Wow, what a question! This question is addressed to those people with a divided allegiance. These people are not complete supporters of Jesus. They are not in complete opposition either. Honestly, they are not even attempting to be neutral. Jesus is speaking to those who profess him to be Lord but refuse to do wholehearted service. This cannot be, my friends. Mt 12:30 We were either a Cowboy or an Indian in the game I played as a child. Today, we are either for or against Jesus, there is no fence sitting. Fence sitting is a result of a divided allegiance. Jesus said we cannot serve two masters because we will be devoted to one and despise the other. Mt 6:24 Too many people are doing their best at trying that today. This divided allegiance is basically lukewarmness. In the Lord's sight lukewarmness, or divided allegiance, is worse than out and out opposition of Him. Rev 3:15,16 No lukewarm Christians! No divided allegiance! He will not have it!
Too many people are willing to call Jesus Lord, but will not go all the way with their Lord. How many people follow Jesus for miles and miles until he comes to the Jordan River? They balk at baptism. This is a rejection of of the God's counsel similar to what the Pharisees did in Jesus day. Lk 7:30 People follow Jesus to the offering plate and then throw him off. This loyalty test of giving is failed by many because people are not first giving themselves to the Lord. 2Co 8:3-5 They can't give themselves to the Lord because they have a divided allegiance. People will follow Jesus until it is no longer the popular opinion. Many will not pray in the name of Jesus because it will offend someone who does not believe in the Lordship of Jesus Christ. So we, in divided allegiance, will offend Jesus instead. Jesus, through prayer, cannot be in many schools or court hearings today. We will follow Jesus to worship until it doesn't fit into the plans of our divided allegiance. Heb 10:25 We will follow Jesus by blessing others but allow cursing to flow from our mouths. Jas 3:10-12 We will follow Jesus but neglect to continue in his purpose of soul winning. Lk 19:10 This same Jesus gave us the Great Commission. Mt 28:19,20 We will follow Jesus until he loves someone who we don't want to love. 1Jn 4:20,21
The question asked by Jesus condemns lip service. Jesus constantly blasted the Pharisees for their "all lip and no heart" religion. Mt 15:8 Lip service is an example of a divided allegiance. Jesus speaks of them being all show and no go. They talked a good game but didn't back it up. They said but didn't do. Mt 23:3 Profession is one thing and service is another! A divided allegiance will have us professing in word but denying in deed! Tit 1:16
The question asked by Jesus rebukes salvation by prayer alone. It is silly for an alien sinner to pray, "Lord, Lord, forgive my sins" when the Lord has already given a command what an alien sinner must comply to have their sins removed. That is by immersion into the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ from a penitent heart. Acts 8:36-37; Acts 2:37-38; Rom 6:4 When God establishes a law where a person can comply and receive a blessing, it is not be altered. Pr 28:9 Many people want to pray for the blessing rather than comply to the command! That is a divided allegiance to the Lord and self.
This question asked by Jesus rebukes salvation by faith alone. Someone once said, "Faith will not justify unless it is strong enough to produce works." That reminds me of what James said in Jas 2:24 It is faith that works through love that harvests a blessing. Gal 5:6
The question asked by Jesus emphasized the practical side of Christianity. All theory and no action has never won a battle. The person who takes obedience out of Christianity takes the practicality out of the Lord's system and leaves a theoretical shell. Man must obey! Heb 5:8,9 Profession is good, practice is better, doing both is Christianity!
I am reminded of a story I read about an old woman during a war. The cry came out that the enemy was coming and people were running away. An old woman ran of her porch in the direction of the enemy with a broom. The people questioned as to what she could do with nothing but a broom. She said, "I don't know, but at least they will know which side I'm on!" Do people know which side you are on? Do people know you are on Jesus side? Do they see a person with a divided allegiance? Today, show people you are "in Christ" with a profession that is backed up with a practice.
I do not say these things to be dogmatic or judgmental. I say them from a deep concern. A deep concern that many believe that calling Jesus Lord will get them to heaven. When they must also be doing the Lord's will with that profession. Please read Mt 7:21
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
We must hear the Word of God: Rom 10:17; Acts 4:4
We must believe of have faith: Heb 11:6; Acts 16:31
We must repent of our sins: Lk 13:3; Acts 17:30
We must confess Christ before others: Mt 10:32; Acts 8:37
We must be immersed into Christ (baptized) Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38
We must be faithful: Rev 2:10; Acts 14:22