Opposition is Bad, but Hell is Worse

When we proclaim the Word of God, we will often face resistance from every side. We can begin to see the scope of the opposition to the Word of God when we consider two themes Scripture proclaims clearly—sin and the gospel.

In the early centuries of Christianity, the Church understood that a false understanding of salvation was more dangerous than persecution. Persecution can only kill the body, but a false gospel can kill the soul. Today, many live as if political evils are worse than hell. Many professing Christians are willing to take unpopular stands to push back against the dangers of moral and political evils on issues like gender, sexuality, and abortion as they should. However, the problem is that many of the same people are unwilling to preach the gospel to their neighbor and our culture to show them the way of salvation.

Taking a stand on moral issues from a political perspective will cost us, but if we also preach the gospel as we take those stands, it will cost us more. Taking a moral stance while preaching the gospel will not only create enemies who disagree with us on ethical issues, but even many who agree politically will distance themselves from us. Some will come against you and say you are damaging the cause by bringing Jesus into it. Is this a price we are ready to pay? If not, it puts us out of sync with the priorities of Scripture. Many dangers arise when political power promotes evil, and we should fight against it, but hell is worse. We must not strive to save people from political evil while leaving their souls to an eternal death.

Another form of opposition will arise when you proclaim both sin and the gospel. If we only preach the gospel but neglect speaking against the evils that condemn many in our culture to hell, countless professing Christians will have no problem with your work. However, the minute you speak on moral issues, numerous professing Christians will back away from you, and many will even start to oppose you. They will claim that you have exchanged evangelism for culture wars, that you are not loving, or that you are hindering the spread of the gospel. Sometimes opposition comes from within the visible church. Is this a price we are ready to pay? If not, it puts us out of sync with the Word of God. Being soft on sin diminishes the gospel. We cannot minimize sin without minimizing its remedy—the cross of Christ. This kind of teaching can create churchgoers who will go to hell from the comfort of their pew.

If the word of God is our standard, we are neither free to downplay sin nor neglect the gospel, regardless of the opposition. Souls are at stake, and the Church needs to trust in Christ, believe his word, and fulfill her calling to proclaim it. The only way we will ever have the fortitude to speak the Word of God properly to our culture is if, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are fully rooted in it. It must be the rock upon which we stand. Opposition is temporary, but the Word of the Lord endures forever.

-D Eaton 

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