The Offense Of The Cross (Part 2 of 2)

The Offense Of The Cross

Galatians 5:11  King James Version (KJV)
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

Consider why the cross is an offense today:

1)The cross of Christ condemns the world.  The thief on the cross who was saved, saw Jesus as He really was, and himself for what he was.  Sin reveals that we fall short of God’s demands.  It is the gigantic evil, the transgression towards God.  Sin leaves us far from God’s holy nature.  It leaves us no hope, we must pay the price.  “The soul that sins shall die.”  Sin lies upon our conscience – we lie in bed with insomnia, dreams and nightmares.  Jesus was made sin and a curse for us – He put away our sins and the condemning power.  There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.  But the world is offended by the crucified God/man, suspended on a stick, and told this is the only way you can be saved.  An illustration would be Madalyn Haira and her hatred of the cross.  She actually desired for the state flag of Maryland to be changed since there was a cross on it, even though it did not depict the cross of Christ.  Another example is the movie, The Last Temptation, which made Jesus a sinner just like you and me.  Furthermore, the National Arts submerged a cross in urine in order to portray their disdain of the cross.  The first funeral that I officiated, dealt with a murder/suicide.  I spoke a eulogy to the county Rescue Squad.  When I preached on sin and the cross, the congregation was offended and they filed out.  Here is the “eulogy” that offended them:  “There are none righteous, no not one.”  Madonna, another name for the Virgin Mary, is another example of one who despises the cross of Christ.  She is offended by the cross and wears several in mockery.  The press claimed it was her trademark.  I beg to differ.  She wore it but never bore it.  She was noted for the perverted quotation:  “I love the crucifix because there is a naked man on it.”  Wrong Madonna – the cross and the tomb are empty.  Jesus Christ died for the sins of Madonna, you and me.  Many throughout the world, at work and school, curse Jesus Christ and are offended by the cross.  They feel self sufficient.  Have you ever heard of Buddha, Confucius or Mohammed cursed?  Of course not, they bore no cross.  The cross is an offense because “…men loved darkness because their deeds are evil.”  The cross throws light into the dark recesses of our soul and reveals our sins – the cross becomes an offense because it condemns us as sinners.

2)The cross is an offense because blood was shed there.  Unbelievers accuse us of a “slaughterhouse religion.”  But the Bible tells us that the shed blood of our Savior on Mount Calvary is our only hope:  “Without the shedding of the blood there is no remission of sins.”  Amen and amen.

3)The cross sets up an imperative ideal life.  Jesus said:  “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, carry his cross, and follow me.”  This imperative eliminates the church crowd.  Many people “have a form of religion and godliness but deny the power thereof.”  There is an outward show, but little evidence of the real Christian life and the new birth.  They are offended by real Christianity.  Jesus always thinned out the ranks and never sought the popular “gospel.”  Today, big churches often seek mass membership, and do not stress the new birth, the cross, the blood, true salvation and the need to repent from sin.  Today’s country club has an organization, members, reports, and programs, but is not one of self denial.  Even Jesus’ large crowd did not want self denial.  They desired the kingdom, the crowd, and to rule and live in a palace – they did not want to go to the cross with Jesus.  We shudder at a life like Jesus, refusing to surrender what the cross condemns.  

4)The cross is an offense because it claims to be the power and salvation of God.  The first duty of every man  is to get right with God.  Man does not like this, and wants to believe that many roads lead to heaven.  Jesus said the gate is narrow, and at the beginning of the gate is the cross, and one cannot enter but by the cross.  The cross humbles, demands, and expects everything we have to be given to Christ.  The cross condemns every other way of salvation.  Acts 4:12  “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  If people tell you that you are narrow minded, you can share with them that “narrow is the way to the kingdom, there be few who find it.”       

