January 23
Opposition to Jesus
Matthew 12:22-32, 38-40

KEY VERSE: "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters." Matthew 12:30

Our key verse conveys a chilling thought. When it comes to Jesus, there is no middle ground. One is either for Him or against Him.

That is bad news for the multitude of people who make a living straddling the fence. Before the lottery proposal in our state was defeated soundly last October, many politicians choked when asked the question, "Are you in favor of the lottery?" These fence-straddlers said, "My opinion is not important; we will let the people decide."

But politicians are not the only folks who often sit on the fence rather than "offend" someone by expressing a clear conviction. In the face of a society that increasingly embraces pluralism, some church leaders appear to have jello for backbones. They balk and waffle when pressed with questions about the authority of the Scriptures and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.

These church leaders, some of them pastors, want us to believe that one can be a true follower of Jesus but not believe in the virgin birth, the miracles, or the resurrection of Jesus. Thus they ask us to accept their sincere "opinions" rather than the truth of Scripture. In reality what they are doing is asking us to approve their crafting of a new religion instead of accepting a faith based on the authority of the Word of God.

Some even want us to agree that Christians must stop insisting on the uniqueness of Christ as Savior and accept a bit of truth from some of the other major religions. Thus we would fall into the trap of swapping the true faith for some kind of warped syncretism in the name of tolerance.

If syncretism is a new idea to you, then consider that the word means something like a partnership, cooperative venture, or alliance. Where Christianity and the religions of the world are concerned, it does mean an alliance, but for true disciples of Jesus it would be an alliance with the devil.

Why? Because it would reduce the Bible to a status of being just one of many "holy books" rather than being "the Greatest Book Ever Written." It would require us to believe that the Bible was written by men rather than by God.

Am I so naive as to believe that God Himself wrote the Bible? Yes, or Saint Paul was mistaken when he wrote to Timothy, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NKJV).

Men, or women, write novels that are interesting and sometimes influential. But God, using the minds and pens of His servants, wrote the Bible so that the world might know Him, and through faith in His Son receive the gift of eternal life. No less a conclusion makes sense for the disciple who wants to throw his weight on the side of Jesus.

To do less is to stand against Him for "neutral" is not an option for those who would follow the One who said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6, NKJV).

Either He said it and it is true, or it is a fairy tale. But once we accept it as truth, we can no longer straddle the fence. If you are not yet off the fence, then admit that you are indeed "scattering" rather than "gathering" with Jesus!