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THE DIVIDING LINE

What I am about to state here is considered heresy in most Christian sects, even though the truth of it is backed up by scripture.

Throughout his ministry years, Jesus withdrew from and rejected his blood relatives, including his mother and his siblings. Why? Because they didn’t believe he was the Messiah. They knew he was a prophet sent from God, but they didn’t believe he was the Messiah.

So Jesus had to choose between his family and God.

He chose God.

I mention this now because we are also faced with a similar choice. Society is becoming increasingly divided along a line that even two years would have been unimaginable. Families and friends are finding themselves on opposite sides of that line, with no neutral zone in between. One side is staunchly pro-government and its mandates, and the other is not; one side does whatever is demanded by the government, and the other does not. Even though the obedient and compliant far outnumber the disobedient and non-compliant, families are being torn apart, life-long friends are becoming estranged, and neither side is willing to compromise.

Which side of the divide you stand on is your business. It’s your choice. You have God-given free will. I’m not interested in discussing the virtues of one side over the other or to persuade you to cross over from one side to the other. As far as I’m concerned, the right choice – the godly choice – is more than obvious and doesn’t need to be stated or discussed. Even so, I hope you’re aware that the side you choose will determine your eternity.

Scripture tells us about people who cowed before the religious powers-that-be in Jerusalem because they were afraid to be kicked out of the synagogue. To be kicked out of the synagogue essentially meant that your life as you knew it was over. You would not be permitted to attend religious or cultural events; you’d likely lose your livelihood, as you’d be shunned by the general public; you would even have difficulty carrying out everyday tasks like grocery shopping, as again, you would be shunned and shamed. You would live as an outcast for the rest of your life or until such time as you “came to your senses” and accepted the dictates of the religious ptb.

To avoid what for many would have been a fate worse than death, people tolerated the tyranny and corruption of the rich and powerful so that they could live their daily lives unmolested by the authorities and participate in society.

Recall that Jesus had these “privileges” revoked in many areas where he was under constant threat of arrest. Recall also that even under threat of arrest, Jesus did not alter his position or in any way make concessions, other than to avoid certain areas until God told him it was his time.

As born-again believers, we’re called to live our lives like Jesus lived his life during his ministry years. Jesus is our example. Jesus’ mother isn’t our example; Jesus’ siblings aren’t our example; even Jesus’ early disciples aren’t our example: JESUS IS OUR EXAMPLE. If Jesus chose God over his family and God over his society, then so must we. If our choice means we live as outcasts, then we live as outcasts. Jesus lived his life as an outcast during his ministry years, so why should we be any different?

Jesus is the Messiah. His mother and siblings refused to accept that truth during his ministry years, so he rejected them. He walked away from them, and when they came to get him to take him home (presumably to correct his way of thinking and to keep him from being arrested), he publicly shunned them. He didn’t compromise his position and he didn’t give in just to keep the peace. On the contrary, he doubled down on his affirmation of who he was by replacing his blood family with his spiritual family. From that point onward, only those who did the will of God were considered by Jesus to be his family.

Think very carefully about the choice you make regarding the dividing line. As a born-again believer, your mission is to follow Jesus, not your family and not the world. Don’t be like the people who did whatever they had to do to remain in good standing with the ptb. Jesus was not in good standing with the ptb; he wouldn’t have been doing God’s will if he were.

We are at war, just as Jesus was.

Jesus chose to fight on God’s side.

We need to do the same.