Embracing the Harsh Realities of the Gospel
The popular view of Jesus is that He was a man who taught us how to love, that He lived his life preaching about God’s plan for everybody to get along and that all he ever tried to do was bring people together and teach them how to get along.
Now, there is no doubt whatsoever that God expects us to love each other and that Jesus very clearly and abundantly and absolutely did have much to say about it. However, the idea that Jesus never offended people, that he never confronted sin, that he never made people feel uncomfortable or awkward requires that you find some other source to replace the Bible to inform you on the life and teachings of Jesus!
Luke 12:49-53 is the classic example of where Jesus flat out says, “I didn’t come to create peace but division.” He said what I’m preaching is going to divide families, it's going to cause people to be murdered. What he said so offended the Jews that the entire city of Jerusalem wanted him crucified. So much so that Pilot feared a revolt if he didn’t crucify him.
When you read the Gospels, Jesus was constantly offending people. He wasn’t an offensive person. He sincerely loved everybody, engaged with everybody, treated everybody as equals and even served those who betrayed him. Yet the truth he kept preaching was obviously offensive and he kept preaching it anyway.
The Offensive Gospel in a Politically Correct World
Fast forward to 2020. More and more we are told that if something is offensive then it’s wrong to say it. That right and wrong, ethical and unethical is determined by whether people agree with it or not. Whether they want to hear it or not. And it's having a profound effect on Christians.
Now some Christians glory in offending people. They glory in being offensive and they seem to be on a mission to be as offensive as possible! While others have gone to the other extreme of making sure to never offend anybody about anything... and that this is somehow love!
However, the problem is that there are certain aspects of the Gospel which are unavoidably offensive. If you hide them, you haven’t actually shared the Gospel. Thus the Scriptures tell us that the Gospel is offensive.
As the Apostle John closes out his first letter to the local church, he focuses on three offensive truths related to the Gospel. These truths are so essential to the Gospel that if you remove them, it longer exists. It’s why John closes his letter out talking about them.
Join us for this 3-part series on the critical, offensive truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.