“I will make them angry…” – God
“Do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” John 5:45-47
“There is none righteous. No, not one.” Psalm 14:3
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17
“You are from beneath. I am from above. You are from this world. I am not of this world. If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” John 8:23-24
When I first heard these claims I could barely contain my wrath. I had been invited to a church service in a prison chapel, and had only accepted the invitation to demonstrate how truly open minded I was. What I heard was a slap in the face by seemingly narrow-minded bigots. The problem was that many of the people in that room that should have been hopeless due to their prison sentence, were clearly more content and optimistic than I was; and I would be able to freely leave that night just as I had come in.
I did not become a Christian that night. In my mind, I was a good person. I did not need a Savior. And I did not need these people telling me that there was only one way to heaven. The leaders of those meetings were uneducated country folks. One was a recovering alcoholic whose hands trembled when he spoke. The special music and closing prayers were provided by murderers, thieves and drug dealers who were paying their debt to society. I was not one of them. Clearly, they needed someone like me to wake them up. Little did I know that God specializes in resisting the proud. In less than a year after my first visit I had nearly ruined the lives of my closest friends and therefore found my first reason to be baptised into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Twenty years later, I know that there were many more reasons for that baptism that I was just too blind to see. And so here I am proclaiming, for all the world to see, the narrow way of the One who offended me so by pouring out His limitless unmerited favor upon me.
What about you? Why are you visiting this web site? Whatever the reason, I hope you will not leave here lukewarm.
This message is offensive to those who have worked hard for their righteousness. I concede that point. It offended me. Therefore I must allow you to be offended lest I condemn myself. It is not my job to make you a Christian. If God raised Jesus from the dead, causing you to believe it is His job. If Jesus were dead, I could hope you never become a Christian. But I do believe, in my heart, that Jesus is alive after bearing the full penalty for my sins upon that infamous cross. And I believe He entreats me to proclaim that news to every creature, beginning with the children of the fathers of the faith. Judgement begins in the house of the Lord, so should the good news.
Thirty years ago, I was not seeking to believe that “good news”. I did not want to believe it. I wanted truth but not that truth. In the end, I did not apprehend the truth, the Truth apprehended me. And now, here I am offending others who have a similar hard won righteousness of their own making. So go ahead, be angry if you can. Call me vile and foolish if you must. But be aware that this fulfills what Moses prophesied when he said:
“I will make them angry with a vile nation” Deuteronomy 32:21
It is my hope that someday soon you will move beyond anger and be provoked to a jealousy for the favor of God that was meant to be yours.