Neutral in Religious Matters
No one can be neutral in religious matters. The person who is not on God’s side is on the devil’s side. There is no middle ground. Darkness and light cannot occupy the same space at the same moment of time. In the Old Testament, Joshua urged the Isreaelites to take a stand saying, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14, 15).
And Elijah the prophet asked the Israelites, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word” (1 Kings 18:21). The ultimate test of being on the Lord’s side is to remain faithful. It takes courage to stand alone. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego stood alone facing death before King Nebuchadnezzar saying, “O king, that we do not serve your gods” (Daniel 3:14–18).
In the New Testament, Jesus taught that it is not safe to be neutral, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24). Those who serve material things are its slaves, and do its command in spite of themselves (Romans 6:16).
Believers are not to follow the crowds. Jesus taught, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13, 14).
Even if we don’t have the desire or strength to be on God’s side. Let us simply choose to invite Him into our hearts. And then He will provide the stimulus for our initial determination to accept salvation and the power to make our choice effective. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
This does not mean that we have no role to play, but that God provides the stimulus that awakens our desire to be saved, that He enables us to make the decision to attain salvation, and that He supplies us with the energy to make the decision effective so that salvation is accomplished in our lives. Redemption is thus seen as a cooperative work between God and man.
In His service,