1 Corinthians 1:18-19 ESV
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’”
I wanted to understand what was behind this quote, which I found was from Isaiah 29:14, so I began reading in Isaiah 29 and then I got to verse 13:
“And the Lord said:
‘Because this people draw near with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men..’”
The Cross is Folly to Them
Today, within the gatherings of the church here in America, mostly which is tied in with big business and with marketing schemes on how to grow and to build your churches (your businesses), we have many people for whom the cross of Christ, and what it represents, is seen as folly. They are those who are altering the gospel of Christ to make it more appealing and acceptable to human flesh. So they are dismissing the working of the Holy Spirit in people’s hearts and minds and they are playing that role themselves.
So they end up interpreting the Scriptures via the flesh, and so they cherry pick the Scriptures they like, and they teach them out of their context, and they create a doctrine of salvation from them that is not biblical. Now it is partially true but it is partially a lie, and so it makes it a lie, for this is deliberate. Their goal is to lead people to believe the lies and to reject the truth of the gospel as Jesus taught it and as his New Testament apostles taught it. And they are spreading their lies far and wide.
But they don’t stop at just spreading their false gospel of salvation. They are also working hard to discredit the true gospel of salvation so that Christians and non-Christians alike will reject the truth and so they will embrace the lies. For these people are not working for God but for Satan, but they disguise themselves as servants of righteousness in order to deceive Christians into deserting the truth and into following after the lies. For that is their goal. And so they are laying their traps for us to fall into.
But God knows their tricks and their trappings, and so he has people he has called to dispel those lies and to teach the truth of the gospel, though few they be. And we are ambassadors for the Lord in taking the truth of the gospel far and wide and in exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness for what they are in hopes that spiritually blinded eyes will be awakened to the truth and to the lies and so they will now reject the lies and so they will hopefully embrace the truth, instead, for time is running out.
For this is not a small matter we are dealing with here. This is not about a handful of men in our pulpits who are teaching lies and who are dissing on the truth. This is humongous! And it keeps expanding. And the majority of those who call themselves Christians here in America appear to be buying into the lies and they are rejecting the truth, which is evident in the things that they say in person and write and post on the internet and on social media and in how they live their lives in action habitually and deliberately.
For what they are largely teaching is that we can “believe” (not usually defined) in Jesus, that our sins are now forgiven, and heaven is guaranteed us when we die, but regardless of how we treat God, and regardless of how we live our lives while we are still on the earth. For many of them are teaching that Jesus does it all and that nothing is required of us. But that is not what the Scriptures teach. For Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and that we might live to him and to his righteousness (1 Peter 2:24).
Many of them are taking it even further than that and they are not even saying that we have to believe in Jesus or even confess sins but that all we have to do is just to accept his love and grace and his affection for us and now we are good to go. The gospel is then entirely left out of the equation. And many of them are telling their adherents that they do not have to submit to Christ or forsake their sins (repent) or obey Jesus, for they call that “works salvation,” which is a lie of Satan (read Ephesians 2:10).
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
The Cross is the Power of God
So, instead of teaching that the cross of Christ not only represents Jesus giving his life for us on that cross for our salvation, but that it requires that we die with Christ to sin and that we walk in holiness in obedience to our Lord, they dilute it to say it’s just Jesus dying for our sins so we can be forgiven so we can go to heaven when we die. But that severely cheapens God’s grace and the message of the cross. For Jesus died to put sin to death in our lives so that we would live for him for his glory and purposes.
And so, although Jesus died to deliver us from our slavery to sin so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness, those who are buying into the lies and who are rejecting the truth are not being delivered from their slavery (addiction) to sin. And so they are still living in deliberate and habitual sin while claiming that they are “in Christ” and that now all their sins are forgiven and so it doesn’t matter now if they sin. And they are convinced that they are going to heaven regardless of how they live.
And so we have a whole lot of people in the gatherings of what is called “church”, including pastors and elders, who are still living dishonest, dishonorable, improper, corrupt, vile, immoral, wicked, and sinful lifestyles habitually and deliberately while claiming God’s grace covers it all. And many of them are those who are spreading the lies which are disguised as truth, and which is hate disguised as love, and who are leading many people straight to hell on the promise of heaven when they die.
So, their professions of faith in Jesus Christ do not match their lifestyles. There is a gap, a separation between what they profess and how they live. And thank the Lord that not everyone is accepting their lies, but many of us are rejecting them, and we are speaking out against them, even though some of us are being trashed in return. But that is to be expected, for Jesus said that if we follow him that we will be hated and persecuted as he was hated and persecuted. But we need to persevere and not give up!
We must keep speaking the truth and exposing the lies regardless of what people say about us or do to us in return. For we will most certainly be hated, even by many who call themselves Christians.
[Matt 5:10-16; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Matt 28:18-20; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Acts 1:8; Acts 14:22; Acts 26:18; Rom 5:3-5; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; 2 Co 1:3-11; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Phil 3:7-11; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Heb 3:13; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 Pet 4:12-17]
Should I Not Preach Jesus
An Original Work / July 4, 2013
Based off 1 Corinthians 9:16-10:13
Woe to me should I not preach Jesus.
I’m compelled to preach the full gospel.
I make myself a slave to ev’ryone
To win their hearts to Christ.
All this I do for my Lord Jesus,
And for the sake of His Name;
Do it for the sake of His gospel,
So that I, its blessings gain.
Scripture notates the sins of others;
Written down for us as examples
To keep us from setting our hearts
On evil as did those of old.
Do not worship other gods of man;
Do not give your hearts to them;
Not partake in immorality.
Do not test your Lord and King.
So, be careful if you think you are
Standing firm in your faith in Jesus.
God has given his word to warn us,
So through faith we will not fall.
No temptation has o’ertaken you
Except what is commonplace.
God is faithful to not let you be
Tempted past what you can bear.
He gives the way of escape.