Luke 6:[26] “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

If everyone loves you and no one has anything bad to say about you then you need to be worried. This is such a dangerous thing. Who wants to be disliked? We all want people to like us. It is no great shake to be hated by everyone.

There are believers who will read a piece of Scripture like this and live so obnoxiously that it would be almost impossible to like them and they will think that they are in tune with this verse in Luke. Peter warns us that if we are going to be hated it had better be for good reasons and not because we are criminals of some kind (I Peter 4:14-15).

Being hated is in itself not a virtue. But it will be inevitable at some point simply because one believes and obeys the Scriptures. The Gospel will not be received well if it is preached accurately. We do not try to be opposed. In fact, one of the traits of a good pastor is that he will have the respect of outsiders (I Timothy 3:7). But it needs to be remembered that the Gospel is not popular and if, in your preaching, teaching, and living out of it, you gain the popularity of everyone, then it is probably true that you have not presented it accurately.

Note carefully what Jesus says – “woe to you if everyone speaks well of you …” There will be those who, even though they are not believers will respect you for what you believe and for sticking to your guns and for counting the cost. But not everybody will.

The comparison Jesus makes is to the Old Testament Jews who liked the false prophets because of the message they gave. The message they gave was that God was pleased with them and that they would not be overthrown and taken captive. In other words, if your popularity comes at the expense of the truth then you have forsaken God.

There are many ways that we are able to fudge the Gospel in our speech and in our living. We can be tempted to do this by softening the demands of the gospel. We can turn free grace into cheap grace and make things look like everyone is fine just as they are. We can neglect to tell people about the cost of living for Jesus. He demands our lives. If anyone will not die for Jesus he cannot be a disciple of Jesus. We can allow people to think that Jesus is one way to God but not the only way. We can reduce the Gospel to a verbal confession. There are many ways that we can make biblical truth more palatable to the post-modern mind. And if, when we do that we actually change or neglect the real Gospel message, then we have forsaken the Gospel altogether.

Faithfulness to Christ and the Gospel is going to cost us. If it does not it is likely that we have capitulated at some point. And that brings a condemnation from Jesus here. If the Gospel we live and give is comfortable to everyone who hears it then we have likely not given or lived the Gospel that is in the Bible. And that is the only one there is.

Woe to us when we have been comfortable at the expense of the real Gospel.

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