Compromise Reprise

This has been on my mind and heart again over the past few weeks. Compromising God’s Truth. I previously wrote a post called “Compromise” back in March. It can be found here. This is an important subject to the Lord if He has led us back to it.

As we go through life and we mature more in Christ and learn His truth, there are more and more tests presented to us to challenge our faith in Christ and knowledge of His truth. Many of these challenges involve family members and friends as well as brothers and sisters in Christ.

When we are faced with such challenges our emotions can sometimes cloud our judgment. Many times anger plays a role. Sometimes our love for a person also plays a role. Love for people is what the Lord wants us to consider as we walk before Him as lights to the world.

We never want to see a loved one fall into sin. Even if they don’t follow Jesus. But where is the line drawn concerning God’s Truth and our love for mom or dad, son or daughter, brother or sister? Even a spouse. I believe the line is stark and clear. We need to stand firm and clear in God’s Truth before the people we care about.

If we love someone we want them to see Christ and reach out to Him. But if we retreat from our stand in Christ. If we compromise the Truth. What happens? We may seem to gain them in some fleshly way for a time. But are they saved? No. Worse yet, they see how your stand in the truth is broken and return to their sin or way of life and conduct.

Think of how God dealt with Israel. When He brought them into the land of milk and honey, did He tell them to live among the people already there?

Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. And he said to them: “I am one hundred and twenty years old today. I can no longer go out and come in. Also the Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not cross over this Jordan.’ The Lord your God Himself crosses over before you; He will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua himself crosses over before you, just as the Lord has said. And the Lord will do to them as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites and their land, when He destroyed them. The Lord will give them over to you, that you may do to them according to every commandment which I have commanded you. Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:1-6)

Amazing and simple isn’t it? The Lord tells the people through Moses that the people in the promised land would be destroyed and dispossessed of the land. But why would God do that? Isn’t it cruel to kick people out of a land they had been living in? Or did God have a bigger purpose in mind? Was not a promise made?

Now the Lord had said to Abram:

“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.

Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.
(Gen. 12:1-8)

Praise God, His word was fulfilled. His promise was fulfilled on the day that the nation of Israel was brought across the Jordan River by God through Joshua! But there is more to consider. Was God kicking out the inhabitants of the land to make room for the nation of Israel? In part, but the truth runs a bit deeper than that. God was setting apart this nation from all others. Their culture of traditions and rituals were different. They were given to them by God Himself to serve Him and glorify His name in the earth. This was a nation that was forbidden from following after the same manner as other nations. For they had God Himself to lead and take care of them. So if any other nation was left, they would pervert what God had done for them. They would be an influence on the people of Israel to lead them away from God.

If we continue in the book of Joshua, we know that Israel had defeated Jericho and then the nation of Ai by the hand of the Lord. Then came a test.

But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended, old and patched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy. And they went to Joshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.” (Joshua 9:1-6)

A nation became crafty and pretended to be somebody they weren’t. This is an important thing to remember as we go through this lesson. In short the men of Gibeon pretended to be someone from far away come to see the glory of God. In reality they were positioning themselves to not be wiped off the map using lies and deceit to accomplish this. Chapter 9 is a great history lesson in how not to follow the Lord when He gave strict instructions. For any student of the Bible worth his/her salt knows this would cause problems down the road for Israel. But let’s pick up the verses after Israel came upon the cities of Gibeon and found out who they were really dealing with.

22 Then Joshua called for them, and he spoke to them, saying, “Why have you deceived us, saying, ‘We are very far from you,’ when you dwell near us? 23 Now therefore, you are cursed, and none of you shall be freed from being slaves—woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.”

24 So they answered Joshua and said, “Because your servants were clearly told that the Lord your God commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you; therefore we were very much afraid for our lives because of you, and have done this thing. 25 And now, here we are, in your hands; do with us as it seems good and right to do to us.” 26 So he did to them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, so that they did not kill them. 27 And that day Joshua made them woodcutters and water carriers for the congregation and for the altar of the Lord, in the place which He would choose, even to this day. (Joshua 9:22-27)

So what’s the point of all this and what does it have to do with being a faithful witness of Christ? After all God doesn’t expect us to go and slay people does He? Of course not. In this day we are to preach the Gospel so that people may live. Judgment is reserved for the end.

