After being blocked recently by a “professional evangelist” for challenging him on his universalistic “gospel”, I started to wonder, yet again, why is the gospel so offensive to people. To people generally and even to those within churches and EVEN to professional religionists.
The gospel highlights the holiness of God and the total unworthiness of man.
It is bad news before it is good news. The cross shows a God who hates sin, defines sin, and judges sin before He forgives sin.
The heart of man tends to be mightily impressed with the achievements of man, but the gospel declares the works of men useless, vain and condemned as offensive to God.
The gospel promises nothing that humans tend to be enamoured with; no earthly treasure is promised even though heavenly riches are at the disposal of those who embrace the cross. Temporal comforts may vanish for the one who chooses allegiance to Christ, but eternal comfort is provided.
The carnal man desires peace and friends and unity and camaraderie with all men. The gospel promises rejection, family members becoming our enemies and slander and hatred. But the fellowship with the Almighty is worth all that for those whose affections have been changed by the Spirit of God.
The fear of man resident in the heart of man recoils at the thought of delivering a message of God’s righteous anger at sin. Men (even religious men) prefer a likeable God, friendly and approachable who ticks “like” on every persons Facebook page. This God of the Bible revealed in the gospel is not nice, He’s indescribably, awesomely fearfully holy.
The pride of man is offended that the gospel declares nothing he has or has done of any value to God.
The intellect of man is insulted at the divine genius manifested in the simplicity of the gospel.
The declaration of the gospel that One way and one way only has been provided for reconciliation with God, stirs up the natural ecumenism in the heart of the unregenerate.
The independence of man is crushed that the gospel declares us totally dependent on God’s mercy.
The tendency of humans to create gods in their own image is confronted by the God Who is Who He is and will not change to suit our preferences.
The gospel reveals a hell deserved before showing a heaven offered.
It shows the Deities wrath before opening the vista of His love.
It shines a light on all that we wish were hidden.
The fig leaves of our own supposed goodness are exposed as useless.
The gospel promises peace with God at the certainty of enmity with men. Carnal nature prefers peace with men even if it offends God.
Men will travel the world telling folks that God loves them and is impressed with them and accepts them just as they are…but that is not the gospel. It is simply a Satanic “ring in”.
The true gospel is not seeker friendly. It is not inclusive. It is not people focussed. It is not fun. It is not entertaining. It is not optional. It is not pleasant. It is not nice. It does not make people feel good about themselves. The gospel does not promise a trouble-free life or popularity and success.
The true gospel is a bloody gospel, a flesh crushing message, a clarion call of rescue for those who are aware of their need.
The gospel of Jesus has us weeping before it has us singing. It brings us low before it lifts us up. It condemns us before it pardons us.
New age slogans regularly posted by churchians are useless to save. The weak and saccharine sweet message given by some so-called evangelists leaves people in their sin and under the wrath of God.
The rule preaching religionists will find their multitude of self-imposed regulations useless on the day they stand before God.
But the gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone who will simply take God at His word. As humbling as that may be.