Compromise and Friendship with with World

by Mike Ratliff

1 What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:1-4 (NASB)

One of the first books I placed in my personal Christian library was a gift from a good friend years ago when we were both in the same church where I was a Deacon, Bible Study leader on Sunday mornings and Precept leader on Sunday evenings. The friend who gave me the book was in every Precept class I taught. The book was the first edition of John MacArthur’s book The Gospel According to Jesus. I read the book in just a few days. I honestly was quite shocked about some of the things in it. I suppose I had become ignorant of the downgrade of much of what we call the Visible Church. The main thesis of the book was that the genuine Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as given in the Bible always includes that true disciples of Christ believe the Gospel then accept His as Lord as they turn in repentance from their former walk as they receive Justification by Grace through Faith. MacArthur documented this clearly and succinctly throughout the book. Then he contrasted this with, and named names, of those at that time in their ministries who preached or taught that all that was necssary for salvation was mere agreement with the Gospel and one would be saved and there was no requirement for a changed life. These “pastors” and “teachers” claimed that repentance from former sins or even the taking up of new sins had no affect on the veracity of a professing believer’s salvation as long as they had at one time made that profession of faith.

My brethren, I confess that the reason I agreed so wholeheartedly with John MacArthur’s thesis in this book was that I was one of those who made that professon of faith in a revivial in the church we went to when I was a child. I was in the 4th grade. My profession was all emotional. I did not understand the Gospel. No one counseled me. No one actually sat down with me and presented the Gospel to me. I was Baptised a week later. I just got wet. I was not a real Christian even though many of my family thought I was. That was in 1960.

Skip forward to January, 1986. I am married with two small children. I am working on a Master’s degree while working full time at a Bank. I am stressed to the max. My son is a pre-schooler and is brilliant and driving my wife and I crazy. We decide to start going back to church, from which we had both been absent from forever. There was a local church not far from our home at that time in Broken Arrow, OK that was pastored by a guy I knew in High School and who I also knew in Youth Group in the Church I attended as a teen.

We started attending and the impact of on our kids being in those Sunday School classes was amazing. So, we became regular attenders. We were put in a young couple’s class. We were going there for several months and then there came January, 1986. It was cold. I took my son to his Sunday School class. My wife took our daughter to her’s and we met back in our class which was the Choir room. I took my seat and tried to be invisible. However, something miraculous happened. As soon as I sat down it was as if I was the only person in the room. There was a voice in my head condeming me. It just kept saying continually that I was lost. There was no hope. I was going to Hell unless I stopped being a hypocrite. It just would not stop. I don’t remember anything about class or church services. I don’t remember anything about the football playoffs that day. All I remember is as we drove back to church that evening I surrendered. I turned my heart to my Lord and received Him. I was so full of joy when we got to church that I could not wait for my friend to stop preaching so I could go down front and tell him all about it, which I did. I was baptized a week later and this time it meant something. Nothing has been the same since. I have had periods where I have grown a lot and periods where I didn’t, but our Lord has always been with me and has answered my prayers.

Now, what has that got to do with Compromise and Friendship with the World. Those pastors and seminary professors and Presidents who are compromising the Gospel to be more inclusive or are watering it down so they don’t offend people in the World so they will not lose popularity with it are those who could never lead someone to Christ. They could never do it becuase they will teach them to be inclusive or be Social Justice Warriors or that Jesus is more concerned about how we treat those who have less than us than the salvation of thier souls. Those are the ones James was referring to in the passage I placed at the top of this post.

I have often wondered why God waited until I was 34 to save me. Why did I live all those years in the World, being one with the World before I was drawn by Him to believe and then be saved? I believe it was so I could have this voice of one who has been there and was saved from an empty life of chasing after the wind.

Lastly, those in the visible church who are leading those who really don’t know any better into perdition with their CRT/Woke-ism/Social Justice stuff to be friends of the World will one day meet the judge of their souls and it will not go well for them. This is a call for repentance. Here is today’s Spurgeon’s Morning devotion about this very thing. In it we hear the voice of the world wanting us to compromise, but in our time, we hear it from within some churches.

“Only ye shall not go very far away.”—Exodus 8:28.

HIS is a crafty word from the lip of the arch-tyrant Pharaoh. If the poor bondaged Israelites must needs go out of Egypt, then he bargains with them that it shall not be very far away; not too far for them to escape the terror of his arms, and the observation of his spies. After the same fashion, the world loves not the non-conformity of nonconformity, or the dissidence of dissent, it would have us be more charitable and not carry matters with too severe a hand. Death to the world, and burial with Christ, are experiences which carnal minds treat with ridicule, and hence the ordinance which sets them forth is almost universally neglected, and even contemned. Worldly wisdom recommends the path of compromise, and talks of “moderation.” According to this carnal policy, purity is admitted to be very desirable, but we are warned against being too precise; truth is of course to be followed, but error is not to be severely denounced. “Yes,” says the world, “be spiritually minded by all means, but do not deny yourself a little gay society, an occasional ball, and a Christmas visit to a theatre. What’s the good of crying down a thing when it is so fashionable, and everybody does it?” Multitudes of professors yield to this cunning advice, to their own eternal ruin. If we would follow the Lord wholly, we must go right away into the wilderness of separation, and leave the Egypt of the carnal world behind us. We must leave its maxims, its pleasures, and its religion too, and go far away to the place where the Lord calls His sanctified ones. When the town is on fire, our house cannot be too far from the flames. When the plague is abroad, a man cannot be too far from its haunts. The further from a viper the better, and the further from worldly conformity the better. To all true believers let the trumpet-call be sounded, “Come ye out from among them, be ye separate.” – from Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning.

Soli Deo Gloria!