The point simply is that Israel, as God’s people were commissioned with clearing the land of anything and everyone who would pervert God’s kingdom on earth. Right down to the very lineage that would produce the Christ. But there is a parable of separating from sin. Do you see it? Consider all the commandments given in Exodus and pickup at the first chapter through to the ninth of Joshua. Everything God was doing had to do with sin. Remember God hates sin. It separates us from Him.

Many times we are able to continue living with family members who are more or less what one might consider “good” people. People who don’t generally lie or try to do others harm. But if that family member is involved in deep sin, be it stealing, murder, homosexuality, lewdness and so on. The Lord will allow you to separate from that situation if no repentance is in sight.

Folks, you might even have a great relationship with someone who is involved in say, sexual sin. But if we count them friend and not make some sort of division, then we can be seen as condoning that behavior.

Yes we want to be gracious and comforting. Even Jesus Himself went to dine with sinners. But did He mince words when He confronted people about their sin? He came to heal the sick so that they may live. Not for themselves but for Christ. The standard is high but achievable through Him, our Lord and Savior Christ. He gives us power to overcome.

If you have any fear of losing a family member or being excommunicated from your natural family, allow me to point you to the encouragement of the Lord.

31 Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. 32 And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You.”

33 But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?” 34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”
(Mark 3:31-35)

If you are obedient in Christ Jesus, then are we not related by blood? Yes the blood of Christ, for we have been reborn in the Spirit.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
(John 3:3-8)

Let me be so bold as to say; we who are saved in Christ, obedient to His truth are family. We are here as a light to Christ. To point to Him the author and finisher of our faith so that others can come and join the everlasting family! Remade in His image and likeness.

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Gen. 1:25-27)

Brothers and sisters, let us cross over the Jordan to Christ Jesus in the promised land together. Arm in arm ready to serve and glorify the worthy Lamb of God everlasting! For we are not forbidden to cross over to Christ.

Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. And he said to them: “I am one hundred and twenty years old today. I can no longer go out and come in. Also the Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not cross over this Jordan.’ The Lord your God Himself crosses over before you; He will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua himself crosses over before you, just as the Lord has said. And the Lord will do to them as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites and their land, when He destroyed them. The Lord will give them over to you, that you may do to them according to every commandment which I have commanded you. Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:1-6)

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6 Responses to Compromise Reprise

  1. theatomheart says:

    Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me” says the Lord Almighty. -2 Corinthians 6:14-18

  2. Our witness is only powerful if we continue in the grace of God, as obedient servants of Christ. Only then can we expect to see the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of the lost ones we pray for and love. Obedience is a our primary means of intercession for the lost [especially our family members and those who know us but have not come to repentance]. The testimony must remain true to have power. This is the dying to self that is necessary to follow God. “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth,” (Hebrews 9:16-17). We must die to the world to live in Christ.

  3. We continue in the grace of God. If the Lord gives grace to witness, we continue; if we do not receive the unction of the Holy Spirit, we wait. There are spiritual seasons, just as there are natural seasons. It does no good to press forward out of the strength of our own will, even if we are speaking Truth [Christ]: for they may not yet have ears to hear; their eyes may yet be covered with scales. Waiting upon God to provide grace [and praying for His intervention] is a function of faith. The immature cannot wait upon God, as they are not yet tempered, and yet God upholds them, as babes in Christ. Of course, we are all little children before God. Remember these verses? “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him,” (Psalms 126:5-6). When your seed is precious, you don’t cast it carelessly around. When God has given an individual much grace to receive, and yet, still they have resisted, it is important to cast our seed [the incorruptible seed of the word of the living God] carefully, planting when and where the Lord instructs us to sow. The point is this, it is the Holy Spirit that brings conviction, so we are wise to move in His power. [This in regards to those to whom we have witnessed much and often.]

  4. P.S. I guess my point corresponds to the implication of your query: yes, the Lord is not a man that He should be mocked; the opportunities come fewer and farther in between for those who steadfastly refuse the Lord’s witness. Sometimes, God turns men over to a reprobate mind; then, they cannot be saved. For how can a man be saved except the Holy Spirit draws him (John 6:44)?

  5. Reread this again: very good post, brother. This part that follows always makes me cry:

    31 Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. 32 And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You.”

    33 But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?” 34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”
    (Mark 3:31-35)

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