“As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”
Most people who compromise truth never do so with an insincere motive. Most who compromise truth are people who have a great desire to reach the lost, and their reason for compromise is so that more people will hear the Gospel. These who compromise believe that if you are not as stringent on the “minor” things of the Word of God that you won’t be so divisive, which they believe will enable you to reach more people for Jesus Christ.
However, the verse above teaches the opposite. The verse above shows that the ministry of John the Baptist was to prepare “the way of the Lord” and to “make his paths straight.” John’s calling was to make sure that Israel heard the truth without compromise. One would think that this type of preaching would run people off, but we find that the opposite is true. What is the result of making the paths straight? Verse 6 shows us when it says, “And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” You will notice that the result of not compromising truth is that “all flesh” shall see the way of salvation. In other words, more people will hear the Gospel if you keep the old paths straight than if you skew them to make them more “palatable” to the world.
My friend, the Devil has sold Christians a bill of goods that has caused many never to hear the Gospel. As sincere as a person’s motives may be as to why they compromise truth, their motives are sincerely wrong when they leave truth to attract bigger crowds. The job of every Christian is to keep the paths of the LORD straight. Let me point out a couple observations that will help you.
First, our job is not to attract but to reach. John’s job was to make the paths straight so that “all flesh” could be reached with the Gospel. He was not to adorn these paths with a worldly lifestyle, but He was to keep them straight so that “all flesh” could hear the Gospel. Christian, don’t fall for Satan’s deception that our job is to attract people. When Jesus came down from the mount after fasting for forty days and nights, He didn’t try to attract people by living like the world; rather, He went to where the people were walking the straight paths so that they could hear the truth of the Gospel. Stop worrying about how many people you will attract, and instead keep the mindset that you will reach more people by keeping the paths straight.
Second, straight paths always give more clarity that crooked paths. When you drive down a straight road, you can clearly see what is ahead of you for miles; whereas, when driving down a curvy road, you can only see what is ahead to the next curve. Always remember that the straighter God’s paths are kept, the more people you will be able to reach with the Gospel. Don’t allow the temptation to attract more people cause you to change the paths that you are commanded to walk.
John the Baptist reached more people by making God’s paths straight, and so will you. Straight paths are old paths, and old paths are what leads people to the truth. What makes the difference to the lost is the clarity the straight paths display about truth and where it leads. Always remember that “all flesh” saw the salvation of God after the paths were made straight.