Our Exodus series is called Out of Africa. Getting from Egypt to the Promised Land.
[to the tune of Louie, Louie]
“Pharaoh, pharaoh—oh baby, let my people go!”
This was a tune heard at times in my college dorm halls. And sadly, Moses had to rehearse it over and over again because of the hard hearted compromiser he was dealing with.
Pharaoh was the god of Egypt. Egypt is a picture of this world. Pharaoh is a picture of Satan...the god of this world. Like Satan, he was a liar. Many times he agreed to let the Israelites go, and then change his mind or renege. Pharaoh was a murderer. And John 10 says the devil is our enemy—come to steal, kill and destroy. Pharaoh kept the Jews in bondage, and the devil wants us to be slaves to sin as well. Pharaoh hated God’s people, and the devil does too, walking about like a lion in his hunt for sanctified red meat!
Although Pharaoh did not want to let them go, he did offer some compromises. You say, how noble! Not at all. It’s Satan’s old, deceptive trickery...mingling truth with error...meeting us halfway...desiring US to be compromisers! If the devil can’t get you to quit he’ll try to get you to compromise. Once you truly get saved you ought to take down your dictionary from the shelf, turn to the ‘k’s and cut out the words ‘quit’ and ‘compromise’!
Although compromise may be the genius of politics and the secret success in marriage...it is the death of Christian convictions. Compromise is the crack in the armor we are supposed to be wearing, and when our armor is compromised that is the very spot Satan will strike his death blow!
The devil today is still offering people of God these same 4 compromises:
Ex. 8:25 Worship God, but do it in the land...stay in Egypt. And today Satan doesn’t mind us coming to church on Sunday as long as we stay in the world all week long. But God demands separation from the world.
2 Corinthians 6:17
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
To serve God but stay in sin is a compromise.
Some think they can serve God and still have a drink now and then. But God says, Come on out of Egypt! If you’re gonna do it, do it right. Not halfway.
“I’ll serve God but I can’t tithe.” Come on all the way out of Egypt!
There’s 2 extremes to try to avoid when talking about separation from the world [like ditches on either side of the highway]:
Keep this set of rules and you won’t be worldly anymore. You’ll be more spiritual than most everyone else.
But worldliness starts in the heart, and the fix isn’t outward conforming but inward transforming! The problem with lists of rules is everyone’s list is different, and we begin to major on little minors, and focusing on our preferences. God does give us some lists in His Word, and we should focus on those, and what’s not covered it the lists can have Bible principles applied to them...just make sure it’s a heart decision to please God and not something you’re doing for man.
I’m free in Christ. I can go where I want, look like I want, watch what I want, listen to what I want, hang out w/ whomever I want. I dare you to try to impose any standards or absolutes on me!
But it matters how we look, where we go, whom we are with, what we do, say, take in, or put out. This crowd loves to quote the OT verse that says ‘God looketh on the heart’. But they forget the first part of the verse which states that ‘man looketh on the outward appearance!’ If we’re going to affect the world the world is going to have to see a difference in us. The truth is that both the inside and outside both need to be affected by God. So make some inner decisions and allow those to affect you outwardly if that applies.
Now, how are we going to decide in questionable areas, whether they are right or wrong? What about things the Bible doesn’t mention directly like gambling, the lottery, or certain movies.
Ill.—in his later years Dr. John R. Rice was known to say, “HBO...it’s hell’s box office! Cinemax? It’s sin to the max! So don’t be looking at a TV, be looking up, for the Lord will soon return and it’s gonna be Showtime!”
Here’s 5 questions to ask about questionable areas:
[these guidelines only work for those w/ a heart to do right, not for the worldly Christian looking for an excuse]
1. What would Jesus do?
1 Peter 2:21
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Would Jesus do this activity? Would He watch this? Would He talk this way?
2. Is God your top priority?
Does He take the back seat to anything else? What are you more committed to? Am I in conflict between God and the world? Why am I torn? As Jesus asked Peter, ‘Lovest thou me more than these?’
3. Will this help or hinder my Christian walk?
We should not only consider what’s wrong w/ something, but what is right with it? Is it of any lasting value in eternity? Would my time and efforts be better spent on something more profitable?
4. What is the atmosphere around this?
The context is important. It’s not just about what are you doing, but what are others doing in this place. It is guilt by association.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
...let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
5. How will this affect others?
No man is an island. We have a responsibility to consider how we affect others around us. Paul said there’s some things I could do that are ok, but if they offend my brother, I won’t do them for his sake.
Serve God, but stay in Egypt...
Worship God, but don’t go very far away. Don’t go overboard w/ this Jesus stuff. Be a borderline Christian / a compartment Christian – have a life – have a work life, a home life, a recreation life, and a church life.
But we cannot put God in a box...don’t lock Him into one room...allow Him to roam freely and permeate every area of your life. Not just another spoke in the wheel, but the hub out of which all the other areas are firmly rooted and revolve around!
What little word do we get from the word ‘fanatic’? ‘Fan’! It’s ok to be a sports fan, but if you are a Jesus fan that’s bad?
"I'll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord,
Real service is what I desire;
I'll say what you want me to say, Dear Lord,
But don't ask me to sing in the choir.
I'll say what you want me to say, Dear Lord,
I'd like to see things come to pass;
But don't ask me to teach girls and boys, Dear Lord;
I'd rather just stay in my class.
I'll do what you want me to do, Dear Lord.
I yearn for your kingdom to thrive.
I'll give you my nickels and dimes, Dear Lord,
But please don't ask me to tithe.
I'll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord,
I'll say what you want me to say;
I'm busy just now with myself, Dear Lord.
I'll help you some other day."
10:7-11 Worship God, but don’t take your family. Just the men were allowed to go. Today the devil says, let your kids make up their own mind. Don’t turn your spouse off to God...just keep quiet about it all. It’s time for men to get back to being the spiritual leaders in the home!
This attitude also surfaces today as adults lead their own lives, and leave the kids in front of the automated baby sitter [TV or game system] and leave their education up to the school and leave their salvation up to their s.s. teacher. We need to claim our kids for Christ and take charge and make things happen. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”
10:24-26 Worship God, but leave your flocks and herds. Pharaoh says, in case this religion thing doesn’t work out for you, you need a fall back plan. Don’t burn your bridges! Don’t work without a net!
If doing God’s will and going to church doesn’t work out for you, you can always go back to the way you used to be! Don’t sell out for God. Keep one foot in the door of the world.
Another application today is, “Don’t let religion affect your pocketbook”. Flocks and herds in those days were money. The cry of the day in Christianity is that churches are all about money, when they should be about people and their hearts.
But Jesus said where your treasure is, there your heart is also.
“Don’t talk about money preacher, talk about something spiritual!”
There’s nothing more spiritual that we can talk about...it’s the supreme test of our values, our obedience, and our heart.
“Pharaoh, pharaoh, I wish you’d just leave my people alone!” But he won’t. Satan is more at work in these last days than ever, and he wants us to compromise. He knows he has lost your soul to heaven, but he doesn’t want you taking others with you. He doesn’t mind you going to church, as long as you live a 50-50 lifestyle.
That’s a miserable place to be...riding the fence. You’ve got enough Jesus in you that you can no longer enjoy the world, but still enough world in you so you can’t fully enjoy Jesus!
It’s high time we get out of Africa...leave Egypt behind, not for just a while, but forever. Not still in eyeshot of the old life, but going forward, gaining higher ground, no looking back...on to the Promised Land!
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