Anyone who isn’t helping me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.
I like this translation. We’ve probably all heard, “He who is not for me is against me” – possibly so many times that we only give mental assent to the truth and move on. But…
This is a vital verse for those who think to sit on the fence; it makes it crystal clear that there is no fence. It is even more essential that the import of Luke 11:23 be grasped by those who religiously attend church services every Sunday morning, arrogantly thinking that in merely attending a church service they have completed their Christian responsibility. Jesus says otherwise.
“Anyone who isn’t helping me opposes me…” Can He express it more simply than this? If I think I can merely sit in my padded pew and do nothing to help Jesus expand His kingdom, if I think I can ignore the Great Commission that was given to each of us, I am in gross error. I am also in opposition to Jesus. There is no passively sitting and doing nothing; Jesus says that if we do not actively help Him, we actively oppose Him.
“…and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.” Here He speaks even more strongly and more clearly. Yes, He honestly does expect us to work. He expects us to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Mark 16:15) and, in the local church body, He expects us to be fitly joined together with everyone else, each of us doing our part to supply the needs of the body (Eph 4:16).
What work does He call us to where the church is concerned? Just as it is in the physical body, so it is in a church body – each part supplies what it is designed to offer. In my case, for nearly thirty years this meant serving in the Music Ministry…even after coming on staff full time. The next person may fit in entirely differently, serving in ways that have never occurred to me. The bottom line is that we are both working with Jesus to build up the church and expand the Kingdom of God so that He will not say of us, “They are actually working against me.”