I don’t need to tell you that we live in times where some people spend way too much of their time looking for all possible reasons to be offended. The “Offense Police” are on patrol 24/7 and we have gotten to the point that political correctness is so out of control that many people are literally afraid to express an opinion about anything lest they offend someone.
Like most things that run to the extreme, there is a grain of truth to be found in the original supposition. Certainly no one should be running around purposely looking to be rude or intentionally hurting the feelings of other people. That kind of behavior is unacceptable in any situation and it is especially wrong for Christians. While we certainly must always speak the truth, we must do so with the attitude of love (Ephesians 4:15). One of the great verses in Scripture that speaks to our responsibility to evangelize is found in 1 Peter 3:15, where the apostle writes, “…always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” We certainly must be prepared to share with people the reason for our hope, but our goal is to shine the light of Christ on them, not beat them over the head with a New Testament. Our gentle and respectful attitudes are keys to being effective in spreading the gospel, especially in a culture where the last thing that many people want to hear is that there really will be consequences for the sin in their life. No Christian should ever come across to one outside the body of Christ as unpleasant. Our job is to live differently than the world and part of that is having the joy of our salvation be obvious to all.
Still, Paul connected speaking in love with speaking the truth and we cannot shy away from the truth even if it may be unpleasant to some. Telling a 2 year old to not touch the stove is not an attempt to offend them or to try and impose your beliefs on them. No, you’re trying to keep the child from getting burned! The 2 year old doesn’t know that touching the hot stove can cause them great pain. Telling them the truth in that situation is done out of love. The same is true when it comes to salvation. Many (perhaps it is safe to even say “most”) in our world today do not know what the Bible says about salvation, about sin and judgment, about eternal heaven and eternal hell. To stand by and say nothing and allow them to literally get burned because of their ignorance is even worse than allowing the 2 year old to touch the hot stove. While we should not purposely offend or ridicule anyone or their beliefs, we absolutely have been given the commission to teach them the gospel.
Sunday night we are going to look at Daniel’s prophecy of the final judgment scene when “the Ancient of Days” will open the books. The language in Daniel 7 is very similar to Revelation 20 where we read in verse 15, “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” I know that such a thought is not one that anyone wants to consider and many are offended when they hear such preaching. However, hear it they must! We simply cannot stand by quietly while people are perishing. To do so would be the ultimate definition of being ‘unloving’.
The day is coming when “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Christians must do everything we can to be ready for that day and we must also help as many as we can prepare as well. Eternity is simply too important to worry about political correctness.