VALLEY of DECISION
In an  eschatological sense (biblical end times), The Valley of Decision setout  in Joel 3:14, is the place where God will inform
those assembled as to the magnitude of His Judgment  upon them.   This valley is not a  place, wrongfully interpreted by some,
where mankind has one last opportunity to  choose God and His Righteousness versus the wickedness found in the  ways of
the world.   Once in this Valley, God's Judgment is brought to bear  upon the unbelieving, as well as the enemies of God's
People.  God here is evidencing His righteous Judgment, and releasing the  consequence for disobedience, unbelief and
prolonged waywardness.   In  short, this accounting is where
'God will decide about men, not where men decide about God'.  
Once one  finds himself in the Valley of Jehoshaphat (viz. Decision), it is a given  he has already made his choice about God and
God in turn is thusly rendering  His verdict on that decision.   We seldom hear sermons preached in  America today, on this  
scriptural text, very possibly due to its
consequential message for  sinfulness, waywardness, against the enemies of God and
Israel  alike.
In  today's world, secular mankind often operates off a premise which reads like, "we can get by and away with most anything
until we are caught, and even then,  will have another opportunity to decide whether to fess-up or manage our excuses  better"
.  
Several misguided assumptions are embedded therein, the  least of which implies,
'God has infinite patience for mankind's
wicked ways, and man does not have to really change until he is divinely apprehended.'
  Scripture tells us in Gen. 6:3, that God
has gracious patience until mankind's unrelenting disobedience forces Him to consider otherwise.  Further, that God will not
contend (strive) with mankind's  rebellious waywardness forever.  There will be
a day of Divine  accountability.   Many believe we
are approaching
the  time known as the Judgment Seat of Christ (Bema Seat - 2 Cor. 5:10) for  believer's while the Great White
Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15) is reserved for  unbelievers, 1,000 yrs. later?.   For  the discerning Christian, it is imperative to
understand the difference in God's  purpose between 'the Seat' and 'the Throne', in these two scriptures.   Simply, one is for
issuance of
Christ's reward and the other is where God's punishment is to be meted out.
Popularity of individual relativism (accountable only to thineownself), in the late 20th and beginning of the 21st Century, is most
disconcerting when considering the increasing numbers of young  persons espousing such a personal philosophy.   Persons
with a judgment, behavioral and/or belief system predicated on a foundation of
situational morality, will by  their own definition,
operate through circumstantial relativism.  Historically, great civil disobedience (even in America) has always operated from a
position of  
what is right for the current situation, is just the right thing to do. An  early sign of this type thinking is evidenced when
someone states, "there are no  lasting
absolutes" be they biblical (e.g., Ten Commandments),  institutional or cultural.   They
may qualify such a statement by, "there are laws which need to be observed, yet laws are made to be changed and adjusted  to
fit the
morality of the day".   When asked, "where do your moral  standards come from?" the answer often is "I just do what I
know is right at  the time".   Pressed further, "how do you know what is
right at the  time, if there are no absolutes to judge
against?"... their remaining  answers usually become circular and oblique.  God has given man absolutes, via scripture to live
by, in order to protect him from the excessive indulgences of the flesh and the carnality which so permeates the
ways-of-the-world.  
Throughout scripture, many of God's judgments often occur when the recipients are seemingly unaware such are coming or  
even have already arrived (e.g., great flood of Noah's day).  Coming judgments are also setout in scripture e.g., the  books of
Daniel, Ezekiel, Revelation, et al. through which we can even preview  flash-points sparking today in and around Israel and the
Middle  East.  Question
: does the current leadership  in America (civilian, legislative,  military, and/or marketplace) have an
awareness (or even any sense) of  where we are in the outworking of God's end time Plan for the  body-of-Christ (the Church)
and mankind in general?  If Ephesians 1:10  holds the essence of God's end time Plan for mankind, then it would seem to
many that America is going in the opposite direction! [Eph. 1:10 - "
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He  might
gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and  which are on earth; even in Him
(Christ):"]  It doesn't
take a  rocket-surgeon to recognize America's falling away and continued  divestiture of Christian tenets, values, and doctrinal
truths throughout  the public domain, educational system and Congressional legislation.  Axioms such as ' you will be guided by
 what
you trust in, and will be judged by what you hold to and believe to be the Truth' - are still operative today, in both the  
religious and secular worlds, even though the origin of  each is almost diametrically oppositional.
From  scripture we learn that God makes His decision to pronounce judgment  before He releases the consequence onto
mankind and their disobedience, thus showing HIm not to be capricious, arbitrary or spurious.   Many of God's forthcoming
judgments are already penned in scripture, as well as setting forth the foundation of His Righteousness from  whence He
speaks specific admonitions.  
The Valley of Decision is one such place where, once there, it is a feté a compli, as is The Great
White Throne Judgment.   Has God provided the way and means for mankind to avoid such a dead-end finale? ...  and "
Jesus
answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes  to the Father except through Me"
.[Jhn. 14:6]  The  work Christ
finished at Calvary and His Gospel constitute the
way  and means by which to enter the Kingdom of God and avoid the verdict  
waiting in the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
The  paragraph just above is not a Fire Insurance Policy against the Flames  of Hell, rather it represents components of God's
design for
mankind to be protected against and/or delivered from the nefarious snares laid by the  Lord of this World (Satan).  
God has provided the way, and it is His Way, and not one manufactured or  contrived by mankind or religious institutions
steeped in secular-like religious wisdoms. Thusly, we are now witnessing the struggle between advancing aberrant
religious
strongholds
(Islam and several other anomalous faiths) coming against the stalwart bastions of God's Kingdom.   America
seems to  be the Nation God has chosen to initially oppose and forcefully confront such domains of darkness.  God's Plan is
still in force for these  end times, and will not be replaced by any other, from any other source.
Iraq and Afghanistan have in some respects, been a litmus test of America's resolve and willingness to  directly face and
confront the religious evils running rampart across the face of the earth today.   When Israel is frontally attacked, America will be  
drawn into her most controversial military decision making quagmire, since Viet Nam - i.e.,
America will ask itself do we really
have a  dog in that fight?  
Israel will become the epicenter (even more so than today) of all Middle Eastern military conflicts in the
 near-days to come.  Even though many  would disagree, America is being prepared today to have her contentious internal
dialogue regarding the coming Israeli (didn't say Iraqi) military conflagration.  Chart the waning support  and shifting sands of
America's recent adventurism in the Middle East along with mounting intramural political consternation, and one might
speculate America may  very well be so 'politically conflicted' and weary of
warring that she decides to just sit this one out.  If and
when America deserts Israel, in her  day of greatest need, we may find ourselves without God's continuing  favor.   " And in that
day will I make  Jerusalem a  burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut  in pieces, though
all the people of the earth be gathered together against  it." [Zec. 12:3]   The Valley of Decision is just over the  near-horizon.  Let
us hold fast to The One in whom we have entrusted our  Salvation, and He will be faithful to keep us from being appointed to the
Day of  Wrath (Day of the Lord) [1Thes 5:9].   If you have not already made your decision for Christ, do so now so another
decision will not have to be  made about you in a near-distant time.   America is no where  readily found in end-t?ime
(eschatological)  prophecy, don't let your name not be found recorded in Christ's Book of Life.    "... now  
is the day of salvation" [2
Cor. 6:2] ... tomorrow may be the day of our individual accountability before The Lord, make the right  
decision now and avoid the
valley.
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin
amen_ministries@hotmail.com
aamen.org
amen_ministries@hotmail.com --------- aamen.org --------- P.O. Box 27683 Austin, TX 78755