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Faithlife

The Danger of Neutrality

Notes & Transcripts | Handout
The Country of Switzerland has become known for being a nation that remains neutral in the midst of international conflict. This is such a well known fact that the term “Switzerland” has become a synonym for the term “neutral.”
There are many who seek to take a position of neutrality in regards to Jesus Christ. Some refer to themselves as Agnostics, which in a sense is one who is neutral or one who has not yet made up his or her mind regarding the claims of Jesus or even regarding the existence of God. Others prefer to have a belief in all faiths — the belief that there are many ways to God.
But Jesus claimed that He is the exclusive way to God. And that there is no neutral position regarding who He is.
Matthew 12:30 NASB95
“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
This morning we are concluding our series on the Rising Tide of Tension, Matthew chapters 11-12. As we do so we are going to look at from the perspective of The Danger of Neutrality. As we go through our text we will see that Neutrality prevents repentance, it can lead to an unhealthy sense of moralism, and was even to be found within Jesus’ own earthly family. Let’s look first at how
Deuteronomy 18:20–22 NASB95
‘But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ “You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
Isaiah 7:10–14 NASB95
Then the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!” Then he said, “Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
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Deuteronomy 18:18–19 NASB95
‘I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. ‘It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.

Jonah spent “three days and three nights” in the fish (Jonah 1:17). But if the normal sequence of Passion Week is correct (see on 26:17–30), Jesus was in the tomb only about thirty-six hours. Since they included parts of three days, by Jewish reckoning Jesus was buried “three days” or, to put it another way, he rose “on the third day” (16:21). But this does not cover more than two nights. Some advocate a Wednesday crucifixion date (see on 26:17); but though that allows for “three days and three nights,” it runs into difficulty with “on the third day.” In rabbinical thought a day and a night make an ōnâh, and a part of an ōnâh is as the whole (cf. SBK, 1:649, for references; cf. further 1 Sam 30:12–13; 2 Chronicles 10:5, 12; Esth 4:16; 5:1). Thus according to Jewish tradition, “three days and three nights” need mean no more than “three days” or the combination of any part of three separate days.

One thing that plagues many of us is how it is that these Pharisees could either outright reject Jesus or remain neutral about Him. Speaking about this very thing Jesus told the Pharisees in
John 10:25–26 NASB95
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. “But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.
The simple reason why they did not believe that Jesus was who He claimed to be was that they were not among His flock of sheep.
John MacArthur wrote: “One of the worst aspects of religious legalism is that it tends to get progressively more ungodly from generation to generation … To preach morality, even according to biblical standards of behavior, but not salvation through Christ promotes a religion that drives men further from God than they were before they reformed.”
John 7:2–5 NASB95
Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. “For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For not even His brothers were believing in Him.
Galatians 4:4–5 NASB95
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
Notice . “Whoever does the will of My Father … is My brother and sister and mother.” To do the will of God is equated with expressing our faith in Christ.
John 3:18 NASB95
“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 6:29 NASB95
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
John 6:40 NASB95
“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
If there is anyone here today who is neutral in regards to Jesus Christ, I am telling you that if you continue to be “Switzerland” in this matter then you will be damned just as much as those who outright reject Jesus’ claims. This is a very serious matter, and it is not a matter to be taken lightly. Though the invitation remains open for you to come and embrace Jesus as your Lord and Savior, the invitation is for a limited time only. I invite you to get off the fence that you are riding in regards to Christ, and to embrace Him as the Eternal Creator of the Universe; embrace Him as the one who hung on the cross and absorbed God’s wrath in regards to your sins; embrace Him as the Risen Christ who is now seated on His throne in the heavenly places. Behold the Son and believe!
Christian, I invite you to bask in your adoption into the family of God. I further invite you to share the good news of Christ’s redemption with your family and friends who are in need of being redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
Let’s pray.
Closing Song -- I COME TO THE CROSS
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