Who Is On The Lord's Side?
“Who is on the Lord’s side?
Let him come unto me.”
The question above was asked by Moses to the children of Israel. He had returned from Mt. Sinai with he tablets of stone containing the Ten Commandments to find the people in worship to a calf-idol. In Exodus 32.25-26, it is recorded, “Now when Moses saw that the people were out of control - for Aaron had let them get out of control to the point of being an object of ridicule among their enemies - Moses then stood at the gate of the camp, and said, ‘Whoever is for the Lord, come to me!’ And all the sons of Levi gathered together to him.”
In coming to Moses, the sons of Levi would be making a choice to be on the Lord’s side. The phrase “on the Lord’s side” is in the lyrics of one of our hymns: “Who Will Follow Jesus?” This choice of the tribe of Levi was rewarded with great honor as they received a blessing of being the priests to God on behalf of the nation of Israel (Numbers 25.11-13).
In our choices as to whom we will serve, we, in essence, take sides. We find that man chose to go against his Creator (Romans 1.18-32). Because of this, man has become separated from fellowship with God. Since then, God has been calling man back to fellowship through his servants, the prophets. The side that man ought to choose is seen from the following admonitions:
“Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth.” (Joshua 24.14)
“How long halt ye between the two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” (1 Kings 18.21)
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6.24)
The apostle Paul stated the choice that preachers face in their preaching: “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please me? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1.10).
God’s side, of course, is truth, and truth is found in his word. “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17.17). To be on God’s side is to choose or accept God’s word on all matters. From eternity God chose to save us from our sins. But we must accept God’s choice in how to save us. God foreordained salvation to be in Christ (Ephesians 1.3-11; 3.9-11; Titus 1.2). To be “on the Lord’s side” is to accept Jesus’ teachings (John 8.31; 2 John 1.9).
God foreordained spiritual blessings to those who would choose to be on his side. In addition to forgiveness of past sins, he has promised adoption as his spiritual children, sealed in a covenant relationship. Bible examples abound which show that the righteous are the spiritually blessed. Abel was accepted while Cain was rejected. Noah and his family were spared while the wicked were destroyed. Lot’s life was saved while Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. So likewise will it be at judgment as the righteous few will be rewarded with heaven while the wicked majority will suffer eternal damnation (Matthew 7.13-14).
Choosing to be “on the Lord’s side” is more than mental assent. It is acting upon your belief in God’s word. It is to do the things Jesus said to do (Luke 6.46). That action is obedience. In coming to him, a choice is made that honors Jesus as Lord and Christ. Many profess their love for Jesus, but few are willing to follow him. The commands God gave man prove who would be willing to be “on the Lord’s side.” This is seen in the repeated comparisons of an athlete to a Christian.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wrath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9.24-27
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind.
An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
2 Timothy 2.5
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Faith an obedience to God’s word direct us to God’s side. Fellowship with God thereafter is also by faith and obedience. The apostle John stated it this way: “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1.7).