True, many are content to have the gospel preached, provided it does not touch them, or make them uncomfortable. But the moment one stirs a stick in their dung, or uncovers their mischief, they despise such a person. If at first, then, they applauded the gospel, once they perceive that God is about to hold them accountable for their sins, behold, they forsake it all. Thus we witness today such untold murmuring against God and God's Word.
John Calvin, Sermons on the Book of Micah, quoted in The Expository Genius of John Calvin by Steven J. Lawson. (pp. 109-110). Kindle Edition.I picked up this book by Steven J. Lawson the other day because it was on sale for 99¢ (through July 20, 2012). I like finding good deals online, and I've been very much enjoying the read. This quote from John Calvin struck me because of how applicable it is to us today.
There's an underlying fear in many churches and church members that being serious about what we believe will scare people away. And it's true that some just might leave. We have a lot of people sitting in on our services and lining our offering plates who don't want to hear anything more than "God bless you" when it comes to our faith in Christ. But the gospel must be proclaimed, even if that means people leave because they can't sit comfortably on the fence anymore. The truth is, God doesn't need their superficial presence or their financial holdings to build up his church and advance his kingdom. His kingdom will advance as the gospel advances.
Let's be bold with the gospel; we are powerless without it.