When a politician votes “present” on a bill, instead of “Yea” or “nay,” he or she is saying, I cannot or will not decide. Seems kind of wimpy to me, not what we elect so-called leaders to do. Maybe they are uninformed or afraid – who knows? Politicians can try to justify such indecision, but you cannot – not when it comes to Jesus.
When Jesus was embroiled in a big public controversy and was being attacked and accused by many religious leaders, He said:
“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30)
Jesus gave that warning to the ones who had just accused Him of being in league with Satan (Matthew 12:24ff). But those words were spoken in the midst of a big crowd of onlookers, people who may have thought they would be neutral about Jesus and see how things played out. Many of the folks in that crowd must have thought they could vote “present” on Jesus. But Jesus made it clear: You are either with Him or against Him. There is no neutral ground.
Maybe you find yourself in a similar situation. You have heard about Jesus, wondered about Jesus, been confused by Jesus, but have never made a decision about Jesus. But Jesus said, either you are with Him or you are against Him. That means that until you choose to be with Him, you are supporting the side that is actively working against Him.
To make that more clear, Jesus contrasted the actions of those who were with Him with the actions of everyone else. You either join Him in “gathering” or you are involved with “scattering.” When someone accidentally drops a box of marbles, those who scatter work in active opposition to those who gather. With Jesus, “gathering” means drawing people into a relationship with God characterized by complete forgiveness and reconciliation. As you know, neutrality weakens a relationship; it’s participants are “scattered.” So, too,with Jesus. Neutrality works against His purpose of gathering people to God.
Of course, maybe you still need more information about Jesus and do not want to make an insincere decision. That’s good. But the information is there for the asking. One way to get more information would be to read the Gospel of John. Another would be to click on the link above that says “New Here? Start Here.” But don’t procrastinate: until you decide to be with Him, by default you are against Him.
You can’t vote, “present.”