THE COMPROMISING CHURCH
God has been speaking to me about the compromising church. Who is the church? We are the church, both corporately and individually.
Rev 2:12-17 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two edged sword. (13) I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is, and you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. (14) but I have a few things against you because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality, (15) Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I have. (16) Repent, or else I will come o you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. (17) He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit say to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.
VS 14 The Doctrine of Balaam (The doctrine of compromise) In order to understand the doctrine of compromise. We must go back to the Old Testament and learn who Balaam was.
Numbers 22-24 tells about Balaam who was a magician, who wanted to have the status as a Prophet of God, he liked to look like a prophet to the people of the land. Balak was a Moabite king who saw Israel come into his land and he did not want any part of them being there. So he sent messengers to Balaam to ask him to come curse Israel.
- Balak believed that the outcome of war was dependent on the gods. So he sent for Balaam to curse the Israelites so that they can be defeated.
- Balaam was a magician who wanted to look like a prophet in the eyes of the people when in fact he was actually a magician. (vs7) So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the diviner’s fee in their hand.
- Balaam means false teacher
- Vs8 & vs 19 Balaam made s show of being uncompromising. He made it look like he was obedient to God. “Stay here the night and I will seek the LORD” In fact in vs18 he says even if Balak were to give him a house full of silver and gold he could not go against the word of the LORD. (Yet God had already said no) In his heart he was already compromising.
In vs32 the angel of the LORD says he stands against him because his way is perverse before Him.
- Way = a road, a coarse of life, mode of action, along, away, because of, by conversation, custom, journey, manner, passenger, through, toward
- God was angry because of the journey in his heart. He was willing to compromise. He grabbed hold of the thought of all that gold and silver being offered and thought maybe God would change his mind. In his heart he had compromised
In vs32 Balaam said he sinned because he did not know the angel of the Lord was standing in the way.
- His spiritual eyes were closed. (that spirit of compromise had blinded his eyes to the spirit realm and he did not even know it, he had gone through the motions, he thought he was so tuned into the spirit world, when really he was blinded and probably a little deaf to it.)
- Notice he said he sinned because he did not see the Angel of the Lord. He sinned because he was blind to the spirit realm.
- He wanted the money; he was on a journey not to do what God wanted, but to get his hands on the gold and silver.
- He figured he could find a way to get the money and still find a way to obey God
How many times have we done the same thing? We say we are fully committed to do what the LORD wants, but in our hearts we are hoping He will change his mind or allow us to bend the rules.
- Wives sometimes make a big show of making sure people know they are fully submitted to their husbands. “I will ask my husband” “If my husband says yes” etc… Is what they say around other men and women? But then when it is something they really want they do not ask their husbands, and sometimes they only tell them after the fact or if it is something the husband asks about. Or in the privacy of their own homes they are stubborn and rebellious. I have seen it with the way they treat their children, the way they handle money, they way they spend their time. Outwardly they appear uncompromising, but God sees our heart, he knows our true motives.
Question: What has the church of America become? Has she become a church of compromise? Seeking what the world has to offer so that she is spiritually blind?
- I have listened to many television preachers who are living in the darkness of compromise. It causes me much prayer when I think of all the people who are following them and being led astray by their spiritual blindness.
- Those spiritual leaders of the church are condoning drinking wine; they are mixing other religions in with Christianity. They are compromising on the word of God. They are making excuses for their behavior. They are allowing things in the church that God would never allow. God does not change, His word does not change. What was wrong in the past is still wrong today.
- Question: What about you and me? Have we become a church of compromise? Maybe it’s not money that has the allowed the spirit of compromise to blind you. Maybe it’s a lust for power that has caused your spiritual eyes to dim. Maybe it’s a lust for accolades that has caused you to make exceptions for certain people and that what has caused your spiritual eyes to dim.
- It is time to turn back to the right path
- In vs20 God allowed Balaam to follow the desire of his heart and God will allow you and me to follow the desires of our own lusts. But there will not be approval in it. God will never bless what goes against His word. He said to be Holy as He is Holy.
- Right now in churches across America the people are even beginning to worship Baal. They may not know it, but they are. They have sinned because their spiritual eyes are blind. They are practicing something called Ekstasis (Ecstasy) look it up on You Tube. What they are doing is compromising; they are allowing other gods into their worship.
The Doctrine of the Nicolaitans (A doctrine God hates)
- Nicolas means “one who conquers the people. Irenaeus writes that Nicolas, who was made a deacon in Acts 6, was a false believer, who later became apostate, but because of his credentials he was able to lead the church astray, And like Balaam, he led the people into immorality and wickedness. The Nicolaitans, followers of Nicolas, were involved in immorality and assaulted the church with sensual temptations. Clement of Alexander says, “The abandoned themselves to pleasure like goats, leading a life of self-indulgence. Their teaching perverted grace and replaced liberty with license.
- The doctrine of the Nicolaitans appears to have been a form of antinomianism. Which is a belief that is based upon recognition of the mercy of God as the ground of salvation, but it makes the fatal mistake that man can freely partake in sin because the Law of God is not longer binding. It held the truth on the gratuitous reckoning of righteousness; but supposed that a mere intellectual “belief” in this truth had saving power. (http://www.wordoftruthradio.com/questions/38.html)
- The bible teaches us that salvation is a free gift, based upon God’s grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). However, the very next verse tells us that “we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10)
- True faith produces action, as well as a desire for holiness and obedience. (1 John 3:18, Titus 2:11-15, 1 Peter 1:15-16, Revelation 14:12)
- By the time the 2nd century rolled around the Nicolaitans seemed o have continued and extended the views of the 1st century adherents, holding to the freedom of the flesh and sin, and teaching that the deeds of the flesh had no effect upon the health of the soul and consequently no relation to salvation. On the other hand, the bible teaches that Christians are supposed to “die” to sin and the deeds of our “flesh”: Romans 6:1-2, Romans 6:11-13
- There is a teaching right now that basically says that because of the Grace of God we no longer have to repent of sins. Because of what Jesus did for us we can live a life of effortless success! We no longer have to live a life free of sin because of what Jesus did for us. This is a lie, and this is a doctrine God hates. Do not be deceived!
Both of these men Balaam and Nicolas brought the Israelites to a state of compromise, that same spirit of running rampant on the earth today. People are living in a state of compromise and they don’t even know it. If we were honest we could all say we have places in our lives where we live in compromise. We tell little white lies, we act one way in church and another way outside of church, leadership allows people to be in positions they should not be in, we gossip, we backbite, we make a big deal of looking all holy to the people of God, then as soon as we are out of their presence all the ugliness in our hearts comes gushing out. Then instead of running to God in a place of repentance, asking Him to clean up, heal us, change us; we make excuses for our behavior, we justify our actions.
What about when we say we trust God, then we run around trying to solve our problems ourselves?
What about when we say we believe God is our healer, except for this or so and so?
What about how we set standards for how people should behave then we make excuses for people in our own family.
Do we really think God is pleased with our compromise, with our justification?
The compromising church is very dangerous because it puts a stumbling block before the church. Remember they are watching, but most of all God is watching.
That spirit of compromise is running rampant in our churches and in our lives. With it is deception. We are worshiping other gods, we are compromising the Word of God and we are bringing judgment down on ourselves.