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Is the gospel itself supposed to be "offensive?"

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  • Is the gospel itself supposed to be "offensive?"

    I asked this question in a thread in a different section but was later told that I couldn't post there. So I figured I'd re-post it here.

    I want to address a common claim that I see among Christians (especially evangelicals, it seems):

    Originally posted by mossrose
    The gospel of Jesus Christ is going to offend people regardless of how it is presented. The gospel of Jesus Christ SAYS it is offensive to those who will not believe.
    Here I'll note a few things. First of all, are we sure that the gospel itself is actually "offensive," per se? After all, as I'm sure we've all been told, the word "gospel" means "good news." Good news itself is generally not thought of as being offensive. And perhaps I'm blanking and forgetting an obvious verse, but I can't actually remember any passage in the Bible that explicitly says "the gospel is offensive." In 1 Corinthians 1:18, we're told that "the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing," but is foolishness actually the same thing as offensiveness? I'm not so sure. Galatians 5:11 does use the phrase "the offense of the cross," which I guess is the closest, but it still doesn't actually say the gospel itself is offensive. People may consider "the cross" or "the message of the cross" to be a synecdoche of "the gospel," but if we interpret it as literally "the message pertaining to the aspect of the cross," the relevant passages make more sense. One of the main takeaways from JP Holding's essay "The Impossible Faith" is that in the ancient world, crucifixion was seen as a method of shaming people, a way of absolutely humiliating and reducing the victim's honor status down to zero. This was significant because the societies were characterized by an honor-shame culture, in which obtaining honor was of utmost concern. Consequently, the idea that the one true deity--the most honorable being in existence, and in fact the ultimate source of all honor--would humble himself enough to become a man and be killed by his enemies in the most shameful way possible was seen as utter foolishness. It offended the ancient world's most deeply-held sensibilities. Thus, under this reading, it indeed makes sense why the message of the cross would be called "foolish" and "an offense."

    However, the modern West is not an honor-shame culture. The idea that an honorable being would undergo utter shame is not something that runs contrary to the cultural fabric of the West, because whether something is honorable or shameful isn't held in nearly as high regard as it was on the other side of the world back then. So while it might be true that the gospel or aspects of the gospel is/are still found offensive today in our culture, it isn't quite for the same reasons as it was almost 2000 years ago. So at the very least, I believe one should be wary about so quickly applying that Biblical statement to today's world.

    Now, we can focus on some of Jesus' teachings/actions, and those indeed seemed to be considered offensive by many people back then. But in this regard, a few things must also be noted. First of all, what the Pharisees found offensive seems to have been, if anything, the inclusivity of Jesus' teaching and actions. This is ironic, because ordinarily when I see the "gospel is offensive" claim, it's in the context of the perceived exclusivity of Christianity. The Pharisees arrogantly, hypocritically and unlovingly believed that they were superior to "gluttons and drunkards" and lepers and women and Samaritans. Instead, Jesus reversed those preconceptions by healing those outcasts and dining with them and allowing them to be among his disciples. It seems, then, that what the Pharisees found offensive was essentially the message that the kingdom was open to far more people than they'd initially believed--which was then heightened when Jesus told them that THEY, in fact, were the ones who would be excluded mainly because of their arrogance, hypocrisy and lack of love.

    It's on this point that we start to approach what I suspect people mean when they say the gospel is offensive. Just as the Pharisees were offended when they were told that they weren't superior, but were instead deeply flawed and would die in their sins unless they repented, people in the modern West may feel offended by the message that they're broken and face potential consequences of an eternity of torment. But again, the word "gospel" literally means "good news." The "offensive" message that "You're a sinful being who's separated yourself from God because of said sins, and you'll face eternal punishment if you don't humble yourself and repent" is not good news. That's the bad news. The good news, it seems, is technically that Jesus died via crucifixion to pay for those sins, then rose from the dead, and because of that all people can have forgiveness and life. Indeed, when Paul explicitly writes in 1 Corinthians 15 that he'll remind people of "the gospel that was preached to them," he doesn't say anything "offensive" like that. Instead, he says that the gospel is "That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures..." And when Mark writes in chapter 1:14 that Jesus went into Galilee proclaiming "the good news" of God, what Jesus actually says is "The time has come! The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news." The main aspect of this message is that "the kingdom of God has come near"--a message that is not offensive.

