God, and the world that is under the dominion of Satan, are enemies. They are enemies because every one of us are born cursed with sin. This makes every one of us from the womb dead men walking, because the wage of sin is death.
The world, and the destructive energy it wields with abandon, is an offense to the senses.
- It contains rampant, repetitive images of debauchery broadcast in high definition and pumps it straight into the collective head of the world in a steadily increasing cycle. The more foul the imagery, the more dull the world's remaining senses become, the more foul the imagery required to titillate... ad infinitum.
- It pumps our children with pride, and the notion that they need neither fear nor respect anything. The more of the world they receive, the farther from the values of God and their purpose for being given life they go.
- It casually substitutes the truth for a fraudulent opinion at will. Those who consume the fraud wholesale can no longer tell the difference, and then no longer care.
" 'They all fool and defraud each other; no one tells the truth. With practiced tongues they tell lies; they wear themselves out with all their sinning. They pile lie upon lie and utterly refuse to acknowledge me,' says the LORD." -Jeremiah 9:5-6
The Gospel is an offense to the world, and those who follow Jesus will be despised by the world for belonging to God. The Lord Jesus said it Himself.
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." John 15:18-19
So tell a person who claims to be a Christian and loves Jesus, or claims not to know Him, that the Bible says they are wrong, and one of two things will happen; one, as it turns out, much more often than the other.
- They will be convicted, and receive the grace of God to repent, the grace of God to ask for and receive forgiveness, the grace of God to read the Bible, obey what is written, and be transformed into a creature that seeks to please God and give glory to Him.
- They will respond with all the firepower their pride can muster, revile you, declare you a hate-monger against the sin they have accepted and are committed to, and if it exposes them enough, drive them to persecute the speaker of the truth.
Why do I say the latter will be more common than the former? I didn't, actually.
"For many are called, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:14
"You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it." Matthew 7:13-14
If few are chosen, and few ever find the narrow, difficult road to life, then obeying the mandate of Christ and spreading the offensive truth will garner the prideful response far more than the convicted response.
The truth is, more people will choose their pride over obedience to God, death over Life. What is more, they will be in numbers so vast as to be no comparison. One needs but to read those two verses to know that the Son of God not only knew this, but told His followers as much. Wide roads are for rush hour traffic. Narrow roads are for occasional use.The majority of those charged with the responsibility of offending the world with the Gospel in order to save it have opted not to do so, and not only for the reasons listed above, but because there is no money in offending the people you are talking to. The churchianity institution most pastors, ministers, bishops, prophets, etc., are part of is in the business of making money. To make that money, the people they are fleecing must be three things:
- Ignorant of the Word. If they don't know the truth, they can't call the charlatan. The knowledge of how to worship God, how to love and obey God, and thereby receive everlasting life, as Jesus *is* life, is also lost. They are pumped with euphoria-inducing doctrine; they are not challenged, or told they have to change. They are not told to repent of their sin, but that they are accepted just as they are.
- Distracted. They are pumped full of false doctrine that satisfies the flesh rather than makes it uncomfortable. The truth is left out, which would liberate them and bring peace to their souls, to get them to keep writing checks. The truth of the Gospel, and its offensive message that forces people to yield themselves up and be transformed, is substituted with Self Empowerment techniques; messages that have you seek your dreams, be rich, to be proud of who you are and what you do.
- Entertained. The God-less rituals, the antics... all to make the ignorant, distracted individual feel like they are getting their money's worth, as they would for anything they sat down and paid for elsewhere. That the Body of Christ is to gather together, discuss the Word of God, and be accountable to one another, strengthening each other, taking part in the healing when sin is confessed, is not even recalled by the vast majority of those who attend church today.
It seems that the intelligent choice would be to take offense to that which placates our sensibilities on this earth while simultaneously brings eternal death, rather than to that which offends our worldly sensibilities and brings eternal Life.
It seems so to me, but I am in the minority.
Which is more offensive to you?