No preacher should proclaim a message that everyone loves; any preacher that is guilty of doing so can be assured that He or she is not proclaiming Christ’s gospel. The gospel confronts sinners with their rebellious hearts before God, but the fact is, many sinners take offense at such teaching. The intent of the gospel to is humble human pride, because it plainly declares that no amount of human goodness can reconcile us to God. The gospel points out to people that they cannot do anything to help God out with their own salvation. The gospel hits at the core of most moral people as they stand with their own rottenness before the Holy God and too with their own helplessness in saving themselves from His righteous judgment. Whenever the gospel is proclaimed this is its salient point, “You must repent of your sins and receive the imputed righteousness of the Savior as your only hope for heaven.”
In Jesus’ day the Gospel called for complete acceptance of Christ; It is still the request in ours time: as it was then, so it is today, it is the religious people, who take great pride in their own righteousness and are the most offended by the gospel. It is those who devise a system of human works mixed in with God’s grace who take offense at the meaning of the cross. For Christians to proclaim that they are one with those who pollute the grace of God with human works is to deny the gospel; and their proclamation is that they are saved by grace through faith apart from any human works. Christ’s Gospel is to proclaim unity where none exists.
When Charles Spurgeon pulled out of the Baptist Union, which was tolerating liberals who denied fundamental biblical truth, he was accused of being divisive. Spurgeon declared, “Where there can be no real spiritual communion there should be no pretense of fellowship; For fellowship with known and vital error is participation in sin” (November, 1887).
Almost all of us have had experiences that have forever changed our lives, either for the better or for the worse. None of us know when we got up this morning whether before night our lives would be different; but that’s what has happened. So many of our relatives and friends some got into accidents that at times proved catastrophic and left their victims permanently impaired. On a positive note, some have met persons who have become their lifelong friend; business partner and the list goes on.
To listen to the Gospel about the Lord Jesus Christ is just such a turning point experience. To hear about the unique person of Jesus Christ and what He came to do is a smooth section in the road of life. From that point, you go down the path toward eternal life or you turn away toward eternal destruction.
Many of us can be identified with one or more of the situations expressed above. What was the experience of the Rich Young Ruler? (See, Luke 10:17 -27).
But you cannot hear about Jesus Christ and remain the same. He draws a line in the sand. Either you cross that line and receive His salvation He offers or you stay on your side of the line and eventually face His judgment.
Jesus has just warned the disciples of the need to be ready for His coming when He will judge every person (see 12:35-48). Those who have received the most light will receive the stricter judgment. Now in our Gospel for today 12:49-53). Jesus shows that His purpose was to cast fire [truth] on the earth and that fire would cause division, sometimes even among family members. This message means that the disciples should be prepared for conflict.. In verses 54-59 Luke records Jesus’ words to the entire congregation whom, He chides for being able to analyze the weather, but they ignore the signs of the times, namely that the Messiah is in their midst. He uses an illustration of a person who is going to get dragged into court with a losing lawsuit. If he’s smart, he will settle quickly before he loses everything. Even so, those who are in debt to God would be wise to be reconciled to Him now, before it is too late. This is Christ message for us today:
Archdeacon The Venerable Dr. Alson B. H. Percival