Adding offense to the Gospel

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)

I read a blog post yesterday that saddened my heart and made me shake my head. The intentions of the post were pure. It was a push to help others see biblically how sin keeps us from God. It mentioned how Jesus can be our only way to salvation. Their delivery failed though. It failed to be kind and loving. It wanted to spark controversy in hopes that people would pay attention to it and read it. In the end it resulted in people who already believe in Christ agreeing with it, and everyone else spewing hatred to God. The again, that happens you title your post “10 people who won’t be in heaven after they die”.

The gospel is offensive. Seriously. The truth is going to offend people because the truth tells us how we are living our lives wrong. It tells us how rotten we are. It tells us that we are deserving of punishment. It tells us that we need to believe in a deity for salvation. It tells us we need to believe that deity died and rose from the dead to pay our debt. It tells us that everything else we believe to be true is wrong. It tells us we are dirty, helpless, disgusting sinners. The gospel is offensive.

There are some who make the mistake of trying to remove the offensive content to the gospel. What they end up with is a hollow shell void of any true hope and purpose. It teaches about loving your fellow man, and doing good works. It tells people they are generally a good person. It also removes Christ and the purpose of His sacrifice. It is a truth that holds no value. It is empty, worthless, and meaningless. It is a heartbreaking perversion of the gospel.

There is another side though. There are those who strive to add offense to the gospel. They do it as an attention grabber. They want the shock value. Some simply just want to offend out of their own self-righteous pride. They speak the truth, but they do it bluntly and harshly. They speak in hatred language, and almost seem to want people to burn in hell. They do not speak for the sake of understanding, but to make themselves feel better about “sharing the good news”. You have failed in sharing the “good news” if you focus on the sin rather than the salvation. Some people share the gospel in a way as though it would seem there is no hope for those who are truly bad. Those who have done unspeakable acts. They give the most hopeful message in the world, and pervert it to suck away any chance of hope for some.

We are ambassadors for Christ. We speak truth. We call out sin. We tell people the dangerous road they are going down. However, we do this with love and compassion. We speak with joyful hearts that have experienced this hopeful message. We speak a truth that is already offensive by itself. We do not water down this truth, but neither do we amplify its offensive nature.

The comments in that post I read were what really made me sad. One individual spoke about giving up on debating people on there who did not believe in God. “I gave up long ago arguing & debating with fools who say there is no god. No longer willing to throw my “pearls” to swine.” This was stated right where people who were angry and bitter towards God could read it. People who were already angry enough at the extra offense of the original poster. People who currently refused to believe in a God that is worshiped by people so incapable of showing compassion and kindness. His message was clear. He was telling these people they had no hope. They were beyond help. Sharing the gospel to them was worthless.

Why do we act this way? Why do we become so offensive and hateful towards others over the gospel? I think one of the biggest reasons is because we are tired of getting treated like dirt. People treat us horribly. We are the laughing stock of society. Some of us are beaten for our beliefs. We are hated by society, and the world wishes to do everything it can to make us feel miserable. We give in and lash back with hatred. The moment we do that the world has won. The moment we let the worlds treatment of us dictate how we share the gospel is the moment it has stolen our joy of salvation for us and humankind. We lose when we add offense to the gospel.

“And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village.” (Luke 9:51-56)

Let us not lose no matter the rejection and hatred we face.

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