Are you offended?

June 3, 2014.

“Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
(Matthew 15:12-14)

Today I come with something that may be hard to accept. The words of Jesus were sometimes offensive. The teachings that lie in the bible are sometimes offensive. There are things that we like, like peace and love, but there are other things that we might not want to hear, as in the necessity to repent of our sins. However, as I have said many times before, truth is truth. Listen to the words of our Lord.

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
(Matthew 10:34-39)

When Jesus walked this earth, he did not expect his message to always bring peace. He himself went into the temple when they were selling things and overturned the tables because they were not doing what they should have been doing. Jesus offended many people, especially the Jewish leaders who should have had it right. He offended the people in his hometown as he said no prophet is accepted in his hometown. People today love when Christians preach peace and love (and don’t get me wrong, those are two very important concepts to teach) but get upset when you preach the rest of the gospel. The point I am making, however, is that we can’t just pick and choose what we like and leave out what we don’t like. Some of the last words of the bible read like this:

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
(Revelation 22:18-19)

It seems significant that these would be the last thing written in the cannon. I believe that providence made it so. We can’t pick and choose. It’s all or nothing. James makes this point in his letter:

“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.”
(James 2:10-11)

We must take the whole word, not just part. This may be difficult, but it is our duty as Christians. God gave us intelligent minds for a reason. We should use them to seek truth and accept it when it is found. Remember that the gospel may be offensive, but let truth stand no matter what.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
(Romans 1:16)

Suggested Daily Reading: Matthew 10, 15, James 2, Revelation 22.

The Lord guide you.

-Walter

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