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Passage of the Week – February 12, 2012

February 12, 2012

(I’m thinking I should call this category “Passage of the Month” rather than “Passage of the Week” to better represent how often I post for it. Regardless, here goes…)

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. (1 Timothy 2:5-7)

This passage should be offensive to all people who embrace our culture’s ideas of fairness and pluralism. That there is one God and one (not many) mediator between God and men is offensive to anyone trying to find religion of their own making. The first verse in the passage leaves no room for seeking a different God and no room for seeking another path to God besides the path through Christ. Given this brazen exclusivity we can understand (to a point) that people might be offended at this. When you tell someone that the religion they have followed all their lives and are teaching to their children is false and leads to destruction, I think offense is a natural initial reaction. Nobody likes having his or her worldview challenged. When we bring the message of Christ to this world we need to expect opposition.

What saddens me the most is when I see Christians and churches react to the offense of the Gospel much as the world reacts. We shy away from the gospel because we do not seek to bring the offense that comes with it. We worry so much about offending someone that we effectively agree with them that our message is too offensive to be spoken. We need to get past that and accept the fact that our message will bring offense. Friendships will be lost, families will be broken, and faces may even be spit upon but this is the task we are given by the Lord.

I do not speak as one who has no guilt in this. I have been guilty many times for missed opportunities. This is as much on me as anyone out there selling a “seeker-friendly” gospel. Thankfully, God builds His church in spite of the failure of His followers and that He can create much good out of our frail abilities. May God grant us the boldness to display his gospel in the face of the offense it brings to the world around us.

God bless.

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