Warning. This message is offensive. The cross. It offends men’s pride and self worth and religion. It offends men’s wisdom and works. But this message is our only answer.
CAUTION, This message may OFFEND people.
It is DISRESPECTFUL and OFFENSIVE
It is UNPALATABLE
It is HURTFUL to PRIDE.
MY MESSAGE is…
- The CROSS
- The GOSPEL.
It’s deeply OFFENSIVE.
In Galatians 5:11 Paul speaks of THE OFFENCE OF THE CROSS.
- God’s way of SALVATION
- God’s SUFFICIENT and
- God’s ONLY way.
It OFFENDS HUMAN PRIDE and DIGNITY
And HUMAN WISDOM.
- It OFFENDS man’s LOVE of SIN
- It OFFENDS man’s SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
People still HATE the cross today…
- They want to FIND SOME OTHER WAY
- Some MANMADE WAY
- They want to go by way of PHILOSOPHY
- They want some RELIGIOUS WAY
But I have to tell you, straight, there is NO OTHER WAY.
THE ONLY WAY is by way of THE CROSS.
The message of the cross is THE GOSPEL.
The Gospel is CONTROVERSIAL and DIVISIVE.
It is ONLY by THE WAY OF THE CROSS that we can be SAVED.
The message of the cross is A MESSAGE of OUTRAGE and SCANDAL.
The cross is DISRESPECTFUL and OFFENSIVE. Yes.
And you need to hear it.
It says you are a SINNER
And you need a SAVIOUR.
It shows the lengths that God had to go to
And He did not hold back
He went to the extreme lengths of the CROSS.
And the cross says to you RELIGIOUS PEOPLE, your good works STINK.
The CROSS says YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH and NEVER WILL BE, to MERIT HEAVEN BY YOUR OWN EFFORTS. You NEVER CAN and you NEVER WILL.
The cross says Romans 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
We all have come short.
That’s why we need the cross.
The only way is by the way of the cross.
Your only hope is the cross.
This message is OFFENSIVE…
- It is INSULTING
- POLITICALLY INCORRECT
The CROSS talks about…
- RIGHTEOUSNESS, and
This MESSAGE needs declaring, LOUD and CLEAR…
- Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
- Show my people their sins!
- The cross screams at you
- It says repent!
In the time of our Lord people wanted the miracles, the healings, and the loaves and the fishes…
But when the message became confronting and talked about a cross they walked away.
Our Lord foretold that those who served in His name would be treated as OUTCASTS, and REJECTED.
The Lord told His followers that the world would HATE them.
This is CONFRONTING stuff.
The GOSPEL brings people FACE TO FACE with their SIN and FAILURE.
It is DISRESPECTFUL and OFFENSIVE
The CROSS speaks of HUMAN SIN, INABILITY and DEPENDENCE ON GOD’S MERCY.
This is CONFRONTATIONAL.
Consider THE OFFENSIVE MESSAGE of THE CROSS.
THE CROSS is OFFENSIVE. BRUTAL. BARBARIC. DEGRADING. HUMILIATING. An instrument of TORTURE and PAIN and PUNISHMENT.
It causes REVULSION.
It is associated with CRIMINALS.
It means a CURSE.
Yet Christ made it an instrument of salvation and blessing.
The very thought of it insults human pride.
How can human salvation occur without human action?
The offense of the cross runs deeper than being a repulsive torture device.
Kenneth Wuest tells us, “The cross was offensive to the Jew …because it set aside the entire Mosaic Law, and because it offered salvation by grace through faith alone without the added factor of works performed by the sinner in an effort to merit the salvation offered.”
The offensive message of the cross is that Jesus is the only way to heaven.
We can’t get to heaven by any religious actions that we do on our own.
People don’t want to hear this.
The message of the cross says that people’s own philosophies don’t stack up. They don’t measure up.
The GOSPEL is an OFFENSE.
But this MESSAGE must be DECLARED.
“If you take the offense out of the gospel, you also remove the saving power of the gospel.”
The cross offends.
Because GOD, NOT MAN, is RIGHT. Our PROBLEM is SIN. And THE ONLY ANSWER is THE CROSS.
Sinners are lost, without hope, and hell-bound. This offends us. Most of us cannot admit that we are lost enough to need salvation. Sinners do not wish to know, or to be reminded, of their guilt.
Saying that we are sinners contradicts our proud, selfish, stubborn, and sinful hearts. Christ died for the ungodly, that is, for sinners (Romans 5:6–8). We all qualify!
The cross offends because sinners do not deserve, and cannot earn salvation.
This is the offense of grace!
Man cannot save himself.
The good news is that what JUSTICE demanded, GRACE provided.
Jesus paid it all.
Sinful man is eternally helpless without Him!
The cross offends because we cannot respond to God “our way.” Jesus said,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
His statement is rigid, narrow, exclusive, intolerant, and judgmental.
But it is THE TRUTH.
Such a declaration is OFFENSIVE.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
The cross speaks of THE HOLY CHARACTER OF GOD.
The cross speaks of THE HOLY CONDEMNATION THAT DOOMS THE LOST.
The cross speaks of THE BLEEDING LOVE OF GOD TOWARDS YOU.
The cross condemns THE CARNAL CHRIST REJECTER. The cross PROVOKES HIM.
It shows THE VANITY of those WHO WILFULLY LINGER IN THEIR SIN while DESTRUCTION is POURED OUT.
The cross shows THE FOLLY OF THE WORLDLY WISE who will argue and debate WHETHER THERE IS A GOD, all the while as they pray they’re right, and DEEP DOWN THEY KNOW THEY ARE UTTERLY WRONG.
THE CROSS says to you, you are a FOOL, YOU WHO DENY GOD.
THE CROSS says you are in a damnable state, YOU WHO PUT OFF TRUSTING CHRIST.
THE CROSS OFFENDS YOU.
But this is the message you need to hear.
It is DISRESPECTFUL and OFFENSIVE. And I don’t care. Because I care enough to tell you the truth.
The cross offends you.
You who dilly dally to follow Christ.
You weak-kneed professors.
The cross OFFENDS you.
It urges you to A DEEPER WALK WITH GOD.
To take it seriously.
The cross is intolerant.
Let me share with you the difference between tolerance and love.
Author and speaker Josh McDowell writes, “TOLERANCE says, ‘You must APPROVE of what I do.’ love responds, ‘I must do something harder: I WILL LOVE YOU, even WHEN YOUR BEHAVIOUR [IS SINFUL].’
TOLERANCE says, ‘You must AGREE with me.’ LOVE responds, ‘I must do something harder: I WILL TELL YOU THE TRUTH, BECAUSE I AM CONVINCED THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.’
TOLERANCE says, ‘You must ALLOW ME TO HAVE MY WAY.’ LOVE responds, ‘I must do something harder: I WILL PLEAD WITH YOU TO FOLLOW THE RIGHT WAY, BECAUSE I BELIEVE YOU ARE WORTH THE RISK’.”
The cross gives offense to the natural man, because IT DEMONSTRATES GOD’S JUDGMENT ON THEIR SINS.
INSTEAD of being offended, however, we should “GLORY IN THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, BY WHOM THE WORLD IS CRUCIFIED UNTO ME, AND I UNTO THE WORLD” (GALATIANS 6:14).
In Matthew 11:6 Jesus says BLESSED is he who is NOT OFFENDED because of Me.
The person who is not offended at the gospel is the one who willingly hears and believes the message.