Once when Joshua was by Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing before him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you one of us, or one of our adversaries?” He replied. “Neither; but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come” (Josh 5:13). Then the Lord tells Joshua the strategy to conquer Jericho.
We are engaged in a fierce battle and it is very much important to know who is standing before us. Because there are only two sides in this world, the army of God and the army of Satan. Jesus was candid in telling that ‘whoever is not against you is for you’ (Lk 9:50)
Moses asked the same question to the Israelites who were ‘running wild, to the derision of the enemies’ (Exo. 32:25). Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me!” (Ex. 32:26).
The question from Prophet Elijah also was the same. ”How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, follow him” ( 1 Kings 18:21).
Even today the question is the same. On whose side are we? On the side of Lord the God ‘who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance’ (Isa 40:12) or on the side of the one who boasted in his pride; “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of assembly on the heights of Zaphone. I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High?” (Isa 14:13-14) but was cast out from the presence of God for all eternity!
Let our choice reflect our prudence. Because the answer that you write for this question is very difficult to change later. If you think that it is safe to go by the majority and give the answer that most others give, you are treading a dangerous path, because the majority can go wrong. It is not a hypothesis, but a proven fact that the majority can also side with evil as we learn from the experience of the Israelites. When Prophet Elijah confronted them with the question, it had been more than 400 years since they left Egypt and by then the six hundred thousand Israelites had grown into a formidable nation with a huge population. But God told Elijah that there were only a few thousand of them who remained steadfast in their allegiance to the Lord. ‘ I have kept for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal’ (Rom 11:4).
It is no different today. The number of those who do not bow the knee to this world and the ruler of this world (Jn 16:11) will be limited. Paul calls them the ‘remnant who are chosen by grace’. ‘So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace’ (Rom 11:5). Jesus too knew that their numbers would be meager. That was why he regretted; ‘And yet, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?”( Lk 18:8). This prophecy points directly to the stark reality of ever increasing apostasy that we witness today.
We call those who are selected by grace and steadfastly remain faithful to the Lord till the end the apostles of the end times. Of them St Louis de Monfort said; ‘ They will be like thunderclouds, which fly abroad at the slightest breast of the Holy Ghost so as to shower down the rain of God’s word and of eternal life. They will be attached to nothing, surprised at nothing, and troubled at nothing. They will thunder against sin, they will storm against the world, they will strike down the devil and his followers and for life or for death they will pierce through and through with the two-edged sword of God’s word all those against whom they are sent by almighty God.
Read carefully before taking your final decision to get enrolled in the Lord’s army, because it will not be a bed of roses, but a narrow path full of thorns. It is about this path that John the apostle wrote; ‘ Whoever says, “I abide in him,” ought to walk just as he walked’ (1 Jn 2:6). Let us strive hard to be counted among the remnant called the apostles of the end times. We are not selected because of our merits, but the grace of the Lord is what helps us to take this decision.
Remember. Henceforth there will be only two ways. If we decide not to stay with Jesus Christ who is ‘the spiritual rock that follows us’ (1 Cor 10:4), this heavy stone will definitely fall on us. In Jesus’s own words, ‘the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls’ (Mt 21:44). May we never fall on Jesus Christ the stone nor do this stone fall on us and crush us.