The Dividing Line
“I have come to set the earth on fire. And how I long for every heart to be already ablaze with this fiery passion for God! But first I must be immersed into the baptism of God’s judgment, and I am consumed with passion as I await its fulfillment. Don’t think for a moment that I came to grant peace and harmony to everyone. No, for my coming will change everything and create hostility among you. From now on, even family members will be divided over me and will choose sides against one another. Fathers will be split off against sons and sons against fathers; mothers will be against daughters and daughters against mothers; mothers-in-law will be against brides and brides against mothers-in-law—all because of me.” Luke 12:49-53 (The Passion Translation, TPT)
There is a wealth of revelation in this passage. Jesus said that He came to bring a fiery passion for God to every heart. It is His desire that each and every person ever born have a close, intimate, radical relationship with Him. The baptism of God’s judgement that He mentioned here is His dying in our place and being resurrected. Once He paid that price, human hearts could be joined together with the living God in close, life-altering fellowship. But while Jesus died to make a way for everyone, He made it clear that not everyone would welcome what He offered.
According to this scripture, His coming would create schisms and divisions- even hostility. Some would accept Him and some would reject Him. And there would be a vast difference between the two groups. Looking at our world, it is so easy to see this today. We may see our world as being divided by politics, nationality, ethnicity, social class, economics, gender, age, religious doctrine, or even sexual orientation. In reality, there is only one real dividing line; only one issue that is the root of all other division, and His name is Jesus. All divisions between people have their origins in this one polarizing person.
“Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.” Matthew 12:30 (New Living Translation, NLT)
When you boil it all down, there are really just two people groups in the world: believers and unbelievers. Every other division that we see in the world really stems from that. And in the final analysis, those are the only two categories that matter.
“When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.” Matthew 25:31-33 (The Message, MSG)
He will divide the people like sheep and goats, just two groups. Faith in Jesus is the dividing line.
Today, the only way to truly unify a people, a nation, or the world is by introducing unbelievers to Jesus Christ. Of course, some will violently oppose Jesus and all He represents, creating divisions even within their own households. However, we cannot allow that or anything else to stop us from being His witnesses until He appears in the clouds for His church. The bottom line is that the only way to unity is to bring people across the dividing line.