I found a quote from Augustine of Hippo that stirred me last week…

If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.

Are there things in Scripture… the Gospel… that offend you?  Are there things you find written in God’s Word that you find hard to swallow?  Are there passages that after reading them you think to yourself, “That CAN’T be saying what I think it’s saying?”

What are some texts people struggle with?  Consider just a few from the New Covenant.  Oh… if you’re going to get mad at someone as you read these, get mad at God because He wrote them…

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Matthew 10:28 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.

John 6:53 Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

1 Timothy 2:11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12  I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

1 Corinthians 11:29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.

Acts 5:4 Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. 9 Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.

Galatians 5:12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

1 Corinthians 5:11 I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

Those are tough for many people to swallow.  Truth be told I struggle with them myself from time to tim.  So let’s revisit again what St. Augustine wrote, “If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.”

Either we accept ALL the Scripture as God’s inspired Word and seek to understand it as best we can by the Spirit’s leading, or we reject it and believe ourselves instead.  Which will hold water on judgment day?