Sunday, July 3, 2011

Commitment Beyond the Middle Ground

And Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." And the people did not answer him a word. (1 Kings 18:21)

Excerpt from “Carmel-Coated Christianity” - 2011-07-03
When you are standing for God, there is no middle ground. In the New Testament we read that King Herod thought he could. He feared John the Baptist, knowing that he was a just and holy man, a man of whom the Bible said carried the spirit of Elijah. Herod enjoyed hearing John preach, but he never repented of living in sin with his brother’s wife, a sin which John boldly and continually confronted him about. Those of you who know the story know that eventually Herod was faced with choosing between killing John the Baptist or losing his wife’s favor. Rather than choosing to embrace the message of repentance, Herod chose to execute the messenger – which cost Herod his life in the end.

When Elijah came to Mount Carmel, the middle ground disappeared. When John the Baptist challenged people to repent and turn to God, the middle ground disappeared. When Jesus walked this earth and demanded those who desired to follow Him must fully and totally surrender their hearts and lives to him and to him only - the middle ground disappeared. At the return of our Lord Jesus the middle ground will disappear for good. When it comes to God – there is no middle ground.

The very nature of who God is confronts us to make a choice about our commitment to Him. As we slowly but surely approach the end of the age, God is in the process of destroying all middle ground - for by His holiness God hates and rejects anything and everything that is spiritually lukewarm. In Revelations 3:16 Jesus said: “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” To be a born again follower of Jesus Christ means you will be different than the world; humility and sacrifice and God-centeredness will clearly stick out in a culture that is saturated with pride and entitlement and self-centeredness. Jesus said: “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).