    So in conclusion, it seems to me that the common claim "the gospel is offensive" is technically incorrect and misleading. If the gospel is literally what its name means--"good news"--it shouldn't be offensive at all. What might be deemed offensive is actually the bad news. In fact, to say that the good news is offensive might if anything be akin to unnecessarily placing burdens on people.

    What (if anything) might I be missing here?
    Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.--Isaiah 1:17

    I don't think that all forms o[f] slavery are inherently immoral.--seer

  • #2
    Originally posted by fm93 View Post
    What (if anything) might I be missing here?
    You missed the entire point of the gospel.

    '...because of that all people can have forgiveness and life' is important but a mere corollary.

    Comment


    • #3
      Is it supposed to be? In a perfect world, no.

      Is it? Yes.

      I think mossy makes a decent point in her reply to you in that other thread, though I might quibble and say that the Law rather than the gospel points to our sinfulness, but in a roundabout way, the gospel does too.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by fm93 View Post
        What (if anything) might I be missing here?
        The Holy Spirit.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since youve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Adrift View Post
          Is it supposed to be? In a perfect world, no.

          Is it? Yes.

          I think mossy makes a decent point in her reply to you in that other thread, though I might quibble and say that the Law rather than the gospel points to our sinfulness, but in a roundabout way, the gospel does too.
          Yeah, that last part is what I guess I was thinking. Isn't it technically the Law that some people would first and foremost be finding offensive, rather than the gospel itself? The gospel might "point to it in a roundabout way," but it seems to me that that's not quite the same thing as "the gospel itself is 'supposed' to be offensive."
          Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.--Isaiah 1:17

          I don't think that all forms o[f] slavery are inherently immoral.--seer

          Comment


          • #6
            *****

            Interestingly, it was often those who were righteous who were offended.


            Matthew 11:2Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3and said to Him, Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else? 4Jesus answered and said to them, Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. 6And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.


            John 6:60Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said to them, Does this offend you?


            A very interesting view can be reached from this, but it requires some deep pre understanding. Which may offend many!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by fm93 View Post
              Yeah, that last part is what I guess I was thinking. Isn't it technically the Law that some people would first and foremost be finding offensive, rather than the gospel itself? The gospel might "point to it in a roundabout way," but it seems to me that that's not quite the same thing as "the gospel itself is 'supposed' to be offensive."
              The Law points out our sinfulness, the Gospel lets us know that there's something that can be done about that through belief in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:20-22). Offence comes by knowledge of the Law (that is fulfilled in Christ), and the seemingly counterintuitive message of the Gospel that faithfulness and belief in Jesus' death and resurrection are sufficient to free us from our sinfulness.

              When I talk to people who've rejected the Gospel, the offending element of the Gospel message that they're most often rejecting is that 1.) they are sinful beings (and all of the implications that follow that) and 2.) that they are in need of a savior/that that savior is Jesus/that belief in him is the only Way to salvation from an eternal separation from God.

              Comment


              • #8
                The euaggelion offends because it primarily proclaims the accession of the crucified man Jesus, who has become the Lord of the world. It offends because this immediately implies that everyone - including you, square_peg - has a duty to pay ultimate allegiance to Him and him alone. It offends because it denies that the various gods and lords that we humans set up - either de jure or de facto, whether Mammon, Mars, Venus, or the State - are true gods and lords. It offends because the story of the crucified cosmic Lord upends all our notions of hierarchy and power. It offends because it demands that all turn from their former wicked ways to serve the new King.

