The Division That Jesus Brings
Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on, five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. -- Luke 15:51-53

Note: this article was previously posted on Joshua's blog:

Posted by Joshua Lowrance, 8990652

Jesus' words bring life to those who choose to believe them. Peter proclaimed to Jesus in John 6:68 that he could go nowhere else because our Lord possessed the words of eternal life. The words of Jesus are life, they are peace, and they are joy to those who hear and upon hearing, believe.

However, Jesus words also cause division. To those who are perishing, to those who hear the Gospel and refuse to believe, the words of Jesus sounds like death (2 Corinthians 2:16). This is why the Gospel is so offensive. Honestly, despite our best intentions and despite what others may say, most of the time it isn't how we deliver the Gospel that causes it to offend. Its the Gospel itself. The Gospel demands a response. It demands that we deny ourselves. It demands that we give up everything for the sake of the Kingdom. It demands that we surrender our needs, our desires, our plans, and our comfort.

It's this very reason so many people reject the Gospel. They may accept a watered-down, sugar-coated version of the Gospel, but they reject the genuine Gospel. They may attend a church that preaches a message of prosperity and self-worth, but the sound of the true Gospel angers and insults them. Why do you think so many in entertainment today rebuke the preaching of the Word? Why do you think so many go out of their way to try to correct preachers who would dare preach the full counsel of the Bible? I'm not talking about the world here, I'm talking about those who claim to follow Christ! They write books, sing songs, make movies, and preach sermons. At first glance they appear to be Christians, but if you look deep enough you will see that they follow another Jesus and believe another gospel. They hate the church and despise the true Gospel because it reveals the condition of their heart. It shines a light in their darkened state and it offends them.

Jesus and His message divides, period. There is no way around it. Jesus' message is offensive and any attempts to make it less offensive results in a watered-down, sugar-coated version of the Gospel that isn't the Gospel at all. The problem with the church today is that we have tried to make the Gospel palatable instead of presenting it for what it is. Jesus made the Gospel tough for a reason: He wanted to separate the sheep from the goats. He wanted to make sure we knew that there was a price to follow Jesus, and that price would cost us everything. Preach the Word and don't be surprised when it offends and upsets others. Jesus didn't come to bring peace, but division. If your message offends then you're most likely preaching the true Gospel.