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Say it isn’t so #8 2006
All my life I have heard that evil word in relation to the church. Compromise. Churches have split, people have left in anger, some have been disgusted about that terrible, terrible thing called compromise.
I have heard:
God does not compromise. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Compromise is back sliding.
Compromise is of Satin.
As always I will be looking at this issue through the Word of God.
(3)Lets start at the beginning.
In the beginning God made man and woman in his image. They lived in the garden of Eden, and life was great. We do not know for how long they lived there, but we do know that God created them perfect and Holy.
(4)Gen. 1:31 “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
Now God gave Adam some instructions,
(5)“you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (2:17)
He gave Adam a wife, Eve, and the last verse of chapter two Is,
“The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”
Then we quickly move into chapter three.
God went from His perfect plan of the perfect garden amd a perfect life, to a compromise plan. Adam and eve would live a hard life, and have to face death.
(6) picture of desert
From this point on the Bible is full of compromise.
Chapter 6 in Gen says, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and …The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth and his heart was filled with pain.. So the Lord said ,
(7)“I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth.”
God’s compromise, verse 8
(8)“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” Embellish how Noah built the ark and God spared His family rather than destroying man.
(9) Noah’s ark.
Lets look at Jacob:
Chapter 32:22-31 Tells us a story of how Jacob wrestled with God. Now do you really think that God could not have defeated Jacob?
(10)Picture of God and Jacob wrestling
When you have the ability to defeat someone and you choose to pull back, that is compromise. God not only compromised with Jacob, He blessed Him.
One more; and then I will get to the main point today. Ex 32:9-14 (NIV)
"I have seen these people," the LORD said to Moses, "and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation." But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. "O LORD," he said, "why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ’It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ’I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’"
(11)Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. Ex 32:9-14 (NIV)
(12) Moses begged God to spare the people, and then got so angry himself that he threw the tablets down and broke them.
Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened
Did you hear that: God relented. If you have in your mind to do one thing and you are convinced to do another thing then you are compromising.
My son gave me a book to read this week. It is called Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell.
Rob Bell is a very effective youth leader and founding pastor of Mars Hill, one of the fastest growing churches in American History.
He starts it with a short story of a velvet picture of Elvis that was painted by R. (that all I know about the painter) but he uses it only as an example.
“What if”, he says, “when he was done with this masterpiece, R. had announced there was no more need for anyone to paint, because he had just painted the ultimate painting? What if R. had held a press conference, unveiled his painting and then called on all painters everywhere to put down their brushes, insisting that since he had painted the ultimate painting, there was simply no need for any of them to continue their work??” p.10 Velvet Elvis
(14) I have heard all my Christian life the words, “I will not compromise.”
(15)I ask you this question;
We know that Jesus was brought up a good Jewish man. We know that because he was asked to read the scriptures in the synagogues.
(16) Picture of Jesus in synagogue.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: Luke 4:16-17 (NIV)
So, where would we be today if Jesus said, The scriptures say that if I touch the dead I will be unclean for seven days, I’m sorry dear mother of this dead child, I just can’t compromise.
11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12 As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out--the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don’t cry."
14 Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, "Young man, I say to you, get up!" 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
Luke 7:11-15 (NIV)
Or what if Jesus had told his mother;
(17) “I am sorry mother, my time has not yet come, and I mean it.” when Mary asked Him to make the wine.
What if Jesus said as the Pharisees believed, that it is unlawful to heal on the Sabbath. "It is the law after all, see if you can catch me tomorrow. I want you to read this scripture,"
Lord of the Sabbath
1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."
3 He answered, "Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread--which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5 Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? 6 I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. 7 If you had known what these words mean, ’I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
9 Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"
11 He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."
13 Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.
Matt 12:1-14 (NIV)
(18) I want you to note the last words of this passage. “But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.
When you begin to step on the policies and procedures of the established church, you had better be prepared that they will want to kill you, or eject you from their church.
Now I want to take a moment to recognize that just going against the practices and policies of a church organization does not automatically make you right. We have many scriptures that deal with how you should act in the body of believers, things like, if it bothers your brother, do not do it. So I think the defining factors have to be what the issue is that you are considering compromising.
God seems to have compromised on life and death issues. Christ seem to compromise on biblical principles that had nothing to do with the spiritual relationship with God. He went after those things that made people feel spiritual but had nothing to do with righteousness.
(19) He went in with the sinners and publicans, something that to the church of his day did not do.
You were unclean if you consorted with gentiles, sinners, and unbelievers. Yet, where did we find Christ? He was right there in the middle of the very ones the religious leaders of the day would avoid at all cost.
We must be careful that we do not hold to the legalistic Pharisaical ideologues of our religious society, but rather listen to the Spirit of God.
What if Jesus had said, "it is the wrong way to die as a good Jewish man, on the cross, so messy you know, so un-Jewish; I will speak up for myself, there is no need for me to die this way. I can’t compromise, I must do what the law says."
Where would we be??
A few more words from Rob’s book,
“The challenge for Christians then is to live with great passion and conviction, remaining open and flexible, aware that this life is not the last painting. “
He says, "Times change, God doesn’t, but times do. We learn and grow, and the world around us shifts, and the Christian faith is alive only when it is listening, metamorphosing, innovating, letting go of whatever has gotten in the way of Jesus and embracing whatever will help us be more and more the people God wants us to be.” p. 11
So here it is.
(20)You really have only two choices.
1) You can hold unto the traditions and standards and ideals that you have held for decades, and continue to serve God, yet have nothing to show for it, (you know, when was the last time you lead someone to Christ, or even brought them to church so they could hear about Christ), or:
(21)2) You can begin to look at what has to change. It is not really compromise. That word compromise brings in so many negative connotations that we have developed from our childhood teachings.
We need to look at it as a progression in faith. Hold to the things that matter, but do what is necessary to reach out to a dieing world.
All we have to do is look around us to know that people are dieing and going to hell. The question is do you care, (22)do you really care?
I mean it, do you really care?? If you did, then what are you doing about it. Are you praying, is there a pain in you heart when you pray for someone?
(23)Are you seeking the opportunities to share Christ with others, not just invite them to church, but to share Him with someone, telling them how much you have been changed by His presence in your life, assuming your life has been changed by His presence in it.
Jesus said in Matthew 13:33 “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
(24)We are yeast. We can say that the large amount of flour is the world.
We need to mix it up with the world. We will never influence the world from inside these walls. Pray that God will help you to let go of Law and live the life of Love in the Spirit. Listening to the Holy Spirit, letting His words guide you and lead you.
Let me leave you with this one last thought:
(25)The ultimate compromise of all time is Jesus Christ.
The law says if you Sin you must Die,
(26)Jesus said, If you let me die in their place God, will you allow those that accept me to come to heaven. It was the compromise that allowed love to negate the law.
(There is a power point that can be requested that corresponds with the numbers.)