For — or Against
James Smith, 1861
"He who is not with me — is against me." Matthew 12:30
Decision, especially in matters of religion, is of
great consequence. The undecided are never happy. They are
never useful. They are not, they cannot be honorable. Jesus wishes us to be
decided, to be decidedly on his side — or decidedly against him. If we do
not decide, he decides for us, and says, "He who is not with me — is against
What is it to be WITH Christ?
It is to be reconciled to his OFFICES. To take him . . .
as a prophet — to teach us;
as a priest — to make atonement for us;
and as a king — to rule over us.
It is to be attached to his PERSON. We perceive his beauty and excellence, his exact adaptation to us; and we love him, and cleave to him with full purpose of heart.
It is to be identified with his CAUSE. We admire it, join it, and throw our energies and talents into it for its promotion.
It is to be numbered with his FOLLOWERS. We are not . . .
ashamed of their poverty,
alarmed at the persecutions they suffer,
or afraid to be seen ip their ranks.
It is to be employed in his SERVICE. Doing his will, busy at his work, and aiming at his honor and glory.
Where these things are found — that person is for Christ.
What is it to be AGAINST Christ?
It is to he careless and INDIFFERENT about him, so that we neither seek his favor — nor fear to encounter his wrath.
It is to be INATTENTIVE to him, refusing to listen to his voice, read his word, accept his invitations, or believe his promises.
It is to be ESTRANGED from him, having no love to his person, his people, or his ways.
It is to sympathize with his ENEMIES, and to be prejudiced against his sovereignty, requirements, dispensations, and word.
It is to stand aloof from his CAUSE,
refusing to help it if weak,
defend it if opposed, or
rejoice with it if it prospers.
It is to despise his people — for their poverty, or lack of education, or low standing in society, or their decided stand for him.
Where these things are found — that person are against
What Is the RESULT?If you are against Christ, you cannot love him — and are therefore accursed; for the inspired apostle said, "If any man loves not our Lord Jesus Christ — let him be accursed."
If you are against Christ, you cannot believe on him — and are therefore condemned, for "he who believes not, is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
If you are against Christ you cannot confess him — and are therefore disowned, as Jesus said, "Whoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father who is in Heaven. But whoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who to in Heaven."
If you are against Christ, you cannot enjoy him — and will therefore be banished far from his presence and the glory of his power.
Are you for Christ?
What does your creed say — is Christ its Alpha and Omega, its first and its last?
What does your conscience say? does it witness that you are decidedly, devotedly, always, and everywhere on the Lord's side?
What does your conduct say? Do you come out of the world, associate with the godly, and make the conduct of Christ your pattern?
What would those say of you, who know you best? Would they say that you were for Christ?
What will Christ himself say? Will he who searches the heart and tries the thoughts of men say, "You are for me!"
What will a death-bed say? It is often a great revealer. Many find out their mistake there. What if you should! If then it should appear, that after all, you are against Christ — would it not be dreadful?
Do you wish to be for Christ? If so, you will inquire about him, searching his word, that you may have correct views of his person, work, and requirements. You will go where you can hear of him, sitting under a ministry that exalts him, extols him, and sets him on high. You will personally apply to him, pleading with him, seeking grace from him, that you may become personally acquainted with him. You will give yourself to him, that you may be saved by his grace, employed in his service, and prepared for a place in his Father's house. You will avow your attachment to him — professing his name, walking in his ways, and uniting yourself with his people.
If you are against Christ, how FOOLISH — when he
is the only Savior, the only way of escape from the wrath to come! To be
against Christ, is to be against . . .
the only physician that can heal your sin-sick soul;
the only friend that can supply your spiritual and eternal needs;
the only advocate that can carry your cause in the court of Heaven.
If you are against Christ, how WICKED — when he came into the world, suffered, bled, and died, that sinners — such sinners as you; and you yourself if you will, may be saved. But except for him, every one of the human race must have eternally perished — all must have been eternally lost — and yet you are against him.
Has he given you any cause to be against him? Can you assign one reason? Can you make one plausible excuse for your conduct?
For Christ — or against him, you are; which is it? On this subject, there should be no doubt, not even the shadow of a doubt; let me beseech you to set it at rest, and set it at rest forever.