Mark 16:15

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature"

Truth or Compromise?

The third danger listed by brother N. B. Hardeman, when he was asked about the dangers the church was facing, was “A disposition to compromise the truth and discourage sound preaching.”
I may be revealing my age, but when I was growing up, if you met someone and found out that he or she was a member of the Lord’s church, with few exceptions, all believed and supported the sound preaching of the Truth. Elders and members expected to hear nothing less than the Truth. Nor was the truth “sugar-coated” to make it sound more desirable. The preaching was plain, and it was distinctive. In Gospel Meetings you could expect to hear sermons on the identity of the church of the New Testament, sermons on Christian living, and the question, “What must I do to be saved?” was proclaimed often and clear enough that none could misunderstand it. False doctrines (such as “faith only,” “one church as good as another,” the use of instruments of music in Christian worship) were shown from the Scriptures to be false. Denominationalism was exposed for what it is, false religions started by men.  
In those days, it was not strange to see 30 or more responses to the Gospel; many of those converted were converted out of denominational churches when they heard the Truth presented exactly as God’s Word teaches it. Today, the question is often asked, “Why is the church not growing very much today?” Could it be because the Gospel is not being presented as plainly and distinctly as it was then? The “seed” is the “Word of God” (Luke  8:11). Maybe the reason we are not converting souls at the rate we were in those days is because we are not sowing enough “seed.”  
It does not take a man with the eye of an eagle to see that the Truth has been compromised today in many places. There is a famine in the land of sound Gospel preaching!  Folks want us to preach on things we all agree on, and leave off the things that divide us. That is like washing around an area where a cancer is growing and just ignoring the cancer itself. We will never all “speak the same things” (I Cor. 1:10) until we study the issues that divide us. Not preaching what the Bible teaches about baptism, music in worship, divorce and remarriage, dancing, and social drinking solves nothing. It only allows folks to be cheated out of learning the eternal truths on these subjects. 
Folks that were members of the Lord’s church used to be called “walking Bibles.” But today many of our preachers could not be justly called by that designation. And as far as discouraging preachers to preach the distinct Gospel today, preachers have been fired just for refusing to compromise the preaching of the Truth. Paul, in addressing the Ephesian elders said, “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27). He had already said, “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house” (Acts 20:20). Implied in this, preachers, is if we fail to declare the whole counsel of God, we are not free from the blood of those to whom we preach. And I for one, do not want others to be lost because I failed to proclaim all of the counsel of God! Preach it, and let them decide if they want to accept it or reject it, but preach it!
So, let none of us ever be intimidated or persuaded in any fashion to compromise the truth to any degree. We leave you with Paul’s statement that explains the degree that we should compromise. This statement explains how he dealt with false teachers: “To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you” (Gal. 2:5). Amen!

Paul M. Wilmoth