Johnny Cash may have made some mistakes in his lifetime, but from what I've heard, he straightened out and this statement was right on target. When it comes to eternity, mankind stands on one side of the fence or the other side of the fence -- there is no in-between.
The beautiful, ornate wrought iron fence in my photo divides the brick sidewalk from a lovely green yard in the historic Freemason district of Norfolk, Virginia. As I stood on the sidewalk side, it never entered my mind to try and climb the fence. I mean -- look at those sharp pointy things at the top. There ain't no way anyone would attempt to straddle that fence. Ouch!
The same could be said for the "fence" between heaven and hell. While many people attempt to straddle the spiritual fence, they all fail -- painfully.
Thousands of years ago, Joshua asked the Israelite people a question that is still relevant for us today: "...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river or the gods of the Amorites. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" 24:15
A fence like the one in the picture is a beautiful addition to a person's property and can even provide a degree of protection, but a spiritual fence is a dangerous element in a person's life.
When I read that quote in the context of this message, it sent a chill through me. I know unsaved people who have sought to sit on the spiritual fence all their lives and their hearts have grown as cold and hard as the iron in that fence. Iron has entered their souls and I fear for their chances of salvation (it's still possible, but difficult for them to get to that place of acceptance).
I have no idea what Seal meant when he made this statement, but I do know what it means to me. I see it as the choice a person must make -- whether to choose darkness or light -- whether to choose death or life. The trouble is, too many people are not conscious of what they're doing. You see, sitting on a fence is basically choosing darkness by default. A person either chooses God, or doesn't choose God. A fence-sitter is, for all intents and purposes, a person who doesn't choose God. "He who is not for Me, is against Me" Matthew 12:30. Sad, but true.
While that quote is humorous (I laughed aloud when I read it), the spiritual message I wring from it is far from humorous. Satan loves to help people sit on the fence. In fact, he encourages it. As far as he is concerned, if you're not actually going to choose him, fence-sitting is the next best thing. In the end, he gets you either way.
Praise God, I live on the heaven side of the spiritual fence, because I accepted Christ as my Savior and chose God. I hope you are on the right side of the fence, but if you're still straddling that painful piece of iron, hop off onto the heaven side with me. Choose God and live life in the land of the free. It's so much better than being sucked over into the hell-side of the fence that you'll wonder why you ever thought fence-sitting was an option in the first place!