Binary Solution Set
Have you ever heard that phrase? If you hang around mathematicians, or computer programmers, or some types of engineers, you may have encountered it. It’s a phrase that describes a problem with two—and only two—answers. Typically those answers are expressed as either “Yes/No” or “On/Off.” A binary solution set problem, whatever it is, is very clear cut, and the response is very black and white, so to speak.
What does that have to do with church, you ask? Well, Pastor Marty’s sermons on evangelism bring up a true binary solution set problem.
Response to the gospel message is a binary solution set. You either say “Yes” to the invitation to know Christ as Savior, or you say “No.”
To be perfectly clear and perfectly blunt, any answer that is not “Yes” to Jesus is “No.”
“I’m not sure,” is really “No.”
“I’m not ready,” is really “No.”
“I need to think about it,” is really “No.”
“I need clean up my life first,” is really “No.”
“Not right now,” is really “No.”
Our culture doesn’t like that. Our culture has grown so inclusive and so pantheistic that we want to believe that “All roads lead to Rome” works for religion, too. At the same time, our culture wants to believe that salvation is at least to some extent a meritocracy, that we will enter heaven because we in some manner deserve it.
Unfortunately, the Bible tells us that is not the case.
“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead…
2 Timothy 4:1a
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds… And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:11-12, 15
So our eternal destiny is actually determined by our response to the binary solution set question of “Do you have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ?
An answer of “Yes” enrolls our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life, which in turn places us in God’s Presence for eternity.
Any other answer, no matter how rational or reasonable to our human ears and minds, is “No,” and means our names are not present in that Book. And if we die in that state, they will never be in that Book, which will mean we will spend eternity separated from God.
To all those who believe in Purgatory or reincarnation, I’m sorry, you’re wrong. The Bible does not allow for either of those. There are no reruns, retries, do overs, or second chances. Our final answer to the question when we die is our final answer for all eternity.
The best thing we can do for our families, friends, and neighbors is present them with this binary solution set question, make it clear to them what their choices really are, and make it clear to them what the true results of those choices will be.
To do less is disobedience to God and Christ. To do less is to fail our families, friends, and neighbors.