Stop Apologizing: The Gospel is Offensive

I’m prone all the time to say I’m sorry. I hate offending people and I’m a people pleaser by nature. But the gospel is offensive. Billy Graham recently said, “The cross is offensive, because it directly confronts the evils that dominate so much of this world.” If Jesus truly calls us to “love our neighbors as ourselves” why can’t we get over the uneasiness of the gospel truth and share it no matter what others say or how they respond? If we truly love people, we will share the gospel truth, no matter how offended or angry they may get. The anger that is produced is the light exposing the sinful desires of the flesh, and the desire to be in control.

Jesus wasn’t afraid to offend others. In fact, he called out people on several occasions, testing their motives and their hearts.

Here are some examples:

“Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh<sup class="crossreference" value="(BJ)”> of the Son of Man<sup class="crossreference" value="(BK)”> and drink his blood,<sup class="crossreference" value="(BL)”> you have no life in you. ” (John 6:53).

“Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you?” (John 6:61).

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (John 10:34).

“Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted<sup class="crossreference" value="(I)”> will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:12-14).

“Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect,<sup class="crossreference" value="(U)”> go, sell your possessions and give to the poor,<sup class="crossreference" value="(V)”> and you will have treasure in heaven.<sup class="crossreference" value="(W)”> Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich<sup class="crossreference" value="(X)”> to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:21-24).

“You are Israel’s teacher,”<sup class="crossreference" value="(L)”> said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know,<sup class="crossreference" value="(M)”> and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.<sup class="crossreference" value="(N)”> I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?” (John 3:10-12).

“Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying<sup class="crossreference" value="(L)”> and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers<sup class="crossreference" value="(M)”> and the benches of those selling doves.<sup class="crossreference" value="(N)”> “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer, ‘but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.” (Matthew 21:12-13).

Jesus was an in your face, tell it like it is, kind of man. He was not just man, but God also. He loved through telling hard truths, as we must as Christians. If we sit back and continue to tell the world, its okay to continue in your sinful lifestyle because Jesus forgives, we are being tolerable and doing this world a disservice. Even the apostle Paul talks to believers about not falling back into their pattern of sin: “What shall we say, then?<sup class="crossreference" value="(A)”> Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?<sup class="crossreference" value="(B)”> By no means! We are those who have died to sin;<sup class="crossreference" value="(C)”> how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2).

If we stand back and tolerate this world and its fleshly desires and do not confront them with the gospel, we truly are not loving this world. Its time to put up our apologies about the gospel and about the cross of Christ and stand up like we never have before. We must be lovingly offensive.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel,<sup class="crossreference" value="(A)”> because it is the power of God<sup class="crossreference" value="(B)”> that brings salvation to everyone who believes:<sup class="crossreference" value="(C)”> first to the Jew,<sup class="crossreference" value="(D)”> then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16).


http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=anjskrIO_2fKgM&tbnid=-mEO5KGUYMs02M:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fbarefootrunner.org%2Freflections%2Fbaresoul_12-18-11.htm&ei=KAMJU-uENe2D0QG6iYCABQ&psig=AFQjCNFg7v2ztUfIM-tUIED2ix-0yse9pg&ust=1393185936992058






Blessings,
Joseph.
 

<sup class="crossreference" value="(K)”>
 

 

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