                The Gospel is not primarily about 'eternal life' or salvation. First and foremost it is a proclamation about a new reality, that there is a new Lord. This statement then demands of the listener: will you pay allegiance to this new King?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Matthew 21:33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT AND DUG A WINE PRESS IN IT, AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. 34“When the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce. 35“The vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third. 36“Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them. 37“But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38“But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39“They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40“Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?” 41They said to Him, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.”

                  In this parable, a thread to focus on deals with the slaves and the Son, sent to collect the rent.

                  The slaves, obviously referring to the prophets, including John the Baptist.

                  The Son undoubtedly identified as Christ.

                  Why was John puzzled by Christ's ministry?

                  One would think that the slaves and the Son all had a common message, a common ministry.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Could this be the solution?

                    This is the message of the prophets:

                    Isaiah 1:17Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.--

                    Luke 3:11John answered, "Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same."

                    This was the sum of the law and the prophets. The Pharisees scoured Scripture because they thought that in them was the answer to gaining eternal life. God had given them the stewardship of Scripture so that by following its instructions they would have eternal life, the non superficial life, the substantive life, shown by rest from enemies, thirst, hunger and poverty, the blessings of Deuteronomy 28. By turning away from the ways of the world, selfishness, and turning to God, the epitome of good work, unselfishness, they would live this type of life, confirmed by blessings, reaching its ascendancy in the reign of Solomon. During this period nations would travel to Israel to witness God's ways and this revealing light would prompt them to turn to God, which was how Israel would bless the world, in the Old Covenant. Followed by the prophesied disobedience, leading to the curses of invasion, oppression and finally, exile.

                    Even after returning from Babylon, Israel realised that they were still in a type of exile, not being fully restored. Foreign occupation, oppression, restriction of free worship, desecration of the Temple, towers collapsing and crushing Jews, all pointed to the wrath of God not being lifted. Explaining the rush to escape wrath, even another diaspora, by receiving John's baptism.

                    The problem was the Jews could not harmonise the wrath of God with the unconditional promise of being called out to be God's People by virtue of having Abraham for their father. But as Scripture pointed out, it was not those who had blood ties with Abraham who were his children, but those who had faith, showed loyalty. By obeying the law. For it was the doers of the law who would be justified, accepted as members of God's family, not the hearers, possessors, of the law. Which the Pharisees were not doing. They were picking out points of the law that distinguished them from the Gentiles and observing THOSE points, tithing of even mint and cummin, leading to rebuke from Christ, who insisted they observe the weightier requirements, justice, mercy and faithfulness.

                    Which was the message of the prophets, even John.

                    Not only did the teachers and scribes interpret the Covenant of Law as a covenant of entitlement, they misused it to oppress their fellow Jews, placing burdens on them they craftily avoided themselves. So entangled were they in enjoying privileges, that when rebuked by the prophets, they killed those prophets to retain those privileges. When Christ came, they saw it as an opportunity to consolidate their position, by silencing God's Messenger, and by setting up a hierarchy that benefited them materially. When you ride the tiger, you can't stop, because to do so results in being consumed by the tiger.

                    When John saw Jesus, he knew He was different. Not only would He rebuke, His persecution and death would lead to the sins of God's people being taken away forever:

                    John 1:29The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the
                    Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.

                    John expected Jesus to die sacrificially, but instead, He was feasting with "sinners", healing people, all in all, ingratiating Himself with all the Jews. Jesus explains He is the definitive prophet, exhibiting all the characteristics of the last prophet, as prophesied by Isaiah:

                    Luke 7:11Soon afterwards He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd. 12Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. 13When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” 15The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people!” 17This report concerning Him went out all over Judea and in all the surrounding district.

                    18The disciples of John reported to him about all these things. 19Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” 20When the men came to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?’” 21At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind. 22And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. 23“Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”

                    24When the messengers of John had left, He began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25“But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who are splendidly clothed and live in luxury are found in royal palaces! 26“But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one who is more than a prophet.

                    27“This is the one about whom it is written,
                    ‘BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU,
                    WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.’

                    28“I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” 29When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they acknowledged God’s justice, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.

                    31“To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32“They are like children who sit in the market place and call to one another, and they say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ 33“For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ 34“The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35“Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”


                    Luke 4:16And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

                    18“THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,
                    BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.
                    HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
                    AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,
                    TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,

                    19TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”
                    20And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.
                    Last edited by footwasher; 03-12-2015, 03:42 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Eventually, He would die, sacrificially, and take away the sins of the world. Which would put Him in sync with the preceding prophets.

                      And His message that His followers would have to do the same, eat of His flesh and drink of His blood would be even more offensive...

                      Remember, the sojourner who wanted to partake of the Passover meal had to become a Jew, accept circumcision, signifying leaving Egypt, turning away from the world, turning to God, John's baptism...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        After reading this thread awhile, I felt tempted to sneak up behind a stranger and whisper, "You are a black, black sinner!" I do think he probably would then feel like doing something defensive. Nah, my eye would turn black, black.
                        The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                        [T]he truth Im after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fm93 View Post
                          It's on this point that we start to approach what I suspect people mean when they say the gospel is offensive. Just as the Pharisees were offended when they were told that they weren't superior, but were instead deeply flawed and would die in their sins unless they repented, people in the modern West may feel offended by the message that they're broken and face potential consequences of an eternity of torment. But again, the word "gospel" literally means "good news." The "offensive" message that "You're a sinful being who's separated yourself from God because of said sins, and you'll face eternal punishment if you don't humble yourself and repent" is not good news. That's the bad news. The good news, it seems, is technically that Jesus died via crucifixion to pay for those sins, then rose from the dead, and because of that all people can have forgiveness and life. Indeed, when Paul explicitly writes in 1 Corinthians 15 that he'll remind people of "the gospel that was preached to them," he doesn't say anything "offensive" like that. Instead, he says that the gospel is "That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures..." And when Mark writes in chapter 1:14 that Jesus went into Galilee proclaiming "the good news" of God, what Jesus actually says is "The time has come! The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news." The main aspect of this message is that "the kingdom of God has come near"--a message that is not offensive.
                          The important point is many people get offended when they are told they can't save themselves. Indeed, its offensive to tell someone that they need to be saved. Unless you come to know you need to be saved, the Gospel is somewhere between meaningless and offensive. Same with the Kingdom of God: once you start to grasp how different the Kingdom is compared to the world and how much you lose from a worldly prospective when the Kingdom comes in, then the Gospel offends.

                          In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul seems to assume his readers know these points and instead focuses on the proof that God has made their salvation sure.
                          "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                          "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fm93 View Post
                            I asked this question in a thread in a different section but was later told that I couldn't post there. So I figured I'd re-post it here.

                            I want to address a common claim that I see among Christians (especially evangelicals, it seems):



                            Here I'll note a few things. First of all, are we sure that the gospel itself is actually "offensive," per se? After all, as I'm sure we've all been told, the word "gospel" means "good news." Good news itself is generally not thought of as being offensive. And perhaps I'm blanking and forgetting an obvious verse, but I can't actually remember any passage in the Bible that explicitly says "the gospel is offensive." In 1 Corinthians 1:18, we're told that "the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing," but is foolishness actually the same thing as offensiveness? I'm not so sure. Galatians 5:11 does use the phrase "the offense of the cross," which I guess is the closest, but it still doesn't actually say the gospel itself is offensive. People may consider "the cross" or "the message of the cross" to be a synecdoche of "the gospel," but if we interpret it as literally "the message pertaining to the aspect of the cross," the relevant passages make more sense. One of the main takeaways from JP Holding's essay "The Impossible Faith" is that in the ancient world, crucifixion was seen as a method of shaming people, a way of absolutely humiliating and reducing the victim's honor status down to zero. This was significant because the societies were characterized by an honor-shame culture, in which obtaining honor was of utmost concern. Consequently, the idea that the one true deity--the most honorable being in existence, and in fact the ultimate source of all honor--would humble himself enough to become a man and be killed by his enemies in the most shameful way possible was seen as utter foolishness. It offended the ancient world's most deeply-held sensibilities. Thus, under this reading, it indeed makes sense why the message of the cross would be called "foolish" and "an offense."

