Would They Have Killed Jesus if HE Preached the Same Message the Church Preaches Today?
“If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.” Leonard Ravenhill
I actually think Ravenhill’s very pointed observation is accurate. What do you think? If Jesus had taught how to be wealthy, how to be succesful, how to have your best life NOW or any number of things that we are taught today, instead of what he did teach, would they have crucified Him?
As we think about this question it is important to remember that The Cross was God’s idea. It was His plan. The truth is that no one took Jesus life, he laid it down. Still, would they have wanted to crucify him had he preached the same message we hear today?
If, like I, you answer the question negatively, what does this say about the state of much of the American Church? What is it we are preaching? Why have we deviated from His message? More importantly, how do we fix this problem?
To my fellow brothers who are already leading local congregations and to those in Bible College and seminary preparing to lead I ask this: Would they crucify YOU for the message that you are or will be preaching? I am ashamed that there have been times in my life where the answer was “No!” I have been guilty of this just like many of you. However, the answer must be “yes” or we are not faithful ambassadors of the Savior.
All the apostles, except John, were executed for the message they proclaimed, the message of the Cross. The Father does not call us to build big buildings nor to have large budgets, to have large succesful ministries nor to have mega-congregations. He does call us to “preach the word”, the word being the message of The Cross! Period. He commissions us to take His message of ransom and redemption to the lost. He sends us out to make disciples for himself and to make His name great. He invites us, then commands us to lay our lives down for His sake and then to follow Him wherever and however He beckons. Very few of us who are faithful to this call will ever gain fame or notoriety. Most of us will serve in obscurity. I think that is part of the deal and you and I both need to be OK with that. If not, we should get a secular job or start our own business to support our families. Then we should find a good cross-centered congregation and volunteer just like everyone else.
Father, may we who lead your people come back to proclaiming the message of a crucified and risen Savior. Amen