Author Topic: The Offense of the Cross  (Read 2315 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jabcat

  • Admin
  • *
  • Posts: 8821
  • SINNER SAVED BY GRACE
The Offense of the Cross
« on: August 09, 2012, 05:55:22 AM »
To those searchers passing through and wondering what this "universalism" is you've been hearing about, be assured that the owner of this site [Gary Amirault] believes and preaches a saving faith in Jesus Christ is necessary, based on what He did on the cross for us.  He just departs from much of Christendom in that he believes and teaches everyone will eventually be brought to that faith, and all will kneel and confess Jesus as Lord.  As you consider, put it in context of the ages, not just this current age.  Search the scriptures, and know that when this short life ends, God is not through.  His love, mercy, and power reach into the next ages as well.

I was reminded today of Gary saying "Whenever the subject comes up of what happens to the African who never heard the Gospel, the above scripture [Romans 1:18-23] is usually the one quoted.. Taken out of context and put into the discussion of justifying God's behavior, this seems like a reasonable Scripture to quote. But when we put the Scripture back into its context in the entire book of Romans, and put those words into the apostle's mouth who never preached a hell of eternal torment in this or any other book he wrote, we then discover that this passage has nothing to do with the subject of the African who never heard of the Gospel.

It should be obvious to anyone who will study this passage, that if one concludes that it is possible to "get saved" by looking at creation and discovering there must be a God, then Jesus died needlessly, the Gospel would serve no purpose, and there is another way of salvation other than the Gospel. Most of the world believes there is a god based upon looking at creation. Does that save them? Is a Moslem saved because they believe in a god? Was the Roman pagan even more saved because he believed in several gods? Since when does looking at a cloud bring one to "Christ crucified?" And if looking at creation, and determining there is a god can bring righteousness, how does that line up with many other passages from Paul..." - Gary Amirault
------

The following is from an old sermon in the 1800s, The Offense of the Cross.  Interesting to me how much of the same issues were pertinent then as today.  If you truly are searching, I encourage you to not just automatically write off the possibility that all will be saved, and be blessed and inspired to look further into this thing called "The Victorious Gospel of Jesus Christ".  And if you haven't as yet done so, please be encouraged to turn to Yashua, Savior of the world (John 4:42) and place your trust in Him as your Savior.

 
"Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished." [Galatians 5:11]

The religion of Jesus is the most peaceful, mild, and benevolent religion that was ever propagated. When we compare it with any set of dogmas invented by men, there is not one of them that can stand the least comparison with it for gentleness, mildness, and love. As for the Muslim religion, it is the religion of the vulture; but the religion of Jesus is that of the dove-all is mercy, all is mild; it is, like its Founder, an embodiment of pure benevolence, grace, and truth.

And yet, strange to say, gentle as the gospel is..there has never been anything which has caused more disturbance in the world..

What is the offense of the cross?
The philosopher looks at the cross, and then says, "I cannot see anything wonderful in it, even though I can see more clearly than the poor, humble peasant; I do not care about such a system of religion as that; any simpleton can understand the cross." So he passes by, and merely sneers at it.
The man who loves controversy comes to the gospel, and finds that there is in it pure stubbornness. Such things are said to be true, and sinners must believe them, or else be [condemned]. "I will not do so" he says; "I will not yield implicit faith to the gospel; I like disputing on points of doctrine; I like contradicting them; I will not listen to the man who speaks so authoritatively; I like men who will give me enough room to doubt, who let me believe what I like; I prefer to use my reason and common sense." When you come to talk with him about the religion which says, "Believe that, or else be lost; believe that, or else be shut out of the light of salvation;" he turns on his heel, and says, "I will not believe any such thing." And when he asks what it is he is to believe, he professes himself to be wiser even than the Word of God. "What!" says he "believe in the atonement? I can't; it is contrary to my common sense. Believe in the total depravity of human nature, and the impossibility of being saved without being born again? Why, I cannot receive such teaching for a single moment. It is contrary to all that I have ever been taught, and different from what any philosopher would ever have invented; so I will not receive it." And he turns away with an abhorrence of the cross. He cannot stand it because of its great simplicity. He cannot bear the gospel of the cross; it does not have enough worldly wisdom in it for him; and he either does not know or he forgets that the knowledge of Christ crucified is the most excellent of all the sciences, and that never is reason so glorified as when it humbly sits down under the shadow of the cross.
But there is something in the cross of Christ which hurts men's pride even more than this, and that is, it is opposed to all their ideas of human ability.

The man who is relying on his own strength for salvation, does not like the doctrine of the cross. If anyone preaches a gospel which tells the sinner that he has power to save himself; if a man preaches something which exalts the skill and strength of the creature, he will never, never offend his unregenerate listeners. All men are declared to be "dead in transgressions and sins;" but the proud sinner will turn away, and say, "I am not going to be so insulted, as to have all my powers leveled to the ground! Am I to be made into a mere machine, or into a piece of clay, and to lie passive in the Potter's hands? I will not submit to such an indignity." If the minister will give him a little to do himself, and let him sacrifice a little to his own idol, he will drink down the false doctrine as the ox drinks down water; but since we tell him he is powerless, like the poor bleeding man when the Samaritan met him, he says, "I will have nothing to do with you."
  And again the cross offends men and women, because it is contrary to their ideas of human worth.
There is not a soul in all the world that, by nature, loves to be stripped of all worth. No! the last thing a man likes to part with is his righteousness. I have known poor sinners stand on Sinai's top until their knees knocked together, yet they have clung to their self-righteousness even there. I have known men stand where God's earthquakes were shaking the ground under their feet, and the thunder and lightning were playing above their heads; yet they still held fast their self-righteousness. This evil thing is bred in man's nature. When you preach against it, see how men will snarl at you; they cannot stand that doctrine.
So, you see, this is "the offense of the cross," that we do not let men trust in their own self-worth.

