The Danger of Compromise
v.43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched-
v.44where “Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’
-In verse 44, Jesus is quoting from Isaiah 66:24, speaking of the judgment of hell.
v.45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched-
v.46 “Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’
v.47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire-
v.48 where “Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’
-In three rounds of hyperbole, Jesus issues a bold challenge to personal, practical holiness. It was a common form of Jewish moral teaching to use hyperbole, or exaggerate speech to make a point.
-Jesus obviously did not call for literal amputation of a hand, foot, or eye, because we don’t sin with just one of each. The problem isn’t our hands, eyes or feet; it’s our hearts and what they long for.
-Jesus’ point is obvious by the use of this hyperbole - TAKE DRASTIC ACTION TO ENSURE THAT YOU DO NOT FALL INTO SIN!
-Who cares if others consider you a religious zealot! If you do what you do because you want to walk in purity before your God, who gives a darn what anyone else says???
-You see, Jesus marks the inevitable progression that comes if we allow compromise. If we tolerate a little sin, like a weed, it can grow to take over the whole field of our hearts, and then, we stand in danger of being lost.
-Jesus is stating clearly here that if we are not radical in our pursuit of holiness, then YES - hell awaits!
-Christian - Don’t dabble with sin.
– Don’t live a compromised life.
– Don’t leave some little indiscretion unrepented of.
– Don’t adopt a lazy and causal attitude toward immorality.
– Draw the line well back from sin, not along the edge of danger.
v.49 “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.
-A day of judgment is coming - even for Christians. No, we will not be punished for our sins, but we WILL be judged for our rewards. Paul explains this well in
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
-We may be able to fool the people around us, but the Lord will not be fooled. He sees and knows where we are compromised in our lives.
v. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”
– “Have salt in yourself’ means, “Don’t make moral compromises.”
-This is the great danger and condition of the Church in America today. Because we do not face persecution and we live in the midst of such incredible prosperity and opportunity, it is easy to adopt worldly values and priorities that conflict with the values and priorities of the Kingdom. And the whole time we can look to our brothers and sisters in Christ as though we’re doing fine.
-As we’re flipping around the stations on the TV, something comes on the screen that the Spirit tells us to turn off. But the flesh says, “Hey – hold on, don’t be such a prude! What’s the problem with just looking. You’re not hurting anyone. And it’s not like this is going to lead to something worse.” And besides, as a Christian, you ought to be informed as to this kind of stuff. Yeah, that’s it; this is research to help you be a better witness.”
-The result of that kind of slight compromise is the dulling of your spiritual edge, and the greasing of the skids of your moral sense so that it will be easier next time to make the same or an even more dangerous choice.
-My pastor calls this “decisional inertia.” The more choices you make to compromise, the easier compromise becomes.
-Conversely, the more you choose righteousness, the easier it becomes to continue in that course.
-Be a “salty” Christian - one with some spiritual backbone and strength.
-Don’t be a “powder-Christian” - one who’s so mired in compromise that when a spiritual challenge comes, you have nothing to offer.
Adapted from a study by Pastor Lance Ralston of Calvary Chapel of Oxnard.
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