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The Offense Of The Cross (Part 1 of 2)

The Offense Of The Cross

Galatians 5:11  King James Version (KJV)
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

The cross represents the true Christian Church.  The symbol is on and/or in every church.  Then there is the Red Cross organization, people wear the cross, it is placed on cars, and on Bibles.  Christ’s pulpit is often in the shape of a cross.  The event of the cross is the foundation of our faith.  For the Christian, the cross alone is our theology.  The knowledge of God comes through the crucified Christ.  Love outside of the cross is really not God’s love – we learn of God’s love through the cross, and not by any other means.  Worldlings follow horoscopes.  The cross is the sign of a believer.  The world sees the cross through good Friday alone.  The believer sees the cross through Easter Sunday and Resurrection Day.  The cross is a mystery and a paradox.  Just as Jesus was crucified and resurrected, we now struggle and bear our cross.  Believers will have our resurrection later.  The resurrection is life through death, strength through weakness, hope through despair, recovery through loss, suffering, folly, persecution, and joy through sorrow.  For Paul, the scandal of the cross dominates the believer’s life.  The cross stands before those who say the Christian life is a bowl of cherries.  Following Jesus is sharing His suffering.  There is no by passing rejection and death, to eternal life and the glory of the risen Christ.  There is no “pie in the sky / you can have it all now” Christianity.  Suffering, humiliation, and rejection are hallmarks of our faith, and evidence of true discipleship.  The cross of Christ is forsaking everything and clinging to Christ alone.  It is the center of God’s truth revealed to man.  But to many,

the cross is an offense:  Offense comes from the Greek word- scandalon, from which we get the word scandal.

Jesus said, “If you are going to follow me, you have to take up the cross.”  Today we might say “…take up your gas chamber or electric chair.”  We must die to self before Christ can reign in our hearts.  In our scripture text, the Judaizers, through the works of circumcision, sought to rob Christians of their freedom in Christ.  Legalists always avoid the themes of persecution and “the offense of the cross,” by insisting on circumcision and law-keeping.  If Paul preached legalism, he would not be persecuted.  Circumcision and the cross are opposed – Paul could not preach both – if he did – the offense of the cross would cease.  The “offense” is the foolishness and stumbling block of the cross.  The cross uproots the doctrine of salvation by human merit.  Salvation is through grace alone – and there can be no compromise.  The offensiveness of the cross to self righteous legalists is that salvation is by grace without circumcision and obedience to the law.  “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”  (Galatians 5:9)  One work added to the cross perverts it all!

The Cross Has The Final Word ~ The Newsboys

Featuring Peter Furler And Michael Tait On The Same Song.  Excellent Video:

Saturday, October 22, 2011
Quote of the Day #176 – Charles Spurgeon

A quote from Charles Spurgeon on the unmatched-supremacy of the gospel of Jesus Christ:
“Oh! down, down, down, with everything else, but up, up, up, with the cross of Christ! Down with your baptism, and your masses, and your sacraments! Down with your priestcraft, and your rituals, and your liturgies! Down with your fine music, and your pomp, and your robes, and your garments, and all your ceremonials. But up, up, up, with the doctrine of the naked cross, and the expiring Saviour. Let the voice ring throughout the whole world, “Look unto Me and live!” There is life in a look at the Crucified One!”
~Charles Spurgeon (Christ, The Glory Of His People 826.464)

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The Offense Of The Cross

Galatians 5:11  King James Version (KJV)
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

Billy Graham has a message called “the offense of the cross.”  The Greek word for offense is “skandalon,” from which we received the word scandal.  The cross is a scandal because it condemns the world, because blood was shed there, it sets up an imperative for an ideal life and one of self denial, and finally it is an offense because it claims to be the power and salvation of God.

Muslims Vs Christian Preacher@Hyde Park , London / Hundreds Hear The Gospel

If you like anointed, Spirit filled preaching, look no further:

When the true Gospel is preached with unction from the Holy Spirit, the results are often a revival and/or a riot.  That was what happened when the Apostle Paul preached.  Bold unapologetic preaching without compromise thrills my soul.

Blessings, Pastor Steve  <><

Revival Is Happening In England  ~  Pray For Revival In America!

ONE WAY

Acts 4:12  King James Version (KJV)
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Apostle Simon Peter   33 A.D.

The Cure
Unspoken
We’re all related, brothers and strangers
The king and the beggar bleed the same
We’ve all got a sickness, a terminal condition
We medicate it but the pain won’t go away
See the eyes of a million faces
Looking for it in a million places
Only one can save us, Jesus
You are the cure
Everybody’s searching for it
Everybody’s reaching out
Trying to grab a hold of something real
You are the cure
Only you can satisfy us
Fill up the void inside us
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal
You are the cure
You are the doctor, healer and father
To the orphan without a home
We fell into darkness, lost till you found us
You are the remedy we’re looking for
You are the cure
Everybody’s searching for it
Everybody’s reaching out
Trying to grab a hold of something real
You are…

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John 14:6  King James Version (KJV)
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus Christ of Nazareth    32 A.D.

