Summary: Why is the Gospel of Christ Offensive?
Our Lord Christ said in Luke 7:23: “…blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
JC Ryle wrote, “There is a common, worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have, and think they have enough; a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice, which costs nothing, and is worth nothing.” JC Ryle died in 1900. I can imagine what he would write about the state of Christianity today. Christianity and morality in today’s America has become so perverted, distorted and watered down to the point where God is appallingly portrayed as a servant to human beings and not the other way around. He is seen as a distant force in some way off galaxy. He is not revered, He is not appreciated; He is not feared. The terror of the immense power of God has been lost and the fault lies at the feet of the church of the true believers of Christ.
Galatians 5:11: “If I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.” John Stott gave a statement about the offensiveness of the Gospel; he said “We must deal with the fact: The Gospel is offensive to human pride. If what we preach as “Gospel” is not offensive, we’re doing it wrong. An inoffensive Gospel is a false Gospel, a damning Gospel—because the only Gospel that saves is the Gospel that offends.” 1 Corinthians 1:18-19: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
The Gospel declares how awful our condition is apart from Jesus is. It announces how deep the sin goes, how profound the rebellion is, how impossible our predicament is apart from Christ. There’s nothing we can do, no effort we can exert, no law we can follow to be saved. The message of Christ crucified says you’re an absolute failure in relation to what’s most important. The cross exemplifies some of the most offensive things possible you could say about someone in relation to God and eternity. This gruesome death Jesus died, you earned it. The hell Jesus endured, you deserved it. The shame he underwent, the scorn, the disrespect, the hurt — all these are as suitable to us but not to Him, but He was killed in our place for us to be saved.
As we celebrated Patriot Day, I hypothetically wondered if 9/11 could have been avoided. How you might ask? I know God is Sovereign and everything happens according to His blueprint, but I wonder if we had not turned our back on God, if we had not lost the fear of God, would He still have His firm Hand of protection on us. Every day it seems as though His Hand is lifting more and more away from this once great, God fearing nation.
Romans 3:10-18: “As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.” 13 “Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; 14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 and the way of peace they have not known.”18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
America has allowed greed, adultery, abortion, drunkenness and drug addiction, pornography, idolatry, fornication, homosexuality, blasphemers, and more to go unchecked for too long…we are a sin soaked society and it is taking its toll. God is slow to anger, but His anger must be kindled nonetheless. Psalm 7:11: “God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” 9/11 was a wakeup call America. The devil is in our midst. Christian, we need to defend the faith (to be apologetic) without apology! 1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;” Do not be afraid to offend or hurt someone's feelings because, A) you are telling the truth and B) the Holy Spirit backs you up. We cannot base the Gospel and its message on the feelings of others or our own. We are to preach truth no matter how much it stings. People’s souls are at stake here!