... a weekly letter of encouragement.
May 17, 1995
PERHAPS WE HAVE BEEN TO NICE TO OUR LOST FRIENDS in trying to "win" them to Christ.
It is just possible that unwittingly we have propagated a "cheap grace" in attempting to appeal to people primarily on the basis of "felt needs" and presenting a "respectable" Gospel rather than simply communicating the Message.
What those outside of Christ need to understand is:
God loves them, but they are hopelessly lost. They must repent of their rebellion against a holy God, and receive Christ as their only hope of salvation. Otherwise, they will surely perish.
But because we don't want to offend people and because we don't want to be rejected, we often attempt to make the Gospel more savory. Yet Paul spoke of the "offense of the cross" and the fact that the "preaching of the cross is foolishness" to those who are perishing. (Ephesians 5:11; I Corinthians 1:18)
We also run the risk of weakening the Gospel in defending it rather than simply declaring it. The Gospel needs no defense. What it needs is declaration.
For most non-believers, the BATTLE lies not in their INTELLECT, but their WILL. Many perceive the price tag for faith as simply too high as it might just cost them their family, their career...their friends.
Soren Kierkegaard certainly was correct in asserting that the gospel "is hard to believe, not because it is hard to understand , but because it is hard to obey."
So "our task is to make the faith intelligible but not more credible or palatable, for only the Spirit does that."+
Therefore, let's love our lost friends enough to be willing to suffer rejection. Let's love them enough to be willing to offend them, if that is what it takes to get them into the Kingdom.
And then leave the mysterious work of conversion to God!
My prayer is that you are having a great week!
+The Theology of the Word and Spirit - Donald Bloesch
© Copyright 1996 Dwight Hill. Unlimited permission to copy or use is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
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