Edward Abbey wrote:  “Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast — a part time crusader — a half-hearted fanatic…”

I confess with Oscar Wilde,  “I am not young enough to know everything,” but the Bible assures me that the above description of a life should never be used to describe a Christian.

Centuries ago the psalmist wrote,  “I hate double-minded men, but I love thy law” (Psalm 119:113), or as Moffatt translated it, “I hate men who are half and half.”  These words reflect the fervent anger of a lover of God’s law against waverers, men of  divided loyalty, whose lip service to God’s law is denied by the disobedience of their lives.

Lest we think that those words of hatred are only the words of a fervent fanatic, I would remind you that the Lord shares the same view.  Do you not recall the words addressed to the church in Laodicea?  “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.  Would that you were cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.”  (Revelation 3:15-16).  To be half and half is a most dangerous position.  Jesus reminds us that if the salt has lost its taste, it’s no longer good for anything except to be thrown out.

After the death of King Solomon, the nation of Israel was divided into the northern kingdom (Israel), and the southern kingdom (Judah).  For years I believed that Judah was the better of the two.  (After all, Judah had a few good kings who made a stab at restoring the worship of God, while every king of Israel was wicked).  It came as a shock to me to read that as bad as Israel was, Judah appeared worse in the eyes of the Lord.  God found fault with “false sister Judah” because she did not return to Him “with her whole heart, but in pretense.” And the LORD said to me, ‘Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah’” (Jeremiah 3:10-11).

There is no place for half-hearted or split service in the kingdom of God

                                                         John Gipson, Windsong Church of Christ, Little Rock, AR


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