Thursday, April 21, 2016

Straddling The Fence

I’ve heard several sermons preached fifty to sixty years ago about ‘straddling the
fence.’ It seemed appropriate at the time, but nowhere near as much as it is today.

Now fifty and sixty years seem like a very long time, but to those of us in our waning years, it was only yesterday. (Whoever said ‘the older you get, the faster time flies’ was dead on.)

I recall vividly that in that era many, many things were so much different than they are today. There were still plenty of sinning and wrecked lives to go around back then, but today’s society has put on public display, in the bright light of day, what used to be hidden back then in the shadows of the night.

In those days the ‘un-churched’ had respect for God’s house and His ministers. The vilest of sins were anathema. Women were treated as ladies, and they reciprocated by acting like ladies. Men were gentlemen. Families were honored. Children were respectful to all adults. Work was honored and laziness was looked down upon. I could give a hundred comparisons if I chose, but this is plenty to get the point for now.

Let me repeat that the world back then had plenty of problems with sin, just as we do today. The difference is that those sins once kept in check or hidden in the dark are now on open display for any-and-all to see, and there is little to no shame.  Another difference is that there were by far fewer participants of rebellion against God and all He stands for in those days.

For example: homosexuality is like a cancer that started out as a small spot back then, barely visible, but today has metastasized throughout the entire body.

Another example: the pulpit was revered and respected as a special place to proclaim the Word of God. Today, the Word of God has been diluted and blasphemed by false prophets and charlatans. Most ‘church’ services are a sham that mocks the holiness of a righteous God.

Today, mass murder of unborn babies is legal; divorce is rampant; pornography is a cancerous fungus on society; lying and cheating is considered the norm; laziness is rewarded; respect for others has flown out the window; and there is no fear of God.

Now let us consider but a few Scripture verses.

“And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” (1 Kings 18:21)

“He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” (Matthew 12:30)

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)

“Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.” (Exodus 32:26)

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua (24:15)

“And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.” (Zephaniah 1:12)

Also consider the entire sixth chapter of the book of Romans.

Of just these few verses I have selected, we can readily see that we as Christians need to stop straddling the fence. We have an even greater opportunity today than yesteryear to stand up with God and be counted. You might say that God is like the marine slogan circa 1970, He’s looking for “a few good men.” (I mean no disrespect to our Lord by the way.) How many of us are ready to climb down off the fence and serve the Lord?

We are certainly in the last days of the Church age. The next event on God’s schedule is for Jesus Christ to come for His bride (the Rapture). He is already preparing the way for the Tribulation which follows the Rapture.

How many of us are letting others know that our Lord could come at any time? How many of us are sharing the Gospel of salvation to those who are lost? How many of us are standing against the tide of Satan’s destruction upon our families and our society?

I know there are many of God’s people who have separated themselves from the world, but there are many others, who call themselves ‘Christian’ who are serving Baal and not God. Most in our churches have their legs dangling on both sides of the fence, playing both ends against the middle. Are they even saved? I don’t know, but they certainly need to find out.

Our country is in a horrible mess, and it seems especially at this particular time that most people think a new President will solve all our problems. The general election will be this year, and all our problems will be solved. Right? Wrong! Our problem is a ‘sin’ problem that only Jesus Christ can fix. All the other ‘stuff’ is just the result of our sinful hearts. Until we get our hearts lined up with Almighty God, nothing will be solved. 

We have gone so far in our open rebellion against God that judgment is definitely coming. Will Jesus remove His church before our downfall? I don’t know. I do know this. Whether in blessing or judgment, I would prefer to be on God’s side at all times. Many of you feel the same, and many of you could care less.

Millions of people have left this world via death not worrying about anything but their own desires while upon this earth, only to be shocked at what they face on the other side of the grave. They straddled the fence one moment too long.

Jesus is coming for His church and afterwards millions will be catapulted into the horrors of the Tribulation because they too straddled the fence one moment too long.

Galatians 6:7-9 says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

How many true Christians are intimidated by ‘what society thinks?’ “What would my family think?” “What would my friends think?” Maybe we should ask, “Am I any better than Peter when he denied our Lord three times?” Maybe we should be ashamed and ask His forgiveness, then firmly decide to stand with Jesus even though it may not be politically correct. Read the Gospels and honestly answer this question, “Was Jesus ever politically correct?” Don’t stand for what is popular, but stand for what is right, and only God knows what is right, which can be found in His Word, the Bible.  

Wouldn’t it be great if God could see thousands of people getting down off the fence and coming to His side? None would be disappointed.

Grant Phillips
Pre-Rapture Commentary: