A Devotional Thought From 1 Corinthians
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness: but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18
Public speaking and preaching have been, as long as people have been populating this planet, among the most popular forms of teaching, proclaiming a message, and entertainment. They still are. For millennia preachers have been respected and appreciated, at least some of the times depending on the message. Here Paul recognizes that the message of the cross is a message that makes people of the world call it foolishness. They consider the gospel of the cross as foolishness, anti-intellectual, juvenile, even stupid. And, of course, that same sentiment carries over to the Savior of the cross, Jesus.
Separated from the biblical message of sin and salvation by His death on the cross, Jesus is greatly respected outside the church. People love His kindness. They love His compassion. They love His generosity. They love His “non-judgmental love.” But the moment the other side of the coin comes up, that He came to put an end to sin, and the power it had over us, by dying on the cross in our place, that part of Jesus is the message of the cross, and it is foolishness to them. Note what Paul says: it is foolishness to those who perish, those who are non-believers, those who are on the road of sin heading for eternal destruction. Personally, I think some of those poor souls consider it foolishness because they do not think of themselves as sinners. They don’t want to see themselves in negative terms. They don’t want to admit they have need for salvation. They don’t want to believe that God would have to make special provision for them through the death of Jesus on the cross of Calvary be saved, or redeemed or whatever the proper word is. They prefer to get themselves to heaven, or into God’s presence in eternity, or into the blessings of bliss forever by themselves; by showing their good deeds and proving to the eternal One that they deserve heaven. Why do you need a savior from sin when you are not a sinner, or at the bottom line your good deeds outweigh your bad? You can’t possibly believe people who don’t receive the message of the cross are really going to be separated from God forever, they might say.
The gospel means good news, but it is not good news unless you realize and admit you need good news. So until they admit their need and fly to the Savior, the preaching of the cross remains to them foolishness. More’s the pity because salvation is available if they will take Jesus and His cross seriously and believe. If they do they will experience what Paul concludes this verse with: unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
So we must keep on preaching this power of God no matter what it appears to be to those that perish.