The modern Gospel fails to bring the human condition to light; therefore, it comes short of producing true conviction of sin. When the Gospel is preached minus the offense of the cross, sinners will attempt to do business with God on their own terms and not God’s terms. It is by preaching the offense of the cross that sinners are brought to true repentance. Modern presentations of the Gospel tend to emphasize the benefits of salvation rather than the character of God and the sinners condition. The Gospel is about knowing the God of scripture and living for His glory. A Gospel without sin, hell, justice, conviction and repentance bears no resemblance to the Gospel our Lord preached.
The natural man’s religious reasoning always thinks in terms of personal merit, thinking of salvation in terms of a ‘commodity’ bestowed in exchange for religious work. Only the born again Christian understands that salvation is by union with Christ. The natural man seeks to add something religious to his life, but he doesn’t think in terms of abandoning himself to the lordship of Jesus Christ.
The Gospel offends because it demands we make the greatest ‘U-turn’ conceivable, acknowledging that our chosen path has been one of destruction and one of rebellion against God. When Christ preached the Gospel, He removed all middle ground. He eliminated all grey areas. He emphatically stated that there is no territory between truth and lies, between heaven and hell. The Gospel offends because man is not in charge of its eternal benefits.
The sinner’s only hope is the sovereign mercy and pity of God in Christ. If one is to be saved, salvation hangs completely on unobligated divine compassion.
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