Summary: There is no middle ground with God. A person either believes and is saved or rejects Christ and is lost.
CHRIST DIVIDES MEN
I COR. 1:18-31
INTRO: I recently received the following e-mail concerning the material on my Web Site Bible Truth:
"Contention is of the Devil and that’s what your articles try and spread. Why don’t ya’LL spend sometime living gospel principles instead of persecuting others, maybe you are like the Pharisees who persecuted Christ?"
The use of the word "ya’ll" identifies the writer as a Southerner, and is humbling to us Southerners who might think everyone in the South is smart and intelligent! Truly, this person who was trying to advise me knows nothing about the Bible or what he is talking about.
1. Christ died as he lived, the object of love or scorn. Some openly loved and followed Him, others scornfully rejected Him. Everywhere Christ went there was trouble. Many tried to kill Him. Why? What was it He did that got people so worked up? Is not the Lord Jesus the God of Love?
a. In Luke 23:26-31, V27-28, a great number of people followed him including women, they mourned and wailed for Him as He was being crucified..
b. V32, says there were two men crucified with Him. Verse 39, says one of them, a criminal, insultingly shouted at Christ, Aren’t you the Christ, save yourself and us! What in the world brought that on! Why did this man, being crucified himself shout so angrily at the Lord?
c. However, this man was rebuked by the other criminal being crucified, "Don’t you fear God, seeing you too are sentenced to die, We are punished justly, but this man has done nothing wrong." Then he ask Jesus to remember him when you come into your Kingdom.
That very day that man was in paradise with Christ, the other woke up in Hell, and is there at this moment awaiting the Great White Throne Judgment and eternal damnation.
Even in His death...Jesus divided these two men.
2. Folks there is no middle ground, not then not and not now! Even to reject Christ through indifference is to oppose Him.
3. I Cor. 1:18, says, that preaching to those that perish is foolishness, but to others it is precious, the means of hearing salvation and receiving eternal life.
4. I wrote this message after I read a book by Dr. J. Vernon McGee, by the same title "The Cross Divides Men" and Dr. McGee gives a most interesting exposition of this verse.
a. In 1 Cor. 1:18, preaching is the word, "Logos" which simply means "word." It does not the foretelling, or speaking.
b. John 1:1, Uses the same word, "Logos." "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Jesus Christ is the "Logos" the "Word."
d. The word "foolishness" is interesting. It is Greek word, "moria" and in English it is word "moron." It literally means "stupid" or good for nothing.
e. "Power" is GK word, "Du-na-mis," The English word "Dynamite"
In Greek, it means to the "nth" power. Dynamite is misnamed, atomic power is much greater.
f. Thus the verse is saying that to those who reject Christ the preaching of the Cross is stupid or foolish. These misguided souls totally refuse to acknowledge the Jesus Christ’s suffering on the Cross means anything. On the Cross Christ was suffering for their sins as well as the believer’s, yet these people could care less.
However, to those believed and are saved...the preaching of the Cross is the most powerful thing in the Universe.
5. There are two groups of people who hear the Gospel Message:
(a) To one group the Cross of Christ is good for nothing and foolish.
(b) To the other group the Cross of Christ is the power of their life discovered when they trusted Christ as their Savior.
6. The question is to each of us: What Group are we in? You are in one or the other! There is no middle ground on this question.
a. One Group depends on church membership, baptism, taking the communion, good works, etc to merit heaven, or they just ignore Christ all together. Some in the group might speak highly of Jesus Christ, but not enough to follow Him or believe in Him and be saved.
b. The other group, will do these things such as join a church, be baptized, etc and yet there is a big difference in why they do it. They are not trusting in these religious acts or good works to save them. They are trusting in the Grace of God, and the Cross where Christ shed His precious blood for them.
7. Some believe that because God is love He overlooks sin. These people, many who are very religious, will kill you in love. The false religious people are the most dangerous people in the world. If you know anything about the coming Great Tribulation, the evil world leader the Anti-Christ will come to power aided by the False Prophet a world wide religious leader. Do you get the point?