challenges to personal faith, Christ, direct address, Jesus, Jesus teaching, John 14:6, John 6:66, political correctness, pride in faith, public testimony, religion, self-serving faith, self-serving sermons, uncommitted christians
The world says to keep our Christ in church, but Jesus taught in houses, synagogues, in towns and on hill tops (Mark 2:1; John 4:5; 6:1, 59). The world says what they believe is as acceptable to God as what Christ taught but Jesus repeatedly confronted leadership, individuals and families concerning their understandings. Teachers in mega churches and neo-evangelicals advise personally appealing gospel approaches. We must ask, is this the pattern we see from Jesus at any point in His ministry? Do people leave in droves because He is not friendly enough in His gospel approach (John 6:66)?
Alternatively, do people leave because they do not believe (John 6:64). They do not want to believe, they do not want to hear the truth, they choose not to believe? Therefore, they leave because they do not belong in the church (1 John 2:19). Jesus does not teach some confusing gospel, He is very direct and specific. Salvation is provided and access to the Father is through Him and His vicarious atonement.
Paul was not “touchy feely” in his challenges to people either. We all know the scripture s that call out sin in mankind (Romans 1:28; 6:15; 2 Timothy 3:8). We all see the hatred of sin in many of the New Testament writings. Any denial of Christ was met with direct confrontation (Acts 2:14-47). Should we ignore the cries of Stephen in Acts 7? We try to say our gospel should be acceptable. The truth is that salvation was wrought through the flesh and blood of the sacrificed Godman. The Romans beat, scourged and crucified our Lord. The world is not kind to Christ. The world will not be kind to us (Luke 21:12).
Yet, Christ still died for them, Christ still asked the Father to forgive them, Christ gave Himself for them regardless. We must speak truth, but speak the truth in love. It means we are confrontational, but our confrontation should be careful and concerned for the lost soul (Matthew 5:4). That means we also recognize the times when confrontation must be bold and “in your face” forsaking ourselves for His gospel.
Tell people the truth in a loving tone, especially when that truth is that they are destined for destruction without Christ, will always cause a reaction. It may be positive. It may be negative. Regardless, something will happen. It is not up to you to manage what God’s word does, only to faithfully and lovingly tell others (Isaiah 55:11).