It is important that we understand the context in which this question is asked. Moses was up on the mountain meeting with God. The rest of the people were in the camp and were getting restless about all that was going on, and feared that Moses would never return. They asked Aaron to make them gods to worship. He obliged them and fashioned the golden calf. God sent Moses down from the mountain. He was ready to destroy them all and start over with Moses, but Moses began to intercede on their behalf. When Moses saw what was taking place, he became angry and broke the tablets of the Law. Moses called for those who were on the Lord's side to join him and take a stand. We need the same kind of call to commitment today. I'm not just talking about people who need to be saved this morning. I'm talking about people who profess to know Christ. Many have slipped into idolatry. They may not be worshiping some golden calf idol, but they are worshiping money, houses, jobs, recreation, and at times, people.
I. What does it mean to be on the Lord's side?
A. It means we understand salvation.
1. Trusting, by God's grace, in the work of Christ on Calvary and not in ourselves.
2. Christ did for us what we could not do for ourselves...He alone paid the penalty of sin.
3. Many are like the woman who hired a cleaning lady to clean her house once a week.
a. The cleaning lady comes each Thursday.
b. Every Wednesday the woman exhausts herself scrubbing floors, doing laundry, and cleaning the windows.
c. She did this because she was embarrassed for anyone to see her house dirty!
d. Many folks believe they have to clean up their act before they can invite Christ into their hearts...but that idea doesn't come from God!
e. Jesus said, "I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." cf Mt. 9:13b
B. It means we believe the Scriptures.
1. To be on the Lord's side is to place ourselves under the authority of the Word of God.
2. We aren't critics of the Bible, but students!
3. We are not free to pick and choose the verses we believe and reject the rest.
4. Being on God's side means more than just believing the Scriptures, it includes obeying them!
C. It means we do not embrace sin.
1. Our world today thinks it is old- fashioned to talk about sin and holiness.
2. The enlightened individual refers to drunkeness, lying, theft, and sexual perversions as "diseases of the mind"...rather than willful acts of rebellion against God.
3. Abraham Lincoln once asked this question of his critics.
4. "If you call a cow's tail a leg, how many legs does a cow have? His critic answered, "Five." Lincoln replied, "No, just calling a tail a leg doesn't make it so!"
5. We can call sin by some other name, but it doesn't change a thing!
II. Why be on the Lord's side?
A. Because otherwise there is only one alternative.
1. Mt 12:30a, "He that is not with me is against me;"
2. Jesus makes it clear that there is no middle ground in this.
3. In Mt. 7 he speaks of the two gates, one leads to life everlasting the other leads to eternal destruction.
4. Note the two's.
a. Two gates. (narrow & broad)
b. Two ways. ( life & death)
c. Two kinds of fruits. (good & rotten)
d. Two kinds of people. (wise & foolish)
e. Two foundations. (on the rock or on the sand)
f. Two houses. (one that will stand or the other that will fall)
B. Because of His commandment.
1. "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." cf Mk 12:30
2. The basis for the Lord's command is the price He paid on Calvary.
3. 1Co 6:20, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
III. What are the requirements for being on the Lord's side?
A. Confession of sin.
1. When Moses asked this question the tribe of Levi responded positively.
2. They didn't cross the line as an expression of their innocence in the golden calf affair, because Aaron himself was a Levite, and he built the idol!
3. They were willing to confess their sin.
4. All too often we want to make excuses for our sin, but the real need is for us to humble ourselves and confess our sin.
B. Consecration to service.
1. People who are on the Lord's side are meant to be servants.
2. What are you doing for the Lord?
3. Mt 6:24, "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."
C. Connection with the saints.
1. When these people made a choice to be on the Lord's side it meant they would join Moses where he stood.
2. They couldn't remain with the idol worshipers and truly be on the Lord's side!
3. This illustrates the importance of uniting with a local church.
a. Some may ask, "Can't I be a Christian without coming to church?"
b. The answer is yes, but it is like being a student without attending classes.
c. Like being a soldier who is continually A.W.O.L
d. Like being an athlete without a team or a salesman without customers, etc.
God established the local church for believers to grow in grace and in knowledge. What about it this morning? Who is on the Lord's side? Will you deal with sin in your life? Will you consecrate yourself to serving the Lord? Have you made that all important connection with the local church? Will you come today?