2015 Second Orlando Prophecy Summit, Part 62

Dr. Gary Frazier  ~  Interview / Hagmann & Hagmann

Dr. Gary Frazier wrote “Hell Is For Real,” and “It Could Happen Tomorrow.”  Gary has been to Israel over 180 times.  Gary filmed a six and one half hour DVD throughout Israel for people who will never be able to go there.  Gary has met several Prime Ministers of Israel, and they all realize that evangelical Christians are the best friends that Israel has.  Many Israelites are also becoming more aware of their role in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, and the Abrahamic Covenant.

Doug Hagmann asked Gary Frazier:  “If this was the last time you knew you would be on camera, what would you say?”  Gary’s response:  “That God so loved the world that He gave His son, and the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is a reality for those who care to indulge in the facts of the matter.  The truth is that Jesus gave Himself for every single person, and if this was his last opportunity to say anything he would say eternity is too long to be wrong.  Use today to make a commitment to Jesus Christ.  He loves who you are and where you are in life.  When you surrender to Him, He will change you and in this process He will make you into His image.  He takes us and makes us more like Him, He forgives us for our sins, and gives us a passion for other people.  We were on our way to hell but by the Providence of God, He has forever changed our lives, and we have purpose in our lives and we are not just drifting aimlessly.  We have free will.  We can be forgiven of our sins and stand clean before God, restored and having a confidence in God, and then knowing that I am a sinner who has been saved by the miraculous grace of God, and my sins have been washed away by the shed blood of the Lamb of God.  Pray to receive Christ and He will come into your heart.”

When you become saved, Satan and the demons of hell will attempt to get you to doubt your conversion.  We must believe what the Word of God tells us:  “That we are declared victorious and we are conquerors in Christ, and that neither death nor life nor powers nor principalities nor angels neither height nor depth nor any other thing can separate us from Christ Jesus.”  Do not think about yourself as you were, do not think about yourself as someone who says what you are, understand who you are in Christ Jesus.  You are saved, you are born again, you are on the narrow road that goes to heaven.  You are not perfect but you are forgiven.  Like Paul, we all suffer for doing the things we should not do, and not doing the things we should.  Remember, we lose some fights and win other fights, but the ultimate war has already been won.  I John 1:9 is the Christians’ bar of soap:  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  We continually become convicted over our sins, and this is followed by our confession and repentance.  What we want to do is to continually get back on track.  In order to become a child of God, one must be born again.  Continually confess your sins, hear God’s Word and obey Him.

Why Gary wrote “Hell Is For Real” – Less than one half of one percent of people believe they are going to hell.  Satan has done a masterful job at taking the fear away of standing in judgment before God.  God attempts to draw lost sinners to Himself, but there is a time when God will stop calling you.  The unpardonable sin, is when God continually calls us and we say no.  We may not even realize that we crossed the line and no longer have any chance of salvation.

 

Share The Gospel

Jeremiah 25:3  King James Version (KJV)
3 From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the Lord hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened.

Jeremiah had the task of telling the people of Judah about forthcoming judgment if they continued in sin.  He was not responsible for their response to his warning.  We have the same burden today, and again, the response is up to the individual listener.  We simply sow, water, cultivate, but God gives the increase.  Thankfully we are not called upon to generate a response.  We’re simply to be found faithful in proclaiming the Word.  Are we?  -W. H. G.

Sowing the precious seed, while the day is fast declining, Sowing the precious seed, in the twilight dim; Sowing the precious seed, neither doubting nor repining, Leaving it all to God, trusting all to Him.   -W. Ogden

Brokenness Is The Key To Salvation And Spiritual Growth

“If one does not understand brokenness, then they do not understand the Bible, salvation, or Christian growth and discipleship.”    Pastor Steve

A Few Biblical Examples Of Brokenness:

1)The Apostle Paul

2)The Life Of Our Lord And Savior Jesus Christ, Especially His Experience From Gethsemane To Golgotha, Leading To Our Opportunity For Salvation

3)Old Testament Joseph

4)Moses

5)The Prodigal Son Verses His Elder Brother

6)The Contrast Of The Publican And The Pharisee Praying In The Temple

7)Job’s Amazing Suffering

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1 Peter 4:12-19  King James Version (KJV)

12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain
Life Principles Bible Notes