The Cross Is So Offensive To Many Even To Some Christians

WHAT???Wait, who said the Cross was offensive?
The Bible did!
I’ve needed to do this sermon for a while now so, here it is!
This expression “the offense of the cross” sounds strange to our modern ears.
Because you see, we have a beautiful cross on our churches. We have crosses in the lapels of our coats. We have crosses around our necks. We have crosses embossed on our Bibles. We never think of it as a scandal and as an offense. And yet the Bible says it’s a stumbling block. It’s an offense. It’s a scandal among men. It’s a base and despised thing.
The cross was a place to execute criminals. It was a place where the vilest died. And when I see Christ hanging on the cross, I say with Isaiah, there is no “appearance that [I] should desire him” (Is. 53:2). Paul says that in his day it was an offense.
I’ve found in my own ministry that I can preach anything else and it’s called popular. It pleases the ear. But when I come to the heart of Christianity, when I come to the cross and the blood and the resurrection, that is the stumbling block. That’s the thing people do not want to hear. That’s the thing that is an offense, and yet it’s that very thing that is the heart of the gospel. Without the cross, there is no salvation; there is no forgiveness.
God said, “I’ll meet the human race in only one place. That is the cross.” And if you haven’t been to the cross, there is no salvation and there is no forgiveness.
Why is the cross an offense? I got to thinking about this not long ago. I see Christ hanging on the tree. I see Him dying for me. I see blood being shed. I see nails in His hands. I see a spike in His feet. And I see Christ dying for sin, an offense. Why is it an offense?
The cross is an offense because it says to the world, “You’re a sinner.” The cross said to the thief who was dying on the other cross, “You’re a sinner. You’d better repent.” And the thief did repent. He confessed his sins. And he said, “Remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus turned to him and said, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Christ forgave him right there. But first, the cross condemned his sins and made him confess and acknowledge that he was a sinner (Luke 23:39-43).
The cross speaks to you about your sins—your sins of immorality. There is no sin in the Bible that the Bible condemns more than the sin of immorality. It is America’s great sin.
It is the same sin that caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is the same sin that caused fire and brimstone to be rained down on the two cities of the plain. It is a sin that God hates. And some of you are cringing because you know that is your sin.
I tell you, I don’t care if you are a Sunday school teacher, if you are a deacon or an elder or a church leader, or a pastor, or a bishop. Unless there has been a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, it means nothing. We have a lot of religiosity in this country. We have a great deal of worship in America that is not true worship.
The Pharisees fasted twice a week. They paid tithes. They were orthodox. They were fundamental. They believed the Scriptures from cover to cover. And yet Jesus, in the most scathing language, denounced them and indicated they were not saved; they would come to Him in the last day and He would say, “I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who practice evil” (Matt. 7:23).
There is no pride in the world as terrible as religious pride. Proud of our religion, proud of the things we do, when down inside we are filled with pride, jealousy, envy, backbiting, and gossiping.
The cross has come down through the centuries, passing its unfaltering judgment upon the vanities, prides, hates, greeds, self-indulgent pleasures, and lusts of men. The cross says to us all, “You’re a sinner.” It becomes the conscience of the world. The Bible says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
And when I come to the foot of the cross, the first thing I have to say is, “I am a sinner.” But the Scripture says men love darkness because their deeds are evil (John 3:19). You don’t want the light of the cross, and so the cross becomes a stumbling block. It becomes foolish to you. You cringe, and you go back into your darkness.
And the light of the cross begins to penetrate into your extortion, into your pride, into your idolatry, into your bigotry, into your intolerance. Into all the sins of your life, the cross sends a beam of light. You cringe and say, “No, no, no. Don’t expose me.” But the cross goes down into the dark recesses of your heart where even your wife or husband cannot go, even your family cannot go, even your best friend cannot go, down deep inside of you, and sees the sins and exposes them to the light.
God says that someday every secret thing will be brought out (Rom. 2:16). And when I stand at the judgment in that day, I shall plead only one thing: the fact that one day by faith I went to the cross and gave my entire life to Jesus, and I had my sins cleansed by His blood. That is my only claim to Heaven. I don’t claim to be going to Heaven today because I have preached or because I’m a good man. I claim to be going to Heaven only on the merit and the ground of Jesus and His death at the cross.
