framework of our society.
“Negotiate“ means to confer with another so as to arrive at the settlement of some matter , or a strategic discussion that resolves an issue in a way that both parties find acceptable . It can also mean to deal or bargain with another or others, as in preparation of a treaty or contract or in preliminaries to a business deal .
There are various types of negotiations that take place on a daily basis around the world—some turn out for the good and some for the ugly. I was talking to a brother in Christ one day, who I consider to be a very good negotiator. While we were talking, he uttered, “Everything’s negotiable except your soul.” I thought, “He is absolutely right!”
In a world where negotiations abound, there are some things that God considers as non-negotiables which have eternal consequences, and our soul is one of them. Dear reader, please notice a few other things that are non-negotiable in the eyes of God.
Everything’s Negotiable, Except the God We Choose to Worship
From the mouth of the God Himself, He said,
“I am the Lord, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;” (Isa. 45:5, eph. added).
He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exo. 3:15; Matt. 22:31-32; Acts 7:32). In truth, the one God of the Bible exists simultaneously in three personalities—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each partaking of the one divine nature .
The God of the Bible is the one that we should worship since there is no other (see Ex. 34:14; 1 Chron. 16:25; Ps. 103:20). There was a time when the Israelites were constantly chastised by God because they wandered off and worshiped false gods (Deut. 29:26; Judges 2:11-19). Jehovah has made it abundantly clear that NO other God exists but Him, and there are consequences for following false Gods. The God we choose to worship is non-negotiable.
But in the day of pluralism and relativism, this is not widely accepted. In fact, Hinduism (i.e., polytheism) says there are multitudes of gods and goddesses. New Ageism says all of its followers ARE gods. And Muslims say that Allah is god but he is unknowable.
Dear reader, the God we must worship has made Himself known time and time again. As the apostle Paul stated on the Areopagus, “He is not far from any of us” (Acts 17:27). Please see my article “The Unknown God” for more details on this topic. The God we must worship is the one waiting to kindle a relationship with you at this present moment (Matt. 11:28-30; Rev. 22:17). Will you accept His invitation?
Everything’s Negotiable, Except How We Worship God
There is no shortage of ideas and debate centered around how we should worship the God of heaven. Thankfully, He has not left us wondering how His creation is expected to worship Him. We can know how to render praise to our God based on what the Bible says.
Just like the Israelites were given explicit instructions on how to worship God under the Old Covenant, New Testament Christians have explicit instructions on how to do so under the New Covenant (Exo. 3:12; Isa. 12:5; 56:7; John 4:23-24; Rom. 12:1-2).
Therefore, the way we worship God is non-negotiable because He has already told us how to do it. We just have to humbly submit to His will as has already been written (1 Cor. 4:6). Please see Cory Landolt’s article, “What Takes Place at the Worship Assembly?” to learn more about this.
Everything’s Negotiable, Except Our Soul
Dear reader, nothing is more precious, nothing is more valuable, nothing is more important than your soul. You could become the richest person on the planet, the most successful entrepreneur of all time, the smartest person in the field of academia, etc., but if your soul is not saved, then all of that other “stuff” is meaningless.
God is giving you time NOW to accept His invitation to be saved. Really let the words of Paul sink in,
“For He says:
‘In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.’
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2, NKJV, emp. added).
When Jesus comes back, there are going to be only two places where your soul will reside; it will be based on the choices we’ve made on earth—heaven or hell (Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 21:6-8).
On that great day when Jesus “cracks the sky,” there will be no more time to get your life in order. There will be no more time to obey the will of God. There will be no more time to ensure that your soul is saved. In essence, it will be too late (1 Thess. 4:16-17; 2 Pet. 3:10-13).
Therefore, my friends, what happens with our soul in the afterlife is non-negotiable. God has given us the blueprint for what we need to do in order to reside in heaven with Him one day. It’s up to us to follow the blueprint—the pure word of God.