July 12, 2024

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July 12, 2024

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Days of Offense—An Often Missed Sign of The Times

Hal Lindsey

When giving the signs of His return, Jesus listed something you may not have spent much time thinking about — offense. In Matthew 24:10, the Lord said, “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”

There has never been a time when more people were more offended over more things than right now. Offense is everywhere in our day. People are offended by things both real and imagined; by words spoken and words unspoken. They are not only offended by your political affiliation, but even by the kind of car you drive. They are offended by names and by whole regions of the country. Most people today have a highly honed, well-developed sense of offense. And they keep it ever on alert, just in case.

Beware of this. Jesus said, offense is followed by betrayal and hatred. Those are happening, too.

Most of our society has been infected. We have made taking offense a sign of virtue, and we have shaped it into a fine art. It is one of the main things now taught in public schools, even though it harms both society as a whole and the individual children being taught. It infuses the music of our age, as well as other entertainments. Society reinforces it in the news media (left and right), in the home, and, yes, even in the church. What a sad thing!

The original language takes this verse even further. The word here translated offense comes from the Greek word, “skandalizo.” That’s where we get the English word “scandalize.” We are scandalized by the attitudes and behaviors of others. The root word has to do with trapping and ensnaring. Don’t be ensnared.

Please understand that there are times when people’s words or actions should shock, insult, or upset us. That’s normal, even healthy. But we should never live there. Neither should we be on the lookout for things in which to find offense. And we should never, ever try to find our self-esteem there. Increasing numbers of people try to bolster their own sense of self-worth by being scandalized by someone else. “They are mean, but I am good. They are not smart, but I have things figured out.”

We live in a time when to find something offensive about a political opponent, or a famous person, has become one of the most sought-after feelings. But that rush is not happiness, and it is not even in the vicinity of joy. It may give a moment of satisfaction to find that a wealthy or famous individual is, for instance, a terrible racist. It might even make a person feel briefly superior. But it will never bring lasting joy.

At other times, people use “offense” as an excuse. “I would have succeeded, but the world is not fair.” Nobody ever said the world was fair. Don’t let your offense at perceived unfairness fool you into not working hard. God wants you on His side. When you are on His side, forces will come against you, but He will help you become an overcomer. He wants us to be like the Apostle Paul in Acts 20:24-25. “But none of these things move me,” he said, “neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

The disease of finding offense in everything is a sign of the times. Jesus said it would be among the constellation of signs that His coming is near. So, don’t be discouraged when you see it. Instead of bringing discouragement, may it help all of us to realize that our work is great and our time short.

Also, remember that the disease of offense is highly contagious. Be careful not to let it infect you. God has much work left for you and me. We must avoid getting bogged down in offense.

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Hal Lindsey

When giving the signs of His return, Jesus listed something you may not have spent much time thinking about — offense. In Matthew 24:10, the Lord said, “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”

There has never been a time when more people were more offended over more things than right now. Offense is everywhere in our day. People are offended by things both real and imagined; by words spoken and words unspoken. They are not only offended by your political affiliation, but even by the kind of car you drive. They are offended by names and by whole regions of the country. Most people today have a highly honed, well-developed sense of offense. And they keep it ever on alert, just in case.

Beware of this. Jesus said, offense is followed by betrayal and hatred. Those are happening, too.

Most of our society has been infected. We have made taking offense a sign of virtue, and we have shaped it into a fine art. It is one of the main things now taught in public schools, even though it harms both society as a whole and the individual children being taught. It infuses the music of our age, as well as other entertainments. Society reinforces it in the news media (left and right), in the home, and, yes, even in the church. What a sad thing!

The original language takes this verse even further. The word here translated offense comes from the Greek word, “skandalizo.” That’s where we get the English word “scandalize.” We are scandalized by the attitudes and behaviors of others. The root word has to do with trapping and ensnaring. Don’t be ensnared.

Please understand that there are times when people’s words or actions should shock, insult, or upset us. That’s normal, even healthy. But we should never live there. Neither should we be on the lookout for things in which to find offense. And we should never, ever try to find our self-esteem there. Increasing numbers of people try to bolster their own sense of self-worth by being scandalized by someone else. “They are mean, but I am good. They are not smart, but I have things figured out.”

We live in a time when to find something offensive about a political opponent, or a famous person, has become one of the most sought-after feelings. But that rush is not happiness, and it is not even in the vicinity of joy. It may give a moment of satisfaction to find that a wealthy or famous individual is, for instance, a terrible racist. It might even make a person feel briefly superior. But it will never bring lasting joy.

At other times, people use “offense” as an excuse. “I would have succeeded, but the world is not fair.” Nobody ever said the world was fair. Don’t let your offense at perceived unfairness fool you into not working hard. God wants you on His side. When you are on His side, forces will come against you, but He will help you become an overcomer. He wants us to be like the Apostle Paul in Acts 20:24-25. “But none of these things move me,” he said, “neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

The disease of finding offense in everything is a sign of the times. Jesus said it would be among the constellation of signs that His coming is near. So, don’t be discouraged when you see it. Instead of bringing discouragement, may it help all of us to realize that our work is great and our time short.

Also, remember that the disease of offense is highly contagious. Be careful not to let it infect you. God has much work left for you and me. We must avoid getting bogged down in offense.

The Hal Lindsey Report - Logo

Harbinger's Daily is funded by Christians like you who long for people to hear Biblical Truth.

 Your donations are vital to help this ministry continue its efforts to reach the lost and boldly equip the church with the truth of God's Word.