The Gospel is known as the good news. Yet when presented to the world the reaction is often rage and disgust. How can the good news of redemption for all mankind be offensive.
- It identifies sickness:
Many people go an extended amount of time without knowing they are sick. Often times cancer can live in the body for years without ever being discovered. Some take finding out they have a problem as good news because it means they are going to be able to start the process of healing. Some deny it and become angry at Doctors, family and often times God. Part of the gospel (good news) is revealing that we are all sick. Their sickness is terminal and it is identified as sin. The scripture tells us “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) People do not like being told that they are wrong, I know that I don’t, but being called out for wrongdoing is an essential part of the gospel. People have to be made aware of their need for redemption.
2. The truth hurts:
Our church has been preaching through the book of Acts and during my study I always get overwhelmed by the story of Stephen. Stephen had been wrongly accused of saying “…Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place (temple) and change the customs that Moses gave to us.” Acts 6:13 What happens next is nothing short of incredible. Stephen stands up before an angry mob and preaches the truth of God’s word. The mob grew angry and stoned Stephen to death because of the truth. Truth comes from God and that makes people aware of their own wickedness. Most societies try to avoid truth at all costs, relativism in the modern age is evidence of that. Absolute truth points to exclusivism, meaning some people will be wrong. This really points back to the fall, inherit in our nature we want to be God, we want to be the makers of truth but God is the only one who creates truth. This leads people to be offended by the truth.
3. If there is “good news” there is also “bad news”:
The Gospel is the good news of redemption from eternal separation from the One True God. It comes from repentance of wrongdoing toward God and belief in Jesus Christ as the ransom for sin and the defeater of death. As easy as God made it for us to be redeemed by faith in His redemptive plan, there will be many who will not accept it. People are offended that the gospel preaches exclusivism. The gospel is good news to those who believe but it is bad news for those who don’t.
“ For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Cor. 1:18
What do we do?
Regardless of the outcome, we are tasked as the church to share the Gospel. We have been promised that we will be rejected but the gospel is the hope and the redemption of all mankind. Our task is to present the Gospel in its purest form, we do not need to be overly offensive because the Gospel is offensive enough.
Pastor Caleb Dunn, Calvary Baptist Church