Why is it some people just don't get it? How come the message of the cross, the message of the Gospel, the truth of the Word of God so often falls on deaf ears?
Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, leads the church toward a topic that is unifying. It is the message of the Gospel – the message of life from lifelessness, of light from darkness, strength from weakness.
It is a message of paradox. It seems illogical and unsettling, yet it is the key. It is the Gospel message. It is the message of the cross. And. . .it is the remedy for division and the fuel for the
1 Corinthians 1:18(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.
The word of the cross is folly.
This is it. It makes all the sense in the world now. Those who do not know Jesus don’t understand the message. It’s so simple, right?
However, what happens is that Christians, especially in our culture, have fallen into this mode that basically just freaks everyone else out. There are many who, not for lack of trying, are probably more successful in turning people away from Christ than reaching them for Christ.
The message of the cross is foolishness to the world. They don’t get it. They won’t understand it initially. In fact, they cannot understand apart from the Holy Spirit.
Unfortunately, sometimes our attempts at sharing the message of the cross does more to confuse others than clarify it.
The stereotypes of Christians in our culture are rampant. Non-believers see the news reports of the “church” from Kansas that protests military funerals and wonders if we’re all like that. They see the stories of the Quran burning pastor in Gainesville and see that caricature as a symbol for Christianity. They see Christians using their faith as nothing more than a descriptor for political posturing and the non-believing world says. . .”I don’t think I want any of that.”
Thus, when the church, the real church, the kingdom focused church, made up of disciples who hear and obey seek to live out, love boldly and lead their friends, family and community to Christ, we discover that we have to first spend time deconstructing the false Christianity that so many are
This early church needed a reminder. We need a reminder. I’m reminded of the question John Eldredge asked at the retreat I attended about 11 years ago, “What type of Christianity are you inviting people into?”
May we be clear in our testimony and our telling of the Gospel. There are so many barriers to understanding, but we must remember it is the Holy Spirit that draws people to the Father. It is God who saves. It is God who offers redemption, transformation and salvation. We, however, must be clear in our telling. We must not be guilty of adding barriers to understanding.
And. . .we must tell. To keep this message to ourselves is sin.
"But the message is folly, so why tell?" is the question we hear at times.
I like Paul's response to the church. It's the same for us today - the same people who do not understand the Gospel, who do not deserve to be saved, who do not get it are the very ones we are to love and tell. Why? For at one point, we, the children of God, were just like them.
God uses the foolish to confound the wise.