With or Against

“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” – Matthew 12:30

No one can be neutral towards Jesus. Knowing their thoughts, after Jesus told the Pharisees that a kingdom divided against itself will fall and a house divided against itself it can’t stand as well as provided them illustration of how that is true, in our focus text above Jesus makes a clear statement that there is no neutrality. The picture Christ was painting was the holy war He was carrying on with great fervor against Satan. Reality is that Satan’s kingdom is crumbling under Christ’s attacks, against its very foundations, so there is no way that He can be operating under the devil’s guidance, like the scribes and Pharisees claimed He was. The Pharisees said in v. 24, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” Yet, Christ’s victory is so thorough that if He were an agent of Satan, the devil would be destroying himself.

As Jesus said importantly in vv. 28-29, “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.” Jesus gloriously is the one who entered Satan’s house, bound him, and plundered his goods. Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 49:24-26 of a day in which God would act to redeem His children and take back what the enemy had taken. The people expected the Messiah to bind the Devil. As the Servant Isaiah foretold, He recaptured what had been lost, as we see in His atoning work for the sins of His people. 

Therefore, as the battle lines have been drawn between Christ and Satan, he who isn’t with Christ is he who is against Him. You can’t be one who isn’t with Christ, but isn’t against Him either. Jesus considers those who are cold to Him as His enemies. God gives us clarity about this in Scripture. We can’t be double-agents. We can’t be in Christ’s camp, wearing the enemy’s uniform, and be right with Christ.

  • Remember Elijah’s words 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.’ But the people answered him not a word.”
  • The Apostle Paul told the saints in Corinth in 2 Cor. 6:15-16, “And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’ ”

Further, see that those who are with Christ are those who are about His business and on the same mission with Him. Jesus is about the business of gathering in all who His Father has given Him. Therefore, though His enemies seek to scatter His sheep, being with and in the service of our Savior, we are those He sends into the harvest to gather the lambs who have been scattered abroad (John 11:52). 

Beloved, we can’t and must never water down the divisive character of Christ in our own minds or in our words to and with others. For whether one is for or against Christ is the most vital position they will have for eternity. If they stay against Him, the terrible reality will be that they will be against Him and He against them forever. What is true of you today? Don’t be fooled by the foolish claims of neutrality. You can’t just bear the name Christian and have no interest in carrying out the duties of kingdom citizens. If you are not with him, you are against Him. Choose this day whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15). Stand with the Lord Jesus Christ and seek, by His grace, to unreservedly follow Him and serve Him with all that is in you in every way, every day!