I’m sure you like to be liked. Me too.
Few people have a social death wish. We want to go along to get along. We live and let live. Then we talk about the Good News of Jesus and forget what makes it “good news.”
When you read Paul’s presentation of the Good News in his letter to the Romans, he doesn’t start with something sweet like, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” No, he begins with uncomfortable words like wrath of God (1:18), unrighteousness (1:18), without excuse (1:20), futile [empty] minds and foolish hearts (1:21), God gave them up (1:24), dishonor their bodies (1:24), the lie (1:25), vile passions (1:26), committing what is shameful (1:27), penalty of their error (1:27), debased mind (1:28) … oh my, the list gets even more nasty after this. Until there’s a presentation of how wicked we truly are, we’ve only shared religious news.
After Paul thoroughly writes about the awfulness of sin, he presents Jesus’ death at the end of chapter 3! Imagine, the idea that “God loves you” doesn’t show up in Romans until chapter 5, one-third of the way through the book; and that love is for people saved through faith in Jesus.
We’re often afraid and ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ because we want to be liked; but truth is always more important than popularity.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the heathen. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17).