What? You are Abstaining?
Abstention is not good! It is bad! When a spiritual matter is before you, and you need to take a stand, but if you decline to vote for or against a proposal or motion, when your practice is to restrain oneself from indulging in something spiritual, you are behaving like the Laodicean: “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water (abstaining), neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! (Rev 3:15)”. You are like a doubled-minded person. As James cautioned: “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8)” So he likens you to a sinner – “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. (James 4:8)”
When you publicly don’t take a stand for Jesus or the Devil – because there is no “safe” third option, you are still standing with the Devil. If you don’t take a stand for Jesus, you are taking a stand for the Devil. But you may say “What if the two choices are evil? Just that one is eviler than the other!” In this example, you choose the lesser evil, because if you don’t, and you abstained, you are actually choosing both! Some may say “I take a stand, but I don’t want no one to know!” That too is not good! Jesus said, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 10:33).”
Consider this story in Matthew 23: ‘When Jesus returned to the Temple and began teaching, the leading priests and elders came up to him. They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?” “I’ll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question,” Jesus replied. “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?” They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask us why we didn’t believe John. But if we say it was merely human, we’ll be mobbed because the people believe John was a prophet.” So they finally replied, “We don’t know.” And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”’
When the leading priests and elders abstained from taking a stand, Jesus also refused them. Likewise, when you abstained from taking a stand, Jesus will refuse you. Heaven and Earth are watching your every move and motive. Stand for Jesus! Don’t let these words be towards you: “Today I call on heaven and earth as witnesses against you. If you break my covenant, you will quickly disappear from the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy. You will live there only a short time; then you will be utterly destroyed.”