Perhaps one of the greatest questions asked by a Bible character was the one asked by Elijah the prophet.
He had called for Ahab to gather all Israel at Mt. Carmel and then asked, “How long halt ye between two opinions?” The people of God were going back and forth between God and idolatry. His solution to their inability to determine whose side they were on was, “if the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him” (1 Kings 18:21). They needed to make up their mind, for they could not follow both.
Many “Christians” are just those to whom Elijah was speaking. They want to think of themselves as Christians and want others to think of them as Christians, but they also want to be like the world. This is not possible. While they are not serving “Baal” as such, they are serving a god of their choosing and are trying to keep a foot on both sides of the fence.
This is not possible if a person truly wants to be a Christian. Jesus put it like this: “No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).
This behavior by “Christians” causes those who wonder about Christ and those who doubt Christ to decide that maybe the world is better than following God. A missionary doing mission work in Grenada approached a man about studying the Bible. His answer was, “One person tells me one thing, another something else. Now you want to show me another way? Who should I believe or why should I believe?”
Couple that with “Christians” living like the world rather than God, and no wonder some have no interest in God and godly living.
The world is a place that Christians must live in, but we must not be like the world. In Galatians 5:13-25, Paul said that the liberty that is in Christ is to be used to serve others and not to sin. Walking in the Spirit — following the word of God — we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. This is why we must make a decision as to who we are going to follow. Israel of old had to make a decision, and we also must make a decision. Trying to “ride the fence” is hypocrisy and deception. This deception is dangerous because it will cause us to “harden” our hearts to the truth of God’s word. Paul wrote, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8).
The Apostle John wrote about loving the world: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (1 John 2:15-17). This “love” of the world led Eve to sin in the Garden of Eden, bringing sin and death into the world (Romans 5:12).
Elijah’s question must be asked today. Men must decide on following God or the world. Eternity is too long not to be prepared. God has provided the sacrifice and directions and given man the power to make the decision. “How long halt ye between two opinions?”