June eNews: Will You be a Compromiser?
For decade upon decade Jehovah had been pleading with His people to repent and return to Him. He had sent warning after warning to the Jewish people through the preaching of Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah and others. But all those warnings were ignored.
By 605 B.C., when Nebuchadnezzar showed up at the gates of Jerusalem, Jeremiah had been bringing the Word of the Lord to them for 22 years. He had fearlessly stood against the wicked culture of his time, but the entire city was already given over to the spirit of Babylon before the Babylonians took one step within the city gates.
The people were totally engrossed in idolatry and worldliness. Nearly everyone rejected the preaching of Jeremiah. But, even then, God had a remnant. And He still has one today.
The Lord had been exceedingly longsuffering with the people and had given them time and space to repent. Eventually, His patience was exhausted, and He allowed the kingdom of Babylon to come in and overthrow the nation. It was as if He said, “You want darkness? Okay, you will have darkness until it is coming out of your nostrils. I am sending you right into the greatest pit of spiritual darkness in existence and you will be there for 70 years until you are completely done with your love of idolatry.”
If you could imagine being captured by ISIS and taken as a slave into Mosul, you would get a little picture of what it was like for the Jews who were carried into exile. The Chaldeans were known for their cruelty and it had to have been a terrifying march that took them far away from their homes and into the land of the Chaldeans.
Once the Jews arrived in Babylon, most were sent directly to the slave market. But Nebuchadnezzar hand-picked a very small group of young people—scholars believe the number of them were probably somewhere between 50 and 100—who were admitted into the king’s training program.
We can scarcely imagine the awe and fear those young captives must have experienced at the thought of standing before this terrible conqueror. They had to have been utterly devastated when they were hauled off to this foreign land. They left behind everything that was familiar—their homes, their neighborhoods, their families, even the temple of Jehovah.
The temptation to compromise must have been overwhelming for those young people.
It is crucial that we understand this next point: We face the same basic dilemma in our day. We’re not being taken into a foreign land. We’re not being dispossessed of our homes, our families, our livelihoods. What Christians are facing is a spiritual war, not a physical war.
The Christian Church of America has been infiltrated and compromised in every area. And compromised is the right way to describe it.
That is what the devil does. He gets in through compromise. Little compromises here and there until there is no standard of righteousness left.
Let’s face it, we learn the art of compromise early in life. We may have convictions, but when little temptations come along to cave in, we go the line of least resistance.
We hold a conviction until it gets in the way of our comfort or our ease. We have a standard as long as it doesn’t violate something we wish to do. If we can cheat a little on the divine principles, or even the principles we say we believe, we’ll do that, too, in many cases, if it accomplishes our goals.
John MacArthur says, “We have so long compromised with the world, we have become so engulfed in its materialistic viewpoint, in its economics, and its style of life that there is little possibility that we can even understand what an uncompromising life really means. We fight to be separated from the world, and yet we are unable to define what that separation means because we’ve been so brainwashed by the system.
“We have accepted the world’s thought patterns. We have accepted the world’s value systems. We have accepted the world’s attitudes. We have accepted its morality. In so many cases, we have accepted its economics. We are indulging ourselves. And even though we know the Bible teaches something, if we feel we want to do it, we go ahead and do it anyway.”
But here’s a truth that we should come to grips with: God is an uncompromising God. He never compromises His Word or His principles. Yet, the post-modern church is defined by the word compromise.
And the temptation to compromise is going to increase terribly in the days ahead. So we had better learn now what it means to take a stand for God.
This is where we should take a hard look at the kinds of temptations that Daniel and the other Jews who stood for God were going to face. Because they are the same temptations that we are facing now.
If we compromise and give in to these temptations, we will turn into cowards. But if we will learn not to compromise, we will find a certain degree of fearlessness take over inside. That’s what you see in Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They were fearless in the midst of Babylon because they belonged to Yahweh and they were not going to back down or try to find out of taking a stand.
You, too, live in Babylon. But you can be a man of God in Babylon.
It’s not going to get easier. You need to count the cost and make up your mind. Are you going to be God’s man, or will you be overpowered by the godless culture?
This article was adapted from the introduction to Pastor Steve’s message “God’s Man in Babylon.” To learn more about the temptations facing believers in today’s culture, and how to overcome them, please check out our brand-new DVD, “Living for Jesus in a Dark World.” This DVD is the first release in our new Overcomers Series.
Steve Gallagher is the Founder and President of Pure Life Ministries. He has dedicated his life to helping men find freedom from sexual sin and leading Christians into the abundant life in God that comes through deep repentance.
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