Elijah describes those who should have been God’s people in his day as “limping between two opinions.” That is a good way to describe those in the church that have grown complacent and compromised in their faith and the lost but searching that we’d like to reach with the gospel. In the contest he forces between the impotent false gods the people were worshiping and God Himself, Elijah shows God to be GOD! with tremendous power.
I. 1 Kings 18:11-39. Just how difficult those in power had made it for God’s people who were truly seeking to worship God in spirit and in truth is evident when Elijah tries to send Obadiah, one of the Lord’s prophets, to force the contest with Ahab and Jezebel. Obadiah relates how the faithful are being persecuted and how prevalent enforced idolatry is in the culture. In the contest on Mount Carmel, true power is displayed from God, the people see this, and their decision to choose God cancels out the power those in power believed they had over the people as the false prophets are put to death.
II. Acts 2:22-39. In Jesus’ time on earth, those in power feared the opinion of the people as well (John 11:45-48), and when it began to turn towards hailing Jesus, they sought to put Him to death (Luke 22:1-2). With a “hard saying” Jesus, like Elijah, sought to make the spiritually limping among those who should have been God’s people choose between opinions (John 6:25-69). Most left Him then but not “the twelve” at that time, Peter wisely answering, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the gospel confronts us with the same choice.
III. Romans 10:9-15. The only way that the lost will be reached with that choice (call on His Name) is if those who have already obeyed the gospel (Romans 6:3-5) go (are sent) … so the power of the gospel is presented as a choice (is preached and they hear it) … because they believe it. First, we must truly believe it ourselves (John 8:24). Far too often, Christians fear the opinion of the people controlled by those in power and our love grows cold (Matthew 24:9-13). Instead, we must love through obedience (John 14:15) and sacrificial living (Romans 12:1-2) to love the limping as Jesus did (John 13:34-35).
Are you limping between two opinions? See the power of God in dying on the cross for your sins and being raised from death for your eternal life.