Compromise has ruined the testimony of many. They once made a fair start, but the fear of man or the love of ease or of social standing or of the approval of kindred or acquaintances has come between them and the Lord. It is a poor exchange, but many a one has made it, and adhered to it to the end. It should break our hearts as we think of it, and make us hate the thought of compromise.
God is merciful, but the Word and communion with God and with His people are less and less enjoyed, and trials and chastenings are too much for the heart. The peaceable fruits of righteousness do not follow. A sad witness for Christ! Such bear witness in their family and in the world that godliness is but a name, not a reality; or if not altogether so, still the course is vacillating and the heart not at rest, and the testimony correspondingly marred.
In such cases there is also this grave danger – that of the hardening of the heart by the continuance of religious forms and outward service and utterances.
Jesus is still knocking at the door, standing there, but He has been left outside – abandoned for Herod’s feast. Friendship with the world is enmity against God.
Commonly in the church today, members of a family who are Christians are so in accord with the world that their witness gives little or no trouble to those of the same house who make no profession of faith. Indeed, a plain witness for God these Christians would themselves oppose, as the men of Judah opposed Samson for fear of the Philistines – “Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us?...” (Judg. 15:11). A shameful admission, but a fact.
But this peace with the world is not Christianity. “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34). Therefore, the trouble Samson made was of the same kind the Lord Himself made in this world, and that every faithful Christian makes wherever found.
“For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it” (Matt. 10:35-39).
Christian, let no one come between the soul and Christ, and let nothing turn you aside from the Cross. Christ has redeemed you by His blood, and has given you the Holy Spirit. By this great redemption, you are separated to God from all worldly friendships and alliances and purposes. Christ has joined you to Himself forever, and He has joined you to His people; for we are members of His Body and members one of another.
Let us flee, then, from half-heartedness and world bordering and compromise – in the family, in business, in the inward exercises of the soul. As Christ has died for us, let us live for Him (2 Cor. 5:15), and we shall realize the word, “…If God be for us, who can be against us? …Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rom. 8:31, 35, 37).
In all these things! In the midst of your fiery trials, Christian, “more than conquerors” through Him who loves you!
With such a word, may we let go all carnal seeking and carnal shrinking, and go forth upon the water to Him. Go forth to Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. Let us boldly take faith’s reckoning from Romans 8:18 – “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
– E. S. L.