There are many things about the cross that I don’t understand. But this one thing I know—it is the way of salvation, and I’m to come by faith. Even though it may seem foolish and irrational, and it may not seem the right thing to do, and people may laugh at it, yet God says He has chosen the preaching of the cross to bring men to Himself and not by works by which you can boast and make the Cross of no effect (Ephesians 2:8-10).
And once you’ve been to the cross and had the experience of His forgiveness and had an encounter with the Christ of the cross, you’re never the same.
Here are a few quotes about the Cross:
“The cross is the only way of salvation. And the cross gives a new purpose to life.”
“The cross shows the seriousness of our sin—but it also shows us the immeasurable love of God.”
“Sin was conquered on the cross. [Christ’s] death is the foundation of our hope, the promise of our triumph!”
“The cross is the suffering love of God bearing the guilt of man’s sin, which alone is able to melt the sinner’s heart and bring him to repentance for salvation.”
“The ground is level at the foot of the cross.”
“When Jesus hung on the cross, a great unseen cosmic battle raged in the heavens—and in the end, Christ triumphed over all the forces of evil and death and hell.”
“Though the cross repels, it also attracts. It possesses a magnetic quality.”
“To take up your cross means to associate yourself with Christ and to share His rejection. It means you take a stand for Christ even though people make fun of you, persecute you—or even kill you! ”
“The greatest vision of sin that a person can ever receive is to look at the cross.”
“Once you have been to the cross, you will never be the same.”
What does Pick up my cross really mean?
When Christ said, ‘Pick up the cross,’ people were startled. They were amazed. What did He mean? A cross was an instrument of execution. It was like saying, ‘Pick up the gallows. Pick up the electric chair and follow me. I’m going to be executed. Come with Me to the place of execution and be executed with Me. Identify yourself with Me in My suffering.’
To take up the cross means that you take your stand for the Lord Jesus, no matter what it costs. It means crucifixion of self–all of your desire for popularity, recognition, or success.
It may mean that you become the scum of the world. It may mean that you become refuse. It may mean that you become a spectacle to the world. It may mean that you become foolishness to the world.
Jesus warned His disciples, “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). As you identify yourself with Christ, you will share in His rejection by the world.
All of this you do as a matter of voluntary choosing. Yes, I’m talking about the free-will of picking up your cross as much or as little as you want that you have here! This is your cross because you choose to pick it up in that crisis of self-denial. Just as if you offer free-will tithes and offerings you will be blessed and the scripture is clear if you don’t then your cursed because you’ve robbed God Himself (Malachi 3:8-18). You can argue with God once you see Him if you don’t believe His word.
Now, are you ready to take up your cross?
NOW START YOUR NEW LIFE WITH CHRIST:
You can have real, lasting peace today through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Start your four-step journey now!
Step 1 – God loves you and has a plan for you!
The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”—a complete life full of purpose (John 10:10).
But here’s the problem:
We have all done, thought or said bad things, which the Bible calls “sin.” The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
The result of sin is death, spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23).
The good news?
Step 3 – God sent His Son to die for your sins!
Jesus died in our place so we could have a relationship with God and be with Him forever.
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
But it didn’t end with His death on the cross. He rose again and still lives!
“Christ died for our sins. … He was buried. … He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).
We can’t earn salvation; we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins—that’s called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty. We suggest praying the following prayer to accept Christ as your Savior:
I’m a sinner and I ask for your forgiveness. I’m sorry for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Jesus, I put my trust in You and I surrender my life to You. Please come into my life and fill me with Your Holy Spirit.
Guide my life and help me to do your will.
I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Did you pray this prayer today? Or do you have questions about a relationship with Jesus Christ? Tell us using the comment section below.

 

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3 Replies to “The Cross Is So Offensive To Many Even To Some Christians”

  1. Virtually everyone I know finds fault when I preach the cross but I won’t stop preaching it nevertheless and shouldn’t be ashamed either. I really enjoyed this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

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