A pastor friend recently said to me, “That man loved his mother…all the way to hell.” That is a strong statement worthy of considering… and to consider it as we ought, I need to provide some context.
He and I were discussing the “manners and politeness” of Southerners…how we work in our manner of life (as a generalization) to not offend. In the case above, a man questioned his own mother’s salvation experience, but rather than offend her (potentially), he skirted the issue and asked general questions and gave generalized truths. He did not want to offend…so he did not directly ask or directly say “Mom, I love you but good isn’t good enough. You must be born again.” “Kind of sure” or a “hope so” salvation is not enough.
The end result, a deceased mother and no assurance of her eternity…because he was polite and loved his mother and did not wish to offend.
Jesus said that He did not come to bring peace, but a sword…to set a father against his son. Jesus was not hosting a Jerry Springer episode, rather, He expressed that the truth of the Scriptures are offensive by nature. The gospel, by its nature is offensive because it assaults our self-sufficiency and drives the point in our heart that we are not good enough for relationship with God on our own.
As I’ve considered these words from my pastor friend, I am increasingly resolute on “offending,” not for the sake of the offense but for the sake of eternal life and the glory of the King. See, if I really loved “mom” (you insert your person there), then I’d care more about his/her salvation than about my prideful sense of need for approval.
Jesus is WORTH IT and Worthy of my life and any amount of scorn I might endure for the sake of His mission.