“Damned If You Do; Damned If You Don’t!”
By Lou Yeboah
I tell you if you tell people truth they will get offended. If you don’t tell people truth they will get offended. Damned if you do; damned if you don’t. You just can’t please people.
Listen, Christians must not forbear speaking the truth, for fear of offending others.… Jesus proclaimed truth more than any other person on the planet. He offended people, divided crowds, made people uptight, and enraged the masses more than any other person on the planet. His words always produced a strong reaction, and he always caused division. The message He proclaimed always provoked people, irritated people, challenged people, and offended people.
Know that proclaiming truth will always alienate people, always upset people, and always offend people. How can this not be the response? When we preach the gospel that Jesus and the disciples preached, we should expect to get the same reaction that Jesus and the disciples got. Jesus was crucified for his efforts, and the disciples were persecuted, jailed and killed. So how can we expect to get any less of a reception if we faithfully and fully proclaim the biblical gospel fearlessly and boldly as Jesus and his early followers did?
Know that all the great men of God who proclaimed God’s truth in God’s way got some negative responses. That is just how it goes I am afraid. But they had the courage, the commitment, and the Holy Ghost firepower to speak truth and not give a rip about the negative feedback. They were not men pleasers but God pleasers. They put the fear of God way up on their priority list, while rejecting altogether the fear of man.
As He said to me, “It is not your job to make the message acceptable; it’s your job to make the truth available.” I’m here to tell you the truth, without stutter, stammer, apology, or equivocation no matter how uncomfortable that may be. God message was clear, “PREACH THE WORD! “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up they voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”[Isaiah 58:1]… reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine [2 Timothy 4:2].
Yeah some would say “if you preach like that, you might offend somebody. It’s not “might”—you will offend somebody. You will upset somebody. They’ll call you harsh, they’ll call you narrow minded, arrogant, they’ll call you mean-spirited, and they’ll call you intolerant [John 15:21]. But Scripture is clear about how we are to respond when the very foundations of the Christian faith are under attack: our duty is to contend, not compromise.
You know on one occasion, after Jesus taught about how the Pharisees had abused God’s Word, His apostles came to him and said, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” [Matthew 15:11]. It is almost as if the apostles thought like many people today. They seemed to be indicating that because Jesus had offended the Pharisees, then He should stop teaching those ideas or change His message. Jesus, however, thought nothing of the sort. He knew that His message offended the Pharisees because of the hardness of their hearts, not because of the way the message was delivered. Jesus understood that the hearts of the Pharisees needed changing, not His message or even the way He delivered it. He responded to His apostles by saying, “Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind” [Matthew 15:14]. Their offense was misplaced. They were blind to the truth. They should not have been offended at Jesus’ message. Jesus’ message was the truth that God had sent to set them free [John 8:32].
Man is a sinner and the more he is reminded of that disposition, the better are his chances of repenting and receiving Salvation. That is my goal in preaching and teaching the Word of God. I do not think about ‘Preaching Hard’ or ‘Preaching Soft’. God gives me a message based on His Biblical truth and I deliver it to the listener the way He has blessed me to deliver it.
Unfaltering convictions: truth, the mission, and the calling given by God that is not altered by time, people, opinions, or circumstances.
“As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak” [1 King 22: 14].
“Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” [Acts 20:26-27]