Matthew 6:24 – Believing Loyalty

When Jesus speaks about the problem of serving two masters in Matthew 6:24, His teaching goes to the heart of our relationship with God:

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Money is only one other master that people can serve.  The issue becomes one of serving any other god but Yahweh.  When we look at the ancient Israelites, what was it that always got them into trouble?  What was the very first of the Ten Commandments that God gave them in Exodus 20:3?

“You shall have no other gods before Me.”

Go to the Old Testament and read what God continually warned His people.  Pick a prophet and one of the warnings he gave.  Here’s Jeremiah 25:6 speaking the Word of God to the people of Israel in their captivity and exile in Babylon:

“Do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, or provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm.”

Following after other gods was the continual problem Israel faced.  Time and again in their history, they came back to Yahweh but fell into apostasy by serving other gods that were such a temptation to them.  That resulted in God’s anger and judgment.  When they turned from Him, He brought them harm.  In Deuteronomy 28, God explicitly lays out the blessings He will bestow upon His people for being faithful to Him, but He also describes in great detail the curses they will bring upon themselves for turning to and worshiping other gods in disobedience to Him.

This whole idea about truly and faithfully following Yahweh or turning from Him is why King David was known as “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22).  We know the sins he committed; he was human – he made bad choices.  But the one thing David never did was to waver in his love and dedication to Yahweh.  He never followed any other god.  There is a term for this: BELIEVING LOYALTY.  David’s believing loyalty was to Yahweh and Him alone.

There are many gods in this world.  They often take different shapes or forms in today’s world from what they did in David’s day, but in the spiritual realm they are all the same.  The gods over the nations in the Old Testament were fallen spiritual entities.  They remain to this day.  Their purpose is the same now as it was then: they hate God – their creator – and they desire to thwart His plans and purposes for mankind.

The love of money – money as a master – is a god that tears us away from faithfulness and trust in God alone.  When Jesus said we cannot serve two masters, He meant that we cannot trust anyone or anything except God alone.  Our believing loyalty must be absolute to the God of the Bible.

When we trust God in this way, then it becomes possible for us to do what Jesus commanded in Matthew 6:33:

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

When we do, “all these things,” i.e. food, clothing, and peace from the anxiety of tomorrow, will be added to our lives.

4 Responses to “Matthew 6:24 – Believing Loyalty”

  1. Reply Elizabeth Bouley

    I don’t have peace about attending a church that is in contract with the government, the 501c3 contract. Matthew 6:24 says , you cannot serve two masters. What is your viewpoint on this? I’m striving for wisdom and understanding here.
    Thank you!

    • Reply Gary Ritter

      I think a response to your question has to consider time and place. Currently in America the 501c3 status for churches has been the norm with few opting out of being granted that non-profit designation. In this circumstance, my concern would (and is) more for whether the church is influenced by this in the preaching of the Gospel. In other words, does the fear of losing this status change what the pastor says? If not and he is faithful to the Gospel, I don’t think that’s a problem.

      In many other parts of the world like China they have state approved and unregistered churches. Typically the state approved churches are subject to the dictates of the state and may be told what they can say. That’s a problem. In contrast are the unregistered churches which are “illegal” and usually faithful to the Gospel. We’re not there yet in America, but getting close.

      The time is coming here that if churches wish to retain tax-beneficial status, the government will insist they do church its way. Certainly those churches that kowtow to this kind of pressure are compromised. Churches will likely have to go underground like some in Canada have already done so that they aren’t harassed by government operatives. There will also come a time soon that churches are completely illegal unless preaching Marxist doctrines or similar government approved “truths.”

      So, for today, if you’re able to find a good, Bible believing church regardless of its 501c3 status, that is more important in my opinion than the tax designation itself. Just keep watch on how the church might respond to government pressure and then decide how you deal with your relationship with the church at that point.

      I hope this helps in your considerations. God bless!

      • Reply Gary Ritter

        You’ve likely heard that technology in and of itself isn’t a bad thing – it’s neutral. What we do with it is what makes it a useful tool or a tool of the devil. To that end, I think, various technologies like what you mention can be good and helpful. If we see that any we may like have gone woke and start comprising the Word of God, that’s when we have to leave them behind.

        It’s like when we start watching a TV series (usually older ones) on Amazon Prime. Some have begun just fine not having gratuitous sex, language, or violence – but then the producers apparently felt those things were necessary. From our perspective: GONE! We don’t need that and don’t want it, plus the Lord seems to give us a nudge to abandon the show, which we do. Next!

        I would apply this filter to all these various technologies. We can give Caesar his due, but we don’t want to get in bed with him.

  2. Reply Kevin

    I appreciated reading your response to Elizabeth’s question regarding attending a church that’s is a 501c3.

    I have also received advice, concerning serving two masters, that neither as an individual nor as a church should not participate with a 501c3 non-profit Chriatian organization because they should be under the umbrella of a church ministry and not a separate entity under the authority of the government.

    If this is true. Then those in our church should also not utilize resources such as Youversion, Bible Project, etc. because of the their 501c3 designation.

    Gary, what guidance and insight can you provide me in either direction concerning both circumstances? Is there scripture that would help? The closest thing I can find scriptures is 2 Kings 5:17-19.

    Thank your for your help.

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