The church is quickly abandoning the Gospel – the Word of God. In many cases, the church’s beliefs have become indistinguishable from those of their society. According to LifeSiteNews.com, Lesley Pilkington, a persecuted Christian psychotherapist in the UK, has stated that:
- “Our churches have become extremely worldly. It is supposed to be that the churches influence the nation, but now the nation is influencing the church”…
- Churches “very rarely talk about sin and refuse ever to say that homosexual behaviour is a sin.” Only a minority of people in the churches in Britain, “speak out the word of God. And they get a lot of aggression for it…they are blind guides leading others into a ditch of destruction.”
- “The established churches don’t accept the way I’ve spoken today, which is a biblical way. The word of God is being marginalized…
The church has had a long history of compromise, extending back to the 1st century. Regarding this, Paul wrote:
- I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (Galatians 1:6-9)
A perverted or compromised Gospel is so lethal and offensive to God, that it would be preferable that false teachers be “eternally condemned.” Sadly, we have often proved ourselves ripe for compromise even in the absence of the preaching of “an angel from heaven.” Even those chosen by God to deliver His Word have succumbed! God had chosen an unnamed prophet to bring a warning to his chosen but idolatrous king, King Jeroboam of Israel. The prophet’s divine warning came with signs:
- That same day the man of God gave a sign: "This is the sign the Lord has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out." (1 Kings 13:3)
Jeroboam tried to have the prophet arrested, but immediately his hand was frozen, and therefore he cried to the prophet to have the Lord heal him. After being healed, he changed gears and now wanted to reward the prophet. However, the prophet explained:
- "Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here. For I was commanded by the word of the Lord: 'You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.' " (1 Kings 13:8-9)
True to the Word, the prophet left only to later succumb to the word of a false prophet who claimed that he had received a corrective word from God instructing the prophet to go to his house and eat. Well, why shouldn’t the prophet take some refreshment? He deserved it! Besides, the false prophet seemed to be one of his own kind. The real, but now compromised prophet, ate but, upon leaving, was killed by a lion, who proved to be more obedient to God’s instructions – contrary to his nature, the lion did not eat the prophet – than had been the prophet.
This account is deeply troubling in its severity. For seemingly one lapse, God had his servant killed! However, this severity should be a lesson for us. How crucial to our very welfare is it to hold the Word of our God as preeminent and uncompromised! And how much more severely will our God punish those to whom more has been given.
Jesus had issued the same warning:
- If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you… If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. (John 15:7, 10)
What are our 30 pieces of silver which we derive for our compromise? The prophet sold out for a meal. Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. Israel often pursued idols instead of the God who had redeemed them. We compromise for social and professional respectability, rejecting the Word of God in favor of the idolatrous bondage to the opinions of others.
Nevertheless, our Lord's arms are still reaching out. He explains:
- “On your clothes men find the lifeblood of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in. Yet in spite of all this you say, 'I am innocent; he [God] is not angry with me.' But I will pass judgment on you because you say, 'I have not sinned.'” (Jeremiah 2:34-35)
If only we would implore our God to show us the truth, to examine us (Psalm 139:23-24)! If only we would admit that we have sinned and would confess before Him! However, we are too self-deluded by our own self-justifications and self-righteousness and therefore proclaim “I have not sinned!” This is our biggest problem!
(I am now prevented by Facebook from posting my essays on other groups. If you will miss this, please register on this blog as a "follower.")