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Monday, February 28, 2005

THE OFFENCE OF THE CROSS: by George H. Morrison

George H. Morrison (1866-1928) assisted the great Alexander Whyte in Edinburgh, he pastored two churches, and then became a pastor in 1902 of the distinguished Wellington Church on University Avenue in Glasgow. His preaching drew great crowds; in fact, people had to line up an hour before the services to be sure to get seats in the large auditorium. Morrison was a master of imagination in preaching, yet his messages were solidly biblical.

THE OFFENCE OF THE CROSS

ONE THING THAT MARKS the ministry of Paul is how he lovingly yearned over the Jews. With a quenchless and intense desire, he prayed that they might be brought into the fold.

Never a did mother so long for the saving of her son as Paul longed for the saving of his countrymen. He was willing to suffer anything or everything, if only his people Israel might be won. It is when we remember that deep longing that we realize what the cross meant for Paul.

For the great stumbling block for the Jews-the offense that made the gospel of Christ smell rank to them-was, as our text indicates, the cross. Take that away, and it would be a thousand times more easy to win the Jews to the acceptance of the Lord.

Say nothing about that, just slur it over, and you would take half the difficulty out of the way of Israel. Yet, in spite of his yearning to see Israel saved, that was the one theme Paul would not ignore. God forbid, he says, that I should glory save in the cross of Jesus Christ my Lord.

There is a great lesson there for Christian teachers, and for all who are trying to advance Christ's kingdom. The more earnest and eager they are to have men saved, the more willing they are to go all lengths to meet them. And that is right, for we must be all things to all men-to the Jews as a Jew, to the Romans as a Roman; but remember, there are a few great facts we cannot yield, though they run counter to the whole spirit of the age.

It were better to empty a church and preach the cross, than to fill it by keeping silent like a coward. It were better to fail as Paul failed with the Jews, than to succeed by being a traitor to the cross.

And that is why I look with such uncertainty on much that the church is trying to do today. Religion can never be a pleasant entertainment. When the offense of the cross ceases, it is lost.
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