by Steven Chan
03 April 2011
Staying in the middle of God’s truth and not going to the left nor to the right, is what God expects of us: Deut 5:32: “Therefore you shall be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left”. Deut 12:32: “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” Joshua 1:7: “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”
However, as regards one’s view of the gospel, according to I Cor 1:18, one will view and respond to the gospel in only one of two ways: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” There is no middle ground even though many would prefer the middle ground as then they would be viewed as being tolerant and not being a religious fanatic. But the reality is that the gospel is either “foolishness” or “the power of God” unto
salvation (Rom 1:16). One would have to choose one or the other. There is no middle ground.
Some are still wavering as regards where they stand just like King Ahab and the Israelites. We will do well to recall what the prophet Elijah said to them in 1 Kings 18:21: “And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” The choice is clear.
If we truly believe God and that Jesus is the Son of God, there’s no excuse for us to waver or falter or be double-minded. In John 6:68-69, “Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” If that be the case for us as well then we should do as the apostle Peter as recorded in Luke 18:28: “we have left all and followed You.” We need to leave behind our indecisions and our love for the world, and follow Him wholeheartedly.
In Matt 12:30, Jesus said: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” If we choose to be “with Jesus”, we must also do His work, sow the seed and gather with Him – to fail to do that is considered by Jesus as “scattering abroad” or undoing whatever He is trying to do – Jesus works to gather while who are not gathering with Him are undoing or opposing what He is trying to do. There is no neutrality here – that’s the very point that Jesus was trying to highlight in His statement. We cannot be lukewarm – neither hot nor cold (Rev 3:16).
Similarly on judgement day, there will be no middle ground. In Matt 25:31-34, Jesus said: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.” According to Jesus, ultimately the whole world (“all the nations”) will be divided into two categories – one on the left of Jesus and the other on His right. Who does the separating into the respective categories? Jesus Himself for He is the appointed judge: Acts 17:30-31: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
The Bible tells us in Matt 25:34: “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” and in Matt 25:41: “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” It is readily apparent that there will be two ultimate destinations – either to inherit the kingdom prepared for those who do the will of the Father, or sadly, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels for those who refused to acknowledge God and who refused to do His will (Matt 7:21-23; 2 Thess 1:7-9).
Friends and brethren, have we chosen our stand? Do we know whether Jesus will separate us to the left or to the right? Are we gathering with Him or scattering?