Comfortable compromise often leads to life problems

Published 8:39 am Friday, February 28, 2020

We continued our sermon series at Harmony on the seven churches of Asia this past Sunday with the church of Pergamos. Let me begin by giving you some background information and history about this particular church. John Lowe gives us this description, “After leaving Smyrna, a letter carrier traveled along the coast of the Aegean Sea for about 40 miles. Then the road turned northeast along the Caicus River. About 10 miles inland stood the impressive city of Pergamum, built on a hill 1000 feet above the surrounding countryside, creating a natural fortress. Rivaling Ephesus as the leading city in the region, Pergamum had become the capital of the province of Asia and the center of Asian culture. It was proud of its links with Rome. Pergamos was the center of worship for four of the most important cults of the day: Zeus, Dionysus, Athene and Asklepios.” As you can tell from this detailed description, many intellects lived in Pergamum and the area was a hotbed for pagan worship. Jesus went so far as to call Pergamos, “Satan’s throne where Satan dwelled.” Many of the pagan worship practices and doctrines made their way into the church. The Christians were mixing Christianity with false religions and God had a problem with those practices.

Some Christians within the church at Pergamos had remained faithful to Christ. Jesus praised those individuals for their devotion to His name, but others had begun to compromise. Compromise means to make concessions or accommodations for someone who does not agree with a prevalent set of standards or rules. It is easy to compromise because it makes us more comfortable. One concession leads to another and each concession makes the next one seem easier and more tolerable. Compromise is a simple process of accommodating the world, accommodating sin and accommodating the enemy. The church at Pergamos had begun to teach false doctrine, and much of the church was participating in pagan practices, but still claiming they were followers of Christ.

I came across the short story in my studies this past week. Once upon a time there was a hunter who aimed his gun at a large bear and got ready to fire, but just then the bear spoke in a soft diplomatic voice, “Why resort to violence? Let’s negotiate. I am sure we can find some common ground. What is it that you want?” The hunter began to lower his rifle and said, “I would like a fur coat.” The bear replied, “Perfect. All I want is a full stomach  I am sure we can reach a compromise.” So, they sat down to talk it over. A little while later the bear walked away alone. The compromise had been successful because the bear had a full stomach and the hunter now had a fur coat but look at the great cost. Compromise with this world in the end will cost us all more than we are willing or will be able to pay.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

1 John 2:15-17 states, “15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” The Bible could not be any plainer about our relationship with the world. We must live in this world, but we must come out from among the world and be a separated people. We should love everyone in this world, but never should our lifestyle be like those who do not have a relationship with Jesus! Our words and actions must be HOLY! If we as Christians live like the world our message is irrelevant and we are a joke to those around us! The world must see a difference in us! As Christians, we say that Jesus is enough and that he provides us with joy, peace, contentment, and satisfaction just to name a few, but then those without a relationship with Christ see us out in the world looking for something more. When we are choosing to sin, we are loudly declaring to the world that not everything is found in Christ alone. This declaration is certainly not true! Everything good comes from above, and only Christ can fill the void in all of our souls!

The first step of compromise is listening to the lies of Satan. He does his best to convince us all that we need something more in our lives beyond Christ. He tells us that God understands. We will then begin to justify our words and actions. We convince ourselves we can live how we want, but the Word of God affirms that we must be HOLY as he is HOLY! We cannot compromise our walk with the Lord and allow ungodly things to infiltrate our lives.

I would like to close with a quote from Pastor Greg Laurie, “I am not suggesting that we be holier-than-thou hypocrites. Instead, we should live in such a way that unbelievers could look at us and say, “There is something different about that person. Something that is desirable, something admirable.” They may laugh at you at times, but deep in their hearts they may deeply respect you. The compromising person, on the other hand, reaches no one. Compromise begins with leaving your first love for Jesus Christ, which leads to compromise, which leads ultimately to immorality, idolatry, and other sins. Show me a person who is not living in close fellowship with God and I will show you a person who is on the way to bigger problems. It is only a matter of time. The best antidote to the allurements and temptations of this world is a passionate love relationship with Jesus Christ.”

(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton, and his associate, David Odom.)