Are you offended? Seems like most people are today. Offend came from the Latin word offenden, which means “to sin against,” and offendere, which means to “attack or to strike.” But, since our culture no longer has any moral common ground, and has forgone the Biblical doctrine of sin, we have no basis for offense, other than our feelings. I think the last thing we all agree is wrong is hurting someone’s feelings. We are more offended by being told we are wrong than sin itself and demand apologies for our words. But we shouldn’t apologize simply because someone is offended when we simply state what we believe. You definitely should apologize if you sin against someone, but not for saying something that makes some sensitive soul’s bottom lip quiver.
After the Lord’s famous teaching in John 6, some disciples who followed said (in John 6:59-65) it was a “hard saying.” This doesn’t mean the Lord’s sermon was difficult to understand. It means they thought Jesus harsh, intolerable, and offensive (compare Matthew 25:24 and James 3:4 where it’s translated “fierce”). The Lord’s message wasn’t a hard saying because it was difficult to understand. It was a hard saying because it was completely understood. These students were offended by the Teacher. There are two main themes in Jesus message, the sovereignty of God in salvation and the exclusivity of salvation by grace, through faith, in Christ alone which is the true teaching and meaning of the Lord’s teaching on “eating his flesh and drinking his blood.” These doctrines are offensive. I believe in God’s sovereign grace in salvation and sometimes that doctrine is labeled as unloving, or cold or callus, but it’s interesting the same charge was levied against the Lord. Jesus never sinned with his words but he certainly offended people. God’s sovereignty in salvation hurt their feelings and their pride, so they said the problem was with the doctrine.
Are you offended by the sovereignty of God? Will you be offended if you see Jesus coming again in the clouds? Will you be offended by his sovereignty THEN? Would you be offended at the sight of the glorified and risen Christ? Then why be offended at the sovereignty of God now? It’s the Spirit that quickens. It is the Spirit that gives life. They were offended by God’s sovereignty because they loved their perceived “autonomy” but the flesh profits nothing. The flesh doesn’t give life, but it is the sovereign Spirit. The words, this truth, the gospel, they are life. And despite this truth, there are some who will not believe because they are dead in their sin. That’s why Jesus said, no man can come to him, except it were given unto him of the Father. Jesus didn’t apologize when he lost the crowd. The truth of the gospel is offensive but that’s not the gospel’s fault. Don’t apologize for believing what the Bible says just because someone is offended by truth. Jesus didn’t.