Unfortunately the philosophy and practice of compromise has even invaded the church. Because "tolerance" is the operative ideology in our society, the church adopts a similar perspective to reach the unsaved. Many churches now look for ways to give the gospel to people without offending them. Yet the very nature of the gospel is offensive because it confronts sinners with their sin. Ignoring that, many churches willingly compromise God's Word instead of standing firm on the gospel, and they give the world a watered-down version that can't effect any change.

On an individual basis, the spirit of compromise hits closer to home in your personal interactions. You may have had opportunities to proclaim Christ to unbelievers, yet out of intimidation or lack of confidence, you have kept silent. Perhaps you've found yourself compromising God's Word on some ethical issue at work or in your neighborhood and convinced yourself that such compromise was necessary to maintain your credibility as an employee or neighbor. Yet your Christian testimony is predicated on your complete devotion to God's Word as the highest authority-no matter what the consequences may be. God draws the elect into the kingdom through Christians who prove to be different from the world-who reveal their true allegiance by their commitment and obedience to God's standards.

The church is now so adept at compromising with the world that it has forgotten how to be uncompromising. That's because we readily accept the world's value systems and indulge ourselves in them to the point that we personalize them and they become our desires. In essence, our standards replace God's.

Scripture calls us to the opposite of compromise. From one end of the Bible to the other, God clearly commands His people to live apart from the world, to be separate from the world (1 Peter 2:9). Whenever we are tempted to compromise, we need only remind ourselves that God never compromises His absolute truths and principles for expediency. He always lives according to His Word. Psalm 138:2 says, "You have magnified Your word according to all Your name." God is committed to His Word, and as His children, we are to be also.

When you view God's Word as the ultimate authority, that opens the way for developing integrity instead of compromise. And integrity is the pathway to God's blessing.

When Solomon finished building the house of the Lord, the Lord appeared to him and said:

I have heard your prayer and your supplication, which you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built by putting My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. And as for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised to your father David, saying, "You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel." (1 Kings 9:3-5).

The conclusion is simple: those who maintain a life of integrity will be blessed by God. It is the way we represent Christ on earth as His ambassadors. We identify with Him by standing apart from the world, not compromising God's truth or His character in how we live our lives, in how we conduct ourselves in His church. And when we identify ourselves with Him here on earth, He will confess us before His Father in heaven and will one day receive us to Himself.

Adapted from The Power of Integrity © 1997 by John MacArthur. All rights reserved.