The Message of the Cross by Pastor John Samson
"Is it true that everyone on earth is drawn to the cross?" Many assume so. They base this on John 12:32 which says, "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." But as I explained here, I don't believe that this interpretation is a plausible one.
So what does the scripture specifically say about the message of the cross? 1 Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
The cross is actually foolishness to Gentiles and a stumbling block to Jews. That's pretty clear isn't it?
Question: So who views the cross as something other than foolishness or a stumbling block?
Answer: "...those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles) ..." who see Christ as the wisdom and power of God.
What is also clear from this passage in 1 Cor. 1:22-24 is that Paul knew what it was that the Jews and Greeks wanted. He knew that the Jews wanted miraculous signs and the Greeks wanted wisdom. Did he therefore adjust his message accordingly?
Knowing what it was that the two ethnic groups wanted, he wrote, "but we preach Christ crucified." In all reality, Christ was THE sign of all signs, and Christ is THE personification of all wisdom, but only the elect would ever understand that.
Paul did not go door to door around Corinth to ask what the people most wanted to see or hear about. He didn't need to. He already knew what the Corinthians wanted all along. However, Paul's ministry was not founded upon what the latest surveys indicated itching ears wanted to hear. He knew, before he ever opened his mouth, that his message, the message of the cross, would be completely offensive to everyone except the called. He went into Corinth preaching the message of the cross to all, but he knew ahead of time, that only the elect would enjoy hearing it! That's quite a thought isn't it?
Brothers and sisters, let Paul's words, inspired by the Holy Spirit, remind us that it is God who determines what it is we preach, not rebel sinners! Let us also trust the ministry of the Spirit to make the word of Christ come alive in the hearts and minds of Christ's sheep, and not worry so much about those who will be offended at the message we bring. Better that men be offended, than the One who has called us to preach Christ and Him crucified.