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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

January 30, 2015

Whose side are we on?

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

God doesn't like indecisiveness. We see that in His reaction to the church at Laodicea, which considered itself to be spiritually advanced, but in God's eyes was neither warm nor cold – i. e., undecided.

"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth" (Revelation 3:15-16).

Some might feel that "to vomit you out of my mouth" is a somewhat crass way of expressing displeasure. But the choice of words clearly reflects God's reaction to indecisiveness. And we can see this choice of words as a symbolic challenge to finally make a decision one way or the other. Jesus' reaction to the Laodizeans is consistent with God's approach in similar situations going back many centuries – yes, even all the way back to the Garden of Eden.

One example would be the prophet Elijah's challenge to his own people of Israel after God had withheld rain from them for three and a half years. The Israelites were hungry. But did they know why? Elijah was going to tell them, and he did so in the great controversy on Mount Carmel with the 450 prophets of the Canaanite idol Baal. Whose side would the Israelites be on? Would they be on Elia's side, who represented the true God, or king Ahab's side, who supported the prophets of Baal? Elia urged the Israelites to make a decision: "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him" (1 Kings 18:21).

Those who want to serve God must make clear choices. We can't serve God and Baal simultaneously. We can't be God's friend and a friend of the world at the same time (James 4:4).

When God calls us, He calls us to make a decision. Yes, some might see Jesus' description in Revelation 3 as being a bit crass, but it is crasser still to be actually vomited out of God's mouth!

May God always grant us clear vision and strength for our decisions, so He can see whose side we are on.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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