by Stephanie Olson, Set Me Free Ministries Co-founder
There has been a growing trend in Christianity today. It’s a trend in which we have softened the Gospel so that people can swallow it a bit more easily. A trend in which we have made the Gospel more about self and less about Christ. A trend in which we define missions as doing anything good even if we don’t speak the name of Jesus as we’re doing it. A trend in which we have made following Jesus more about calling what is evil good and what is good evil rather than obedience. A trend in which we think more about our lives here on earth more than we think about eternity. A trend in which we are not drawing people to the True Jesus Christ because we are too busy following a different Jesus.
God is a God of love. In fact, we’re told in 1 John 4:7-8, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Yes, He is a God of love. He is love, and so we are called to love as well. But we are also called to share the Truth in love–The Truth, not our truth, not the truth we might like to believe, not the truth that feels really good … no, we are called to share His Truth. Jesus Christ, the Word–He is Truth.
But when we share the Truth, even if we share it in love, it tends to make people unhappy at times. It tends to offend people. Bill Muehlenberg, an apologist from CultureWatch, says this, “Preaching the biblical gospel is offensive. All true believers should know this. Jesus offended many with his message. The New Testament speaks about the offense of the gospel in various places. Paul talked about the ‘offense of the cross’ (Gal. 5:11), and Peter speaks of Jesus as ‘a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense’ (1 Peter 2:8).
“When we preach the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and the fact that there is no salvation to be found outside of the person and work of Christ, people will be offended by that. It can’t be helped.”
The Bible can be offensive and so can be Truth, even to believers. I recently had someone tell me that I shouldn’t speak of things that God calls deception because it might hurt someone’s feelings if that person is involved in it. He said that he didn’t think that was a loving thing to do.
We need to make sure we are being mindful as a Church. We can’t be more concerned about people’s feelings than we are about their eternal salvation. We can’t be more concerned about societal rules and being politically correct than we are about life or death. (“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23) You know what, it is much more loving to tell people the Truth of Jesus Christ than it is to tell them what they want to hear if what they want to hear is not of God.
God has really been hitting my heart with something. We have to be eternally minded not earthly minded. We have to remember that this is not our home. James tells us in his book that this life is but a vapor. That is so hard for us to see and comprehend, but someday, and someday soon, we will be in eternity (either in the presence of the Lord or not), and we will have to stand before Jesus accounting for our lives on earth. That is a sobering thought.
That’s why it’s so important for us to follow God, not man. It’s so important to remember that only One person died for us, and there is only One God that we will stand before. That One is the Eternal Word, Jesus Christ.
Let’s change that growing trend in Christianity that I spoke of previously. Let’s make a new trend–a trend in which Christians are willing to stand up and boldly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, that there is no other way to the Father, and that the Word of God is alive and active and is the infallible Word of God. A trend that says we are not ashamed of the True Gospel. A trend that draws all nations to Christ and His Kingdom.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
He doesn’t change … we need to!