“Does this offend you?” (John 6:61b)
The Truth will always be offensive to your independent nature; deception, on the other hand, will never command you to deny yourself! Does the message within the church today offend you? Of course not! What is there to be offended by? Satan’s deception will always cater to the sinful desires of the flesh. However, God’s Truth will always properly motivate you to allow Him to refine the sin within your heart. If the message that you hear from your church sounds a bit too easy to accept, it’s because it is!
“Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26) Later Jesus informed His disciples, “Everyone will hate you because of me.” (Luke 21:17) What does Jesus mean here? He means that if you are delivering His Truth, you are going to highly offend the listener. If the listener is not challenged to the brink of their faith by what you are presenting to them, then it is likely that you are NOT delivering the Truth! For we know that “few” will accept His Truth, and “many” will accept Satan’s deception. Keep in mind, the Gospel was not intended to make you feel good, God’s Word was given for you to know the Truth about sin, righteousness, and judgment. The “Good News” is that there IS freedom from the bondage of sin and that eternal life is available to all, but the Truth is that you must give Him your life (a living sacrifice — die with Christ to sin) to attain it!
Some will say, “This message just makes me feel bad about myself, the world, and the future.” Exactly! Jesus says that you must hate your life (lose your life — give Him your life), to find it. The beauty is, this “finding it” involves receiving His Spirit and finding the freedom, Power, peace, joy, hope, and contentment that only He can bring! But who is going to “hate their life,” if they do not know the Truth regarding the fact that it is sin that continues to wreck it? Sin is the obstacle between your heart and the freedom God promises, between eternity with Him in heaven or eternity without Him in hell. Jesus is the Way, not a free pass. Living according to His Word (putting His Word to practice) is the Way, that is the Truth that you must accept for Him to serve as your Savior! Do you want to continue living your way and trust that Satan’s deception will save you? That is your choice, that is the free will you were given. But you will not find that path given as an option from the mouth of the Lord.
“Does this offend you?” (John 6:61) Previous to Jesus asking this question of His followers, He had just delivered the hard Truth to thousands of Jews who had believed in Him and “intended to make Him king by force.” After hearing Christ’s message, out of the several thousand followers, only His Twelve remained. If the Word of God stood today as your accuser, would Jesus find your heart faithful to the Truth in His Word? Regarding the message that you hear from church, the question that I have is this: Is your pastor “feeding” you, or is he simply enabling you — enabling you to be comfortable with your life of sin? Does his message bring the fire essential for you to grow, mature in Christ? Does his message leave you with a spiritual hunger that only God’s Word can satisfy, or does his message simply leave you feeling spiritually bloated from consuming too much of Satan’s deception?
So, does this message offend you? Good! The Truth is supposed to. You must know the Truth before you would ever consider surrendering your will to the One who promises to take you places that you would otherwise never want to go. (John 21:17-19) Only with the Truth do you have the knowledge required for you to make the most important choice that you’ll ever make. Are you going to give your life to Christ? Are you going to die with Him to sin (surrender your independence)? Are you going to do what it takes to receive His Spirit? Are you going to trust in His Word and the Power of His Spirit? Will you accept His Word and follow Him (obey His commands), or will you reject His Truth and continue to follow Satan? The choice is yours! Choose the narrow gate. Fear the Lord!
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