                            However, the modern West is not an honor-shame culture. The idea that an honorable being would undergo utter shame is not something that runs contrary to the cultural fabric of the West, because whether something is honorable or shameful isn't held in nearly as high regard as it was on the other side of the world back then. So while it might be true that the gospel or aspects of the gospel is/are still found offensive today in our culture, it isn't quite for the same reasons as it was almost 2000 years ago. So at the very least, I believe one should be wary about so quickly applying that Biblical statement to today's world.

                            Now, we can focus on some of Jesus' teachings/actions, and those indeed seemed to be considered offensive by many people back then. But in this regard, a few things must also be noted. First of all, what the Pharisees found offensive seems to have been, if anything, the inclusivity of Jesus' teaching and actions. This is ironic, because ordinarily when I see the "gospel is offensive" claim, it's in the context of the perceived exclusivity of Christianity. The Pharisees arrogantly, hypocritically and unlovingly believed that they were superior to "gluttons and drunkards" and lepers and women and Samaritans. Instead, Jesus reversed those preconceptions by healing those outcasts and dining with them and allowing them to be among his disciples. It seems, then, that what the Pharisees found offensive was essentially the message that the kingdom was open to far more people than they'd initially believed--which was then heightened when Jesus told them that THEY, in fact, were the ones who would be excluded mainly because of their arrogance, hypocrisy and lack of love.

                            It's on this point that we start to approach what I suspect people mean when they say the gospel is offensive. Just as the Pharisees were offended when they were told that they weren't superior, but were instead deeply flawed and would die in their sins unless they repented, people in the modern West may feel offended by the message that they're broken and face potential consequences of an eternity of torment. But again, the word "gospel" literally means "good news." The "offensive" message that "You're a sinful being who's separated yourself from God because of said sins, and you'll face eternal punishment if you don't humble yourself and repent" is not good news. That's the bad news. The good news, it seems, is technically that Jesus died via crucifixion to pay for those sins, then rose from the dead, and because of that all people can have forgiveness and life. Indeed, when Paul explicitly writes in 1 Corinthians 15 that he'll remind people of "the gospel that was preached to them," he doesn't say anything "offensive" like that. Instead, he says that the gospel is "That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures..." And when Mark writes in chapter 1:14 that Jesus went into Galilee proclaiming "the good news" of God, what Jesus actually says is "The time has come! The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news." The main aspect of this message is that "the kingdom of God has come near"--a message that is not offensive.

                            So in conclusion, it seems to me that the common claim "the gospel is offensive" is technically incorrect and misleading. If the gospel is literally what its name means--"good news"--it shouldn't be offensive at all. What might be deemed offensive is actually the bad news. In fact, to say that the good news is offensive might if anything be akin to unnecessarily placing burdens on people.

                            What (if anything) might I be missing here?
                            Ever notice how those that are most "offended" by something are the ones fighting the hardest against it's pull. Example, ex-smokers sometimes are the biggest critics of those still smoking. The Gospel to those fighting against surrendering to Jesus as Lord, often are the most offended by it being "pushed in their face". That's my take anyway.
                            "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                            "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
                              Ever notice how those that are most "offended" by something are the ones fighting the hardest against it's pull. Example, ex-smokers sometimes are the biggest critics of those still smoking. The Gospel to those fighting against surrendering to Jesus as Lord, often are the most offended by it being "pushed in their face". That's my take anyway.
                              The gospel is not about the needed act of "surrendering to Jesus as Lord." Since "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father," whether one trusts in Christ or not. Only those who believe God (1 John 5:9-12) about His Christ have any hope.
                              . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

                              . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

                              Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

                              Comment

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