Should Christians Worry About Offending People With the Gospel?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

The gospel offends people, but some are saved, so should Christians worry about offending people by sharing the gospel?

For or Against

The gospel offends people, but some are saved by it, so should Christians worry about offending people by sharing the gospel? We had better get used to it. The gospel will offend far more people than will accept it. The truth sets you free or it makes you really mad. There is no in-between. Jesus said you are either for Him or against Him (Matt 12:30). There’s no neutrality with God. There are saints and aint’s. That’s it! No in between’s. To not make a choice to believe is to choose to reject Him. No choice is a choice against believing, so you are either saved and will be spared from God’s wrath (1 Thess 5:9) or you are not and appointed unto wrath (Eph 2:3). We cannot be on the fence about trusting in Christ because those on the other side and those sitting on the fence will be cast into outer darkness for time without end (Matt 8:12, 25:30). Today you must make a choice (2 Cor 6:2) because you have no guarantee that tomorrow even comes. Vapors don’t stay around very long (James 4:13-14).

Offense Must Come

The gospel does divide…it divides the lost from the saved…it divides the truth from error, so division is inevitable, even in the church in regards to the gospel. The Apostle Paul talked about division in the church, saying “For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part” (1 Cor 11:18), but that division is actually a good thing. How so? Paul answers that question, saying that “there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized” (1 Cor 11:19). You can more easily recognize the truth when you see obvious error. It “may be recognized” when placed against the truth (John 17:3; Acts 4:12). If you’ve trusted in Christ, then “you will be hated by all for my name’s sake” (Matt 10:20), not “might be” but “will be hated.” But that’s not something we should be concerned about. Our concern is God’s concern that none should perish but all should repent and be saved (2 Pet 3:9).

Fear of Man

We are tested as to whether we fear God more than we fear man when we share Jesus Christ with the lost. If we fear being shunned, rejected and even scorned for sharing Jesus Christ, which we’re commanded to do, then we fear man more than we fear God. I know. I’m guilty of this, but when we fear God, this means we obey God, which means we’ll go into all the world…for us, that might be, “Go into your own world” and make disciples (Matt 28:18-20). We may never get a second chance to share Christ because we may never see that person again. Who knows what tomorrow may bring? In fact, there are no guarantees of “tomorrow.” If we fear the lost person’s final destination (Rev 20:12-15, 21:8), then we might fear man less. Recognize that everyone is created in God’s image and God’s desire is that none of the wicked perish (Ezk 18:32, 33:11). Is that our desire too? If not, pray for God to put that love for the lost in your heart and participate in God’s work in rescuing the perishing. God can use us as a means to reach the lost. God has always been willing to use willing vessels. Isaiah wrote, “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8). Will we? Will we go for Him? Then let us say, “Here we are…send us.”

Offending to Save

Think about sharing Christ this way. Be willing to offend someone but don’t try to offend someone. Jesus never forced Himself on anyone. We can’t shove the gospel down people’s throat. Offending someone that way is not really persecution. That’s just being obnoxious, but the Bible teaches us that “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy” (Prov 27:6). The Psalmist declares, “Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it. Yet my prayer is continually against their evil deeds” (Psalm 141:5). Of course, these are not talking about actual physical wounds, but wounds in that we are corrected or we’re shown the truth and the error of our way by our friends.

Questions For Christian Accountability Partner

Our real friends are willing to offend us in order to help us (or at least should be). Wouldn’t you want to know if you’re going in the wrong direction, but most people believe their good works are going to get them to heaven (53%), but they couldn’t be more wrong (Eph 2:8-9). Warn those as if you’re snatching them out of the fire (Jude 1:23) while showing mercy and grace to others (Jude 1:22).

Conclusion

If we’re never willing to take the risk and be willing to offend someone, then it means we’re not sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we’ve never suffered persecution, then we’re not making known the gospel. We are living with a sin of omission…a sin of silence, where people around us are perishing every day and dying with no second chance for salvation. The clock is running. How many will pass into eternity without knowing Christ? How many will refuse, again today, to trust in Christ (2 Cor 6:2)? And, have you repented and put your trust in Christ? If not, you are offending God right now as He is angry with the wicked every single day (Psalm 7:11), and His righteous wrath will be poured out on you someday if you reject Christ (Rev 20:12-15, 21:8).

My prayer is that you put your trust in the Savior today…right this moment, for those who trust in Christ. The Word says, “Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame” (Psalm 25:3a). Jesus Himself says to all, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:16).

Here is some related reading for you: How to Share the Gospel With Family

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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