Summary: Is there a neutral ground when it comes to matters of religion? Is it possible for one to consider themselves as a non-aligned? Can you take the middle ground? Can you sit on the fence? In short, can you be neither on God's side nor the devil’s side? Let us get our answers from the sermon.
Switzerland has not participated in any foreign war ever since 1815 when it established itself as a neutral country. A neutral country is defined as a state which does not take sides of belligerents (warring parties) in a specific war or future conflicts. Such states refuse to even enter into military alliances. During the First World War, countries grouped themselves into two sides, the Central Powers and the Allied powers. It so happened that Switzerland shared borders with two countries of the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary) and they also shared borders with two of the Allied Powers (France and Italy). Despite being surrounded by these warring countries, Switzerland managed to maintain its neutrality and didn’t engage in the war.
I respect and applaud such a policy, if the Swiss had joined the war, many lives would have been lost, not to mention the destruction of property and other devastating effects of war. As we learnt from the previous two chapters we are in a war, but is it possible to be neutral? Is it possible for one to consider themselves as a ‘spiritual Switzerland’ who takes no side? Can you take the middle ground? Can you be non-aligned? Can you sit on the fence? In short, can you be neither on God's side nor the devil’s side?
Let us get our answers from the Bible.
No Middle Ground
“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad”. Matthew 12:30
The words spoken by Jesus in the preceding scripture places everyone into two camps. Some are with Jesus and some are against Him, no neutral category is brought up. If you are not with Jesus then it means you are against Him, you are in the opposing camp. If there was a neutral side then Jesus could have said: “He who is not with Me, might be against Me or has no side”, but no He didn’t say so. You don’t have to be a murderer for you to be considered to be against Jesus, you don’t have to commit a big or small sin, but by just not being with Jesus then it means you are against Him.
When the war began in heaven there were two camps, God’s side and the devil’s side, there was no third neutral camp. When the war came here on earth there remain two sides as well. Whatever life that is not yielded to the control of Jesus is by default under the control of the devil. As long as you are not gathering together with Jesus in His work of saving people it means you are with the devil, dispersing what Jesus is gathering. Albert Einstein once said, “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” This is a pregnant statement, if you are not involved in the fight against evil then it means you are passively supporting it.
Even at the end of this earth’s history, people shall be grouped into two classes only, those who are saved and those who are lost, no middle ground. The devil wants us to believe that when it comes to matters of worship there is a neutral ground which we can stand on but there is none. There is no salvation in not believing in Jesus Christ. John 3:18 reads "He who believes in Him (Jesus) is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already…”
This scripture is placing people into two groups, those who believe (and will be saved) and those who do not believe in the name of Jesus and will be condemned, no neutral ground.
There are people out there who have good morals and have very honourable characters but they claim neutrality when it comes to matters of religion. They don't like the devil but at the same time, they don't believe in Jesus the Son of God. Based on Jesus’ words on Matthew 12:30, as long as they are not with Him they are against Him. Their good works will not save them because salvation is not by works but by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).
No Two Masters
Then there are some who are not neutral but they want to enjoy both sides, God’s side as well as Satan’s side. I’m referring to professing Christians who shift their allegiance whenever it suits them. As the Children of Israel gathered at Mount Carmel, Elijah the Prophet of God asked a very pertinent question to the people, he said to them “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 Prophet of God was calling on people to make a choice on whom to serve, these people had been shifting between two opinions, and they were sitting on the fence. In some instances, they wanted to serve the true God: Jehovah and in some instances, they wanted to serve Baal a false god who is just a cover-up for Satan.