Warnings About Compromise

The Dangers of Prosperity

Deut 4:25 - When thou shalt beget children, and children's children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger:


Give a brief history of Israel and how they came to this place.  Moses is about to die, and he preaches to a new generation about how they got to this point.  He is telling them that their parents have compromised the promises of God and have died in the wilderness.  They are going to take the land of Canaan for themselves, as God promised.  If they compromise, they will provoke God to anger and God will judge them like He has already judged their parents and grandparents.

Notice “children and grandchildren”.  This is talking about children and grandchildren.  Never compromise the truth to pacify or satisfy your children or grandchildren.

Compare the compromising of Israel to the various stages of church life.  In the beginning of a church, everybody wants to do everything they can possibly do and never looks to another person, expecting them to do something.  Everybody wants all the involvement they can get, and will do almost anything.  This action by individuals makes the church live.  When a church gets older, the members begin to think of it as an “established” church, and they somehow believe that the church will continue whether or not they personally take a part in the everyday life of the church.  Members begin to look around and expect somebody else to do something.  Members start putting their personal lives in front of their activity in the church.  Members quit praying because they are expecting somebody else to be praying.  Individual involvement stops or slows down drastically.  Then people wonder why the church isn’t like it used to be.

The verse before us shows what happened to Israel, and this exact same thing will happen to our church, or any church.  The lessons in the Old Testament are given to us for an example.  We should heed the warning, or compromise is ahead.  After compromise is failure, and the judgment of God.

Proverbs 22:28 - Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. [1]

Matthew 28:18-20 – God has given a promise to his churches that he will be with them forever, but that does not mean that any individual church cannot die, or go out of existence.  All of us should know and understand that although individual churches die, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ shall never die.

Deuteronomy 31 – Moses cannot go into the promised land because he struck the rock the second time instead of speaking to it.  He is at the end of his days, and desires that others know how to carry on the work of God – those that have not seen the miracles in Egypt, or what happened to Og and Sihon, kings of the Amorites.  There are some of us who are coming to the end of our days – and we cannot do those things we formerly did.  It is time for some of you younger ones to take up the work of the church.  It is time for you to do it now, while we are still here to guide you and instruct you in truth and righteousness.  You need to learn to do God’s work because before you know it, you will also be old and older and unable to do what you do now.  You must teach your children to teach your grandchildren, so the work of God will be continued in this place.

Joshua 24:14-15 – Joshua, at the end of his life, determined to remain strong for the cause of Christ, and urged the entire nation to serve God, never forgetting his promises however prosperous they became. 

I Kings 9 – God spoke to Solomon when the temple was completed, telling him he would bless Israel if they would remain faithful to him, but he would uproot them and cast away the temple if they refused to worship and serve him.

Revelation 2:1-7 – Jesus wrote to the church at Ephesus, telling them they had left their first love and were in danger of ceasing to be a church.  Somebody might say, that will never happen at Independence Baptist Church.  But it could.  We are not different from anybody else or any other church.  If we are different, it is because God has made us different.  It is because God has chosen to set his name here.  The church at Ephesus is not alive today, so that church died out.  That was unnecessary, but it happened.  It is necessary for people to die, but not for churches to die.  Churches should grow stronger and stronger, and be renewed as new people come into the congregation, learn the truth and stand for the truth.  People die because of sin, and churches die because of sin.  That is why Paul preaches be faithful to God.

Don’t be satisfied with what we have, but continually seek God’s blessings.

Ephesians 3:14-21 – The prayer of Paul for the Ephesian church.  Eventually, they did not see the fulfillment of this prayer, but Independence Baptist Church can see the fulfillment if we will only seek the face of God, obey him diligently, read and learn his precious word and let him guide us in all our decisions.

[1]   Preached to here 5/31/98 IBC Sunday Evening