When it comes to sharing the truth of the Gospel, Christians are often called unloving and intolerant. This is nothing new; Jesus warned us we would be hated for His name’s sake (Matthew 10:22). We should expect to meet confrontation; after all, our message is dividing between lies and truth. I appreciate the following quote from the late evangelical minister and apologist Walter Martin; it is fitting considering the explosion of the seeker-sensitive movement and the evangelical church’s steady slide toward a worldly culture:
The most important thing to recognize at the start is this fact: confrontation is basically biblical (2 Timothy 2:25). The Church in the modern era has forgotten that. We think that if we tell people about Jesus and spell it out in terms of the historic gospel, then we have accomplished what we set out to do. But apologetics is the partner of evangelism. After you tell someone the truth of Jesus Christ, he or she will expect some answers, and rightfully so. The Bible instructs Christians to give to every man an answer, a reason for the hope within us (1 Peter 3:15). In our day, the Church has largely avoided giving answers to the hard questions because it involves confrontation. All too often Peter’s “meekness and fear” cancel out Jude’s “contend earnestly for the faith” or Paul’s correction of those in opposition (1 Peter 3:15; Jude 1:3, 2 Timothy 2:24). Yet each apostolic commission is equally true and authoritative without conflict. The Christian’s duty, then, is to contend for the faith and to correct those in opposition by giving answers for in inward hope, in personal humility and reverence toward God.”1
John MacArthur has said that truth is divisive by nature; to be called divisive because we are sharing the Gospel is a very good thing. You see, one day there’s going to be another kind of division; a final one: The judgment by God that will divide those who are His from those who are not…the division between those who will reside with Him for all eternity from those who will be cast into darkness and eternal torment. So, let’s not be afraid of a little confrontation now–somewhere, someone’s eternal destiny may be at stake.
A blessed week to you,
1. Martin, Walter. The Kingdom of the Occult. Nashville: Jill Martin Rische,2008. p.649.