In our desire to be "nice" or "tolerant," we may unwittingly water down our entire concept of right and wrong. In this "tolerant" spirit, some assume that all religions are equal—that God has not revealed unique truth through His Word or through Jesus Christ. However, if you truly believe the Bible, you will understand that this is wrong.
I grew up in a mainstream church where the word "tolerance" was often used. We were taught to be "broad-minded" and to tolerate other peoples' beliefs and ideas. In a democratic and "multicultural" society, this approach has its merits, for people do not want someone else's religion or other ideas forced down their throats.
But there is a grave danger in this approach.
Although it is good to be kind, and to be "tolerant" of others' ideas and religions, this approach can very easily degenerate into religious confusion—into a situation where millions of people begin to assume that there are no absolute truths. We are at risk of reflecting the worldly cynicism that Pontius Pilate, Governor of Judah, showed when he examined Jesus Christ. When Jesus said, "Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice," Pilate uttered his famous reply: "What is truth?" (John 18:37–38).
If you truly believe in the God of the Bible, you must believe that there is absolute truth! For the inspired Word of God clearly indicates this, again and again. Jesus Christ said: "Your Word is truth" (John 17:17).
In our desire to be "nice" or "tolerant," we may unwittingly water down our entire concept of right and wrong. In this "tolerant" spirit, some assume that all religions are equal—that God has not revealed unique truth through His Word or through Jesus Christ. However, if you truly believe the Bible, you will understand that this is wrong. Even the Apostle Paul—whom many think of as "broadening" the Christianity that Jesus preached—gave a pointed reminder to the uncircumcised Gentiles of Ephesus, describing their condition before coming into the Truth: "At that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12).
How would that message be received in today's "tolerant" society?Similarly, preaching to the Jews of his day, the Apostle Peter powerfully proclaimed the uniqueness of Jesus Christ's name and authority, stating: "This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:11–12). This inspired passage certainly gives no hint of "inclusivist" or "ecumenical" feeling, or that "all religions are the same." And the Word of God repeats this point, again and again!
Millions of professing Christians attend church each Sunday, singing songs, clapping hands and wanting to "feel good" about their acceptance of the Person of Christ—at least their idea about Christ. Yet the true Christ of the Bible warns us all: "But why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).
Jesus pointedly told the people of His day that He was not their Lord unless they obeyed Him: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matthew 7:21–23).
In decrying lawlessness, Jesus was talking about mankind's failure to keep God's spiritual Law, the Ten Commandments. Many churches today give "lip service" to the commandments, but their members become apoplectic if they are reminded that the fourth commandment directly tells us to worship God on the seventh day of the week—not the ancient, pagan "day of the sun."
"Oh, but that's too strict," some will say. "We don't need to take Jesus' statement so seriously." Really? Perhaps we should not take Jesus' statements about not killing so seriously, either. Perhaps we should not take Jesus' prohibition of lying so seriously. Perhaps we should not take so seriously His condemnation of wanton divorce (except for the very few strict biblical exceptions). Right?
Of course not! The truth is that we have become, in large part, a society of "compromisers." Many like to profess that they follow Christ. But few actually follow Him! Many like to profess that they believe in the Ten Commandments, but they are extremely quick to "water down" the commandments when it suits their purpose—and our modern "lifestyle."
We like to think that we stand for truth. But how many of us resort to lying "a little" when it suits our purpose?
Again, the Word of God is very clear. For the Apostle John quotes God the Father promising: "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:7–8). Note how "liars" are lumped right in with murderers and those who are sexually immoral and idolaters! Unless they repent, their fate is "the second death" in the Lake of Fire! But since our western society is too "educated" and likes to "compromise," we do not really want to believe in this either—do we?
Dear friend and subscriber, I pray with all my heart that—as thousands have already done—more and more of you will open your hearts and minds to be willing to understand and practice the full Truth. We do need to take seriously the inspired Word of God! The Apostle Paul was inspired to tell us that we are in a spiritual battle. He wrote: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:4–5). We all need to ask God to help us and strengthen us, so that we can stand up against all the human argument and reasoning against the knowledge of God, and so that we can truly bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ!
Certainly, none of us is perfect. We all need time to grow and to change. But we must start somewhere. We must be willing. And we need to learn to "go all out" with a zeal and enthusiasm that shows God that we want to be in His Kingdom and to fulfill His will in our lives with all our hearts. We must learn to aim high. For Jesus tells us: "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). I hope that each of us can come to realize how easy and how dangerous it is to "compromise" and just "go along" with this world's society. For the attitudes of lethargy and compromise are all around us. God knew that this would happen! That is the reason He specifically described the last era of the Church—the Laodicean era—in this way: "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth" (Revelation 3:15–16).Please understand.Millions of "lukewarm" people are very "nice." They may be good friends or family members. They may be pleasant and agreeable workmates. God may not yet be "calling" them. But if He is calling you, be sure that you do your part to "make your calling and election sure" (2 Peter 1:10, KJV). Certainly, one may "compromise" about which restaurant to visit, or which ballgame to attend; it can be good to be agreeable and let others decide in ordinary human situations. But when it comes to God's law—obedience to the very Creator of heaven and earth—you and I must truly learn to fear "watering down" or "compromising" God's Truth in the way we teach or live. We in this Work cannot help you by telling you anything less. May God help you to understand, and then to find where the full Truth is being taught—and to act on that Truth with all your heart!