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Compromise and the Lord's Church - Ephesians 5:11

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Purpose: Learn how God feels about his chosen people compromising to become more like the world.



1. Compromise is probably the greatest problem facing the Lord's church in this day and age.

2. There is a strong movement in the brotherhood that is trying to make the church more like the denominations of the world.

3. They say that unity is more important than doctrine.

4. Therefore they feel justified in compromising and endorsing false doctrines in order to promote unity among those who claim to believe in Christ.

5. Is this the attitude that the Lord's church should have concerning religious error?

6. Is unity more important than anything else?

7. This morning I thought that we would discuss the topic of compromising in the Lord's church.

8. I would like to submit to you that God has always been a God that demands absolute obedience.

9. And while he does want unity among his people; they must be unified on the right foundation.

10. Any time a compromise causes us to disobey the will of God; we've gone too far.

11. So, this morning I want to look at the topic of compromise and the Lord's church.

12. We will look at the following:

a. Why do people try to compromise with the will of God.

b. Examples of people in the Old Testament who tried to compromise God's will in order to please the world.

c. People of the New Testament who tried to compromise with God's will.

d. People of the present who are trying to compromise God's will in order to please the world.

e. What does God give as the basis for unity among his people?



I.   Why do people compromise with the will of God?

A.   To please the world.

1.   This allows them to avoid criticism.

a.   People won't call them narrow - minded.

b.   Illustration --> Telephone #.  One wrong number and you don't get through.

2.   Helps them to have an higher attendance.

a.   Many people will find a church that tells them what they want to hear.

b.   This brings in more money.

B.   To be like the world.

1.   People always like to fit in.

2.   The apostate New Testament Church became like this.

a.   In the establishment of Easter as a religious holiday.

b.   Special clothing, instruments, etc.

C.   Lack of Courage; No backbone.

1.   Paul was set for the defense of the gospel (Philippians 1:17).

2.   One man and the truth make a majority.

3.   Many just don't want to start a conflict.

D.   Ignorance.

1.   Sometimes people compromise and don't even know it.

2.   This shows the importance of studying God's word.

a.   2 Timothy 2:15.

b.   1 Peter 2:2.


II.  Old Testament examples of people who tried to compromise with God's will.

A. Saul.

1. The unlawful sacrifice (1 Samuel 13:7-12).

a. Saul was looking to please his followers.

b. God had laid down his terms already-->Numbers 18:7.

c. He was willing to break God's law in order to please the people.

d. He was punished-->v.13.

2. The destruction of the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:1f).

a. God had laid down his law-->v.3.

b. He "feared the people and obeyed their voice"  v.24.

c. He was punished-->v.28.

B. Solomon.

1. God had laid down his terms-->1 Kings 3:14.

2. Solomon wanted to pleas his wives-->1 Kings 11:1-8.

3. He was punished-->1 Kings 11:11.

C. Jeroboam.

1. Give background of kingdom dividing.

2. God laid down his terms for Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:38).

3. 1 Kings 12:26-33.

a. He changed the place of worship.

b. He changed the object of worship.

c. He changed the time of worship.

4. This was one great big compromise.

5. He was punished-->1 Kings 14:7-11.


III. Examples of people in the New Testament who tried to compromise God's will.

A. Peter (Galatians).

1. Peter was eating with the Gentiles.

2. However, when people came that had been sent by James; he separated himself.

a. He wanted to please both parties.

b. He compromised all that he had been preaching (Acts).

3. Because of this compromise, he was severely rebuked by Paul.

a. Verses 14-16.

b. Paul must have been narrow - minded.

B. Paul (Acts).

1. This may be surprising to some people.

2. Many of the Jews in Jerusalem were still trying to hold to the law of Moses-->v.20-21.

3. They wanted Paul to observe the law so that the people would not be upset.

4. Paul caved in under the pressure.

5. He submitted himself to the law of Moses in order to please the people.

a. He went through the right of purification.

b. Numbers 6:13-14.

6. This was an obvious sin and went against everything that he had taught.

a. He was going to offer a sacrifice.

(1) By doing this he was saying that the death of Christ was not sufficient.

(2) I don't think that Paul believed this but he was simply trying to please the crowd.

b. Colossians.

c. Galatians.

d. Galatians.

7. Paul was punished.

a. He was attacked by a mob and had to be rescued by the Romans.

b. He then went to Rome as a prisoner.


IV.  Examples of people trying to compromise today.

A. Max Lucado.

1. Take quote from his radio program.

a. His teaching goes against what the Bible teaches.

b. He teaches that you can be saved without baptism.

c. He has even preached at many different denominations; even a Catholic church.

2. This man calls himself a member of the Lord's church.

3. He may have once been a member but he has gone too far.

4. He is compromising so that he can have fellowship with all the different denominations of the world.

5. He wants to please everyone.

6. He made the comment: "Whenever I see a man call God 'Father', I see a brother.

a. He is teaching faith only.

b. James 2:20,24.

B. Many congregations today are trying to please the world.

1. They build big gymnasiums to draw people in.

a. Illus.-->Petting a dog.  Once you start, they won't let you stop.

b. 2 Thessalonians 2:14--> the gospel calls us.

2. Many allow instrumental music because the world enjoys it.

a. Does pounding on the keys of a piano bring praise and glory to God?

b. We are never given authority for this.

c. If instrumental music were a requirement, then we would all have to do it in worship to please God.


V.   What does God tell us today about compromise?

A. Ephesians 5:11--> NO fellowship!

1. 2 John 10-11.

2. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

3. We are to mark those who are causing divisions among God's people (Romans; Galatians 1:8-9).

B. God does require unity among his people.

1. 1 Corinthians 1:10.

2. However, we are not to compromise his will and be united with the world.

3. John 17:17, 20-21.

a. We have fellowship with fellow Christians (those who have obeyed the gospel and remain faithful).

b. 1 John 1:7.

4. We must not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ (Romans).

a. There is one body / church (Ephesians 4:4; 1:20-23).

b. Christ died to establish one church (Matthew).

c. He has told us how we are to worship (John).

(1) Teaching.

(2) Prayer.

(3) Lord's Supper.

(4) Giving as we have been prospered.

(5) Singing without instrumental accompaniment.

C. If we compromise, we will be punished just like those whom we've already talked about.



I.   We must not compromise the will of God.

II.  Instead of trying to become like the world, we should try to make the world like us.

A. Matthew.

B. 2 Timothy 4:2.

III. We must be like Paul who was set for the defense of the gospel and was able to say when his life was about to end that (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

IV.  If you're here this morning, and have never obeyed the gospel, you won't be able to say that when your life is over.

V.   God has told us what we must do to be saved; and it is so simple.

VI.  No compromise is needed or accepted.

VII. Please see Plan of Salvation.


Are You Saved?


-- Ralph Price, February 2001 --


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