Summary: The Cross demands things of us that may seem offensive but the victory we shall have after we yeild to the cross eye hath not seen nor ear hath heard.
The Offensive Demands of the Cross
Pastor M.L. Maughmer, Jr.
Matthew 16:24: 25 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it”.
Galatians 5:11 “And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offense of the cross ceased”
OPENING:- My assignment today is not to try to impress you with beautiful words or a ear catching title. It is not to make you feel all bubbly and tingly inside. It is not to build you help in some sense of self awareness that causes you think differently making it possible for you to have prosperity and success through the power of self awareness and positive thinking. However, my mission is to impart unto you the powerful, life-changing, convicting, unadulterated Word of God that will impact your life in such a way that it causes you to embrace God.
Many messages today don’t seem to bite, cut, pierce, divide, wound, slash and destroy, the carnal man that it once used to do. It doesn’t tear away the false foundations and strip away false hopes. There doesn’t seem to be a wounding of the consciences, a melting of the hardened hearted and a piercing of stubbornness in the sinner man that ultimately cause a person to cry out in godly sorrow and utter repentance, “What must I do to be saved”
Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”.
Why is it that it’s not doing what is used to do, it’s not because the Word is changed, because we know that the Word is God – John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” the 14th verse says “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” – That’s Jesus and Hebrews 13 :8 says “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” Malachi 3:6 “For I [am] the LORD, I change not”. So we know that Jesus who is the Word manifested in flesh cannot change. So why then is it not doing what it once did.
There is a spirit sweeping through many churches today. This spirit that is operating in many of the churches is making the Cross of Christ made of none effect – 1 Corinthians 1:17. There are those that are taking away the preaching of the cross and replacing it with messages of prosperity, morality, ethics, positive thinking, self awareness, etc. And although those are good concepts if the Cross of Christ is not preached then what is the purpose of the Gospel at all. Too little is the threat of God’s Holy Law mentioned and the judgment to come expounded upon. God’s hatred of sin is over-looked and His sacrifice on the cross is pushed in the background. The necessity of being born again, baptized in Jesus name, filled with the Holy Ghost, taking up your cross, and denying yourself is replaced with philosophy, psychology, and people pleasing messages of self improvement and prosperity leaving the people asking for more and more of the same because there is no offense in those types of messages.
Because we have taken away the offensive demands of the Word and particularity the CROSS.
In taking away the offensiveness of preaching heart-repentance from sin and biblical justification by faith and the necessity of bowing to the Lordship of Christ, and in taking away the offensiveness of the message of the cross, we are destroying the foundation and making of no effect the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Cross.
Sadly many preachers seem to be more concerned with how many members they have in their churches instead of souls that are saved. Belonging to or going to a church doesn’t making you any more saved and on your way to heaven then sitting in your house makes you a home. There are those that feel if they preach the wrath of God against sin and talk about the demands of the cross that they will offend someone; therefore they preach sugarcoated messages and watered down sermons that give their churches a seek-friendly atmosphere.
However God has set me as the watchman over this church and He warned the watchman in Ezekiel 33:36-39 with a very serious warning – “But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take [any] person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked [man], thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul”.