“From this time many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him” (Jn. 6:66). This Jesus said to those who were offended at his words (Jn 6:61). Many today are offended because of the Word of God. Many are offended because of the gospel. They reject the idea that they must submit themselves to baptism, and thus walk with him no more (Mk 16:16). Many are offended because of Jesus’ words concerning adultery. Many want multiple marriages and refuse to allow God’s Word to stand in their way, and thus they walk with him no more (Matt 19:9 f; 1 Cor 7:39). Many are offended because of the persecution which comes from being a faithful Christian, and thus they walk with him no more (2 Tim 3:12).
Will you be offended because you bear the name of Christian? Will you be ashamed of Jesus and His Word (Rom 1:16)? Will you be offended to stand up for the Word (Jude 3)? Will you be offended at the Word because you will lose family members and friends (Matt 10:37)? Will you be offended at the Word because you will lose business opportunities, houses or lands (Matt 19:29)? Will you be offended at the Word because you will be hated of all mankind (Matt 10:22)? Will you be offended at the Word because you will receive no honor in your own household (Matt 13:57)?
Many are truly called to the gospel, but few are chosen (Matt 22:14). Many will fall away once trials and persecutions arise. Many will fall away when they can not have the same lifestyles as their friends and family. Many will fall away when they lose their health. Many will fall away when they can’t engage in the sinful acts they desire. Remember the words of Jesus which said, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Lk 9:62).
Nevertheless, the Lord in his infinite love for mankind has his hand stretched out still (Isa 9:12,17,21). He still sends out his messengers to preach to those who have fallen away. As James said, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (Jam 5:19-20). “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts…” (Heb 3:7-8).