‘He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters (Luke 11:23).
Gathering the Extreme Hearts
Jesus’ words etched an image of stark contrast for those who had ears to hear. Jesus never played down or softened the distinction between His kingdom and that of the world. He never nuanced His words to make everyone ‘feel good’. He used extreme language to draw extreme contrasts to illicit clear choices for, or against, Him and His kingdom. Jesus was and is extreme!
Note that Jesus said if we are not gathering we are scattering. There is no middle ground. If we are not gathering on behalf of His kingdom…..a kingdom of the heart ruled by Jesus, a kingdom where his principles and His word manifest in our ministry; a kingdom where the Truth of His Word and the freedom of His Spirit bring forth a transformed people. If we are not doing this, then we are scattering…..we are opposing him…..we are working against him.
Jesus words in Luke 11:23 offer leaders a ministry model to cast the clarion call to gather for His kingdom. It is time to gather the remnant who will hear; a remnant who will desire sending capacity before seating capacity. Leaders of churches and ministries are being drawn toward a line in the sand. We must speak the Truth of Jesus’ word and exhibit the power of His grace. God is summoning us to gather a passionate, purposeful, and powerful people to advance His kingdom.
So who is this that is ‘gathering’? We know there were only a handful gathered at the cross. There were only 120 gathered in the upper room. There were only 12 to whom he initially entrusted the great commission. He speaks of gathering those who will hear and live by the Spirit and the Truth. He speaks of gathering the extreme few who will do and will go on behalf of the Kingdom.
Leaders may soften the message of Jesus. Some may nuance the Word and offer vanilla flavored gospel to gather more people to meetings. However, if it is not advancing the kingdom of God it is scattering the remnant; ‘everyone whose heart God has moved’ (Ezra 1:5). A softened message and a nuanced gospel is a gospel without power. Such works will scatter the passionate, purposeful remnant who are saying in their hearts, ‘here am I send me!’.
As time moves forward and the return of Jesus draws nearer, I sense a heightened intensity to advance the Kingdom of God on earth. Leaders of governments, businesses, and ministries will be forced to choose to gather or scatter regarding Jesus and His kingdom.
Leaders, let us gather the remnant hearts in these days. Let us cry forth the clarion call of the Word and the Spirit that will gather them to do His will on earth as it is done in heaven.