But there is another offense, which is a very painful one, and the world has never yet forgiven the cross for that "offense"-the offense that the cross will not recognize any distinctions between mankind.
The cross makes moral and immoral persons go to heaven by the same road; it is the same road for everyone who goes there; and therefore, the cross has always been offensive to men of wealth, knowledge, and power.

I will tell you what Satan's favorite scheme is nowadays; it is not to oppose the cross, but to surround the cross, and try to get the cross to alter its shape a little.
Men who hate the doctrines of the cross, say, "We, too, preach the gospel." They alter it; they misshape it; they make it "another gospel, which is no gospel at all." Let others say, if they will, that yes and no can meet together; that fire and water can kiss each other; that Christ and Belial can be twins: the true minister of Jesus Christ cannot do that. Truth is truth; and whatever is the opposite of it cannot be truth. That which opposes truth must certainly be error and falsehood. But it is the fashion nowadays to try to blend the two things together.

Look at many of the churches; they say that they hold the truth. We would rather [a man] not believe it at all than that he should conceal his real sentiments. Such men, who hide the truth, prove that they are as much offended with the cross as if they openly tried to refute its doctrines. God send us the day when the pure, unadulterated doctrines of the grace of God, which is in Christ Jesus, will be proclaimed in every church, and heard in every street, and accepted by every professed Christian!

III. Now I come, in the third place, TO SAY SOMETHING TO THOSE WHO ARE OFFENDED BY THE CROSS,
First, let me say that it is very foolish for a man who does not believe the gospel to oppose those who do.
If a man personally does not love the gospel, he should leave others alone that do. He does not love the gospel; and because others do, he hates them. Why should you be so offended, and endeavor to make a stand against the truth, since you cannot, in your present condition, get anything out of it?

O unbeliever! if you hate the gospel, let me solemnly say to you how doubly foolish you are to be offended with Christ, who is the only One who can save you!
How can the drowning man be offended with the rope which is thrown to him, and which is the only means of his escape; how can the dying patient be offended with the cup of medicine which is put to his lips, and which alone can save his body from death; how can the man whose house is burning be offended with the fireman who roughly puts the ladder against his window-likewise, how is it that you would be offended with Christ. Offended with him who would snatch you as "a firebrand from the burning"? Offended with him whose blood alone can wash you white, and give you a place with him in everlasting glory? Offended with him? Then you are indeed mad.

Ah, you despisers of the gospel, you will wonder and perish! You are offended with the gospel because it says that you have no righteousness or worth in yourself; but you haven't any, then why are you offended? You are offended at the gospel because it does not ask anything of you in order that you may be saved; yet, if it did demand anything of you as a condition of your salvation, you would be lost. It is just the gospel for you; it is made on purpose; it fits your condition; it is adapted to your case; and yet you are offended with it! Oh, how can you be so foolish?
My dear friends, I beg you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ himself, please consider why you are offended with the gospel. I know it goes against your prejudices; when you first hear it, you do not love it; but, remember, it is your only hope of salvation. Are you offended with the only thing that can save you?
My last remark is this. O my brothers and sisters, we have good reason to bless and extol our gracious God, if the cross of Christ is not an offense to us!
I hope many here can unite with me in saying that there is nothing in the Bible that offends us, and there is nothing in the gospel that offends us now. If there is anything you do not understand, you do not hate it; if it seems dark and mysterious, you do not reject it, but you are willing to learn all you can about it. Ah, my God! if all I have ever preached is false, I stand prepared to disown it when you will teach me better; if all I have ever learned was a mistake, and I have not learned it from you, then I will not be ashamed to recant it in that hour when you yourself will teach me, and show me my error. We are not ashamed to bring ourselves wholly into the mold of Scripture, to take it just as it stands, to believe it, and to receive it.

I have heard preachers ignorantly talk about "natural" love to the gospel; there cannot be such a thing. I heard someone say that there was a "natural" love to Christ; it is all rubbish. Nature cannot produce a love for Christ, nor love to any good thing; that must come from God.. Oh, let us adore, and exalt, and magnify the mighty grace that has made us love the gospel! For I am sure, with some of us, there was a time when we hated it as much as any people in all the world ever did. Ah! poor sinner, what do you say? Are you offended by the cross? No, you are not, for it is there that you wish to be set free from your sins. Do you desire this moment to come to Christ? You say, "I have no offense against Christ. Oh, that I knew where I might find him! I would come even to where he sits." Well, if you want Christ, Christ wants you; if you desire Christ, Christ desires you. Yes, more than you desire him; if you have one spark of desire for Christ, then Christ has a whole burning mountain of desire for you. He loves you better than you can ever love him. Rest assured that you did not first seek God. If you are seeking Jesus, he has first sought you. Come, then, you destitute, weary, lost, helpless, ruined, chief of sinners; come, put your trust in his blood and his perfect righteousness, and you will go on your way rejoicing in Christ, set free from sin, delivered from iniquity, rendered as safe, though not as happy, as the very angels that now sing high hosannas before the throne of the Most High! Amen." 
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 03:46:18 PM by jabcat »
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23