We should desire to win souls for Christ, and their souls can only be won by receiving the offensive message of the Gospel. With that being said, we need to make sure our attitude and conduct don’t add a needless offense to the message.
View the full sermon, “Transformation For Proclamation (Part 4)“.
So we’re going to give offense. But the second thing you need to understand as an ambassador is that we don’t want to have people take offense needlessly. We share that whole idea of what it means to have a demeanor that we honor where honor is due, where people need to be honored. We show respect. So on one hand, my message I come to give you is to offend you. On the other hand, my message that I come to give you is to show you great respect. Honor to whom honor is due. Think about that. Here’s somebody who might be as evil as evil comes, but they hold a position of honor. You’re to show honor to them. Peter tells us to do that. “Honor the king.” You know when he says that it’s in the 1st century and who the king is? He didn’t say compromise with the king, but we honor the king. We honor what God has set up in that position that that person’s in. That’s why, kids, you talk to adults and you say “Mr.” and “Mrs.” You say “please” and “thank you.” Why? Those are honorable phrases. It’s not just good manners. It’s showing honor to where honor needs to be applied. Because as Christians, we should have that type of artful speech so we know how to respond to each person. Isn’t it amazing in Galatians 1:10, Paul talks about: “I’m a slave of no man.” None. And yet, when you read in 1 Corinthians 10, I think it’s verse 33, he says, “I please all men.” To the Jew, I become a Jew. To the Greek, I become a Greek. So that what? I may win some. See, “I may win some.” So there’s a line that you need to know when it’s crossed and when it’s not that you become something to somebody so you can win them. And then when there’s a line that you don’t cross, because if you don’t become what they are, you’re complicit in their sin. If I have a neighbor and he’s a homosexual and he invites me over to his birthday party, do I go? Sure. We’re going to be celebrating his birthday. No problem. I’ll bring him a gift. But he’s having a coming out party and he invites me to go over to the coming out party. I don’t go. See the difference? Because that’s a compromise. That’s saying, hey, I’m agreeing with you coming out and it’s okay to come out. It’s okay to be a homosexual. No, I can’t do that. And as an ambassador, you need to know where those lines are drawn, when you can participate, become all things to all people and run the race in such a way (1 Corinthians 9) that you do what? You win. You buffet your body, Paul says. But in the context of 1 Corinthians 9, when he says that, he’s talking about winning people to Christ. If you’re going to win that race, you have to know not just the importance, but the wisdom of how do I become something to this person so I can win them to Christ without participating in their sin. That’s what ambassadors do. That’s what it means to run that race. Becoming all things to all people. And then when the line’s drawn and I have to say like it says in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers.” “Come out from among them, My people.” And you know there’s a line drawn, and you say I can’t be a participant of that. In fact, I have to expose the deeds of darkness. Ephesians 5. And yep, it’s probably going to cost me my job. There’s a time to be quiet like it says in Proverbs. How do you answer a fool? According to his folly. You don’t answer a fool according to his folly. You answer a fool as his folly deserves. And many times what’s deserving is silence. You don’t have to stick your neck into every quarrel and be a spokesperson there. Like it says in Proverbs, it’s like taking a dog by the ears when you do that. A crazy man does that – just jumps into the middle of a quarrel. Start quarreling with people – who does that? Ambassadors don’t do that. They pick and choose their battles. Because they’re light and salt. And if the Gospel’s at stake, you bet they’re going to talk about that because that’s the authoritative message from the King. But when it’s not, and it might be something that has to do with me, and this is where he chides the Corinthians – he says, “I can’t believe you guys are going to court over this.” Are you serious? Really? Don’t you realize it’s already a defeat for you? A defeat. Because you’re going before lost people and they’re going to look at you and say, “Aren’t these people ambassadors of the King? And they want us to judge between them?” Why not just take the loss? Because they’re not looking at the big picture. They’re just looking at: well, you’re right or you’re wrong and I think this and going to court. Stop. Look what’s at stake. Look what’s getting jeopardized. The testimony of Christ. Our authoritative message. That we represent something far greater than us. And we represent a reality beyond the grave as we saw in verse 10, that he sands of time are ticking, so to say. They’re falling through here. Doesn’t this count for something? It counts for everything. We’ve got our loved ones and lost ones. They’re on the program here. The sands aren’t stopping. And God’s been gracious enough to give them a bowl that’s got sand in the top, at least for today. I don’t know about tomorrow. This excerpt was taken from the full sermon: Transformation For Proclamation.