Disaster is the End Result of Compromise

One Sunday in church, members were praising the Lord for what he had done in their lives that week. Mr. Segault said the roof of his house had caught on fire, but fortunately, a neighbor had seen it, and the possible disaster was averted with only minor damage. A minute later, a … More

Disaster

Paul’s compromise turned out to be a disaster. It was the time of Pentecost, and Jews were present in Jerusalem from all over the world. Some Asian Jews from the area where Paul had been preaching on his missionary journeys were visiting in Jerusalem, and saw Paul and his companions in the Temple area. They knew that Paul, in spite of all his vows and shaven head was a strong opponent of Judaism and the temple, and the priesthood and the law. They had heard him preach and speak out against legalism (vv. 27-29).

These Asian Jews who had given Paul trouble before saw an opportunity, and accused him of destroying the law, insulting the chosen people and defiling the temple. They said he was bringing Gentiles into the restricted area of the Temple. Trophimus was a Gentile and since he was with Paul they assumed that Paul had taken him into the Temple with him. Gentiles could enter into the outer court but to enter the Temple was a terrible thing. Notices in both Greek and Latin barred their entrance into the Inner court. Once rumor started that Gentiles had disobeyed these orders news spread fast and the crowd seized Paul and initiated a movement to lynch him. They dragged him out, beating him in the process (vv 30-31).

No doubt James and the other Church leaders heard the uproar and learned that Paul was being mobbed. However, they apparently did nothing to secure his release, they did nothing to speak on his behalf, and they did nothing to appeal to the Jews of Jerusalem to give Paul fair play. The people were determined to kill Paul, and they would have accomplished their goal if it had not been for the quick action of the commander of the Roman troops who was stationed in Jerusalem and saw a riot developing (32-36). To keep order, Paul was taken and bound, but this action saved his life.

Application

Let’s face it! Compromise never gets us what we think we’re going to get from it. There is always a price to pay in the end and in Paul’s case, the above led to disaster. Lord, help me to never compromise the principles of your Word for the convenience of the hour.

Acts 21:27-36 (English Standard Version)

When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, crying out, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place. Moreover, he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place." For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. Then all the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut. And as they were seeking to kill him, word came to the tribune of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion. He at once took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them. And when they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. Then the tribune came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. He inquired who he was and what he had done. Some in the crowd were shouting one thing, some another. And as he could not learn the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the barracks. And when he came to the steps, he was actually carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd, for the mob of the people followed, crying out, "Away with him!"

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