Many people disagree with parts or perhaps even all of the Bible. And that number of people grows by the day. But why is that? I think some of it is because people haven’t actually read the Bible. They may have simply disagreed with something they read or heard somewhere else. Maybe what they read or heard was out of context. Perhaps it was confusing or unbelievable. Or maybe they haven’t yet been taught the Bible by a Christ-inspired pastor.
Also, way too many people have been offended by the words and actions of hypocritical Christians.
Beyond that, the cross of Jesus Christ is a figurative line in the sand. Stepping over that line — by believing that Jesus is the Son of God and asking Him to send His Holy Spirit into your heart — is supposed to mean something. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
Believing in Jesus as the only way to obtain salvation is the same as declaring every other belief system in the world wrong.
So why do people leave behind their religions, agnosticism or atheism every day to follow Jesus Christ? Because they realize at some point that Jesus can offer something no other belief can: Himself.
God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are three personas that comprise One Living Divine Being: The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. They are God. Therefore, when we have the Holy Spirit, we have Jesus. And through Jesus, we have access to God the Father.
This is one reason why faith and prayer are far more important than some people realize. Through this connection in the Spirit, we can ask for miraculous interventions — either on our own behalf or for others. Sometimes God will answer those requests with a “yes” and sometimes with a “no.” People wonder sometimes why God doesn’t always answer “yes.” It's because He knows everything, including why “yes” might have turned out badly for us or someone else.
Ultimately, Jesus Christ offers us peace, love, understanding and so much more.
Yet the Cross of Christ is an offense for a multitude of reasons. And it was always supposed to be that.
The Cross is a literal representation that Jesus was a sacrifice for sin. My sins. Your sins. EVERYONE’s sins throughout time itself: past, present and future. One might ask why? Or how is that even possible? That's because God exists outside of time. He is omnipotent, all-powerful and all-knowing.
With the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, all humankind fell from God’s grace. Adam and Eve were now sinners. They would pass that on to all of their descendants. And that’s why we were all born sinners. We couldn’t help it. It’s just who we were/are. No matter how good we might have tried to be, we would still sin, even if just in our thoughts.
But God made a way to redeem us all back to Himself. And His Son was the only Being worthy to make the extraordinary sacrifice required on our behalf. Jesus was the only One capable of enduring the suffering at the hands of the Romans, the slow and agonizing death on the Cross before His glorious resurrection.
Jesus even endured temporary separation from God. That’s why in Matthew 27:46 (KJV), it reads “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani, that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” This is because God cannot abide sin. God is Holy.
I know people don’t like hearing about sin. No one likes being told they’re doing something wrong, much less that they need to change. People don’t like hearing that there are consequences for the choices they have made or will make.
And frankly speaking, people don’t accept reality sometimes. They would rather think they can reshape reality to fit their lifestyle, choices or preferences. If they don’t like who they are, they think they can change themselves. They can alter how they look, sound, describe themselves or feel. They can use cosmetics, fashion, drugs or surgery. They can demand other people acknowledge them in whatever way they like. But such tactics inevitably encroach upon the rights, lifestyles, choices and preferences of other people.
Everyone has an opinion, but everyone’s opinions can’t be accommodated simultaneously. Without some kind of system to mediate between different people’s opinions and actions, we would only have chaos, terror and suffering. That’s why laws and government systems exist.
And God established both the law and government.
Romans 13:1 (King James Version = KJV)
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
People often say “How could a just God allow bad things to happen to good people?” God gave everyone free will. We are not robots, we make good or bad choices every day. The real problem is sin.
Galatians 5: 16-23 (KJV)
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Each of us make choices every day. We can choose to hang onto our habits, lifestyles, preferences and sins. We can choose to be offended by the Cross. It is understandable.
But I think we should ask ourselves one question:
“What am I getting out of this?”
All sin can bring temporary pleasure, relief or escape. But what about tomorrow? What about years or decades from now, if we live that long? What about when we take our last breath?
Is it really over then? Do the biological processes end and we just cease to exist?
Or do we really have a life beyond this one? Are we eternal souls just occupying a body for now? Will our souls leave our bodies on our final day here on Earth? What then?
Do you think everyone goes to Heaven? Sadly, according to the Bible, that isn’t the case.
1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 (KJV)
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
John 3: 16-21 (KJV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
In 1996, I was stubborn. It took me looking death in the face (while I was extremely dehydrated with veins collapsing) to realize I wasn’t going to Heaven. Not the way I was: a sinner. I chose to beg God to spare my life that day. I promised that I would give my life to Him the next day (a Sunday) at church. God chose to save my life and I gave it right back to Him.
It all comes down to our free will. What choice will we make? Do we accept Jesus and His salvation or reject it and Him? Do we hold on to our offense or do we let it go?
Is the offense worth it…if you’re wrong?
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About the author
Allen Steadham is a nondenominational Christian. Happily interracially married since 1995 and the proud father of two sons and a daughter. He and his wife have been in the same Christian band since 1997. He plays electric bass, she plays strings, they both sing. It's all good.
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