...Christ lays the axe at the root of the tree; he tells them that these things must be given up...
“As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 9:33)
…Among the present assembly there are some who stumble at Christ because of his holiness. He is too strict for them; they would be Christians, but they cannot renounce their sensual pleasures; they would be washed in his blood, but they desire still to roll in the mire of sin.
Willing enough the mass of men would be to receive Christ, if, after receiving him, they might continue in their drunkenness, their wantonness, and self-indulgence: but Christ lays the axe at the root of the tree;
He tells them that these things must be given up for “because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience,” and “without holiness no man can see the Lord.”
Human nature kicks at this. “What! may I not enjoy one darling lust? May I not indulge myself at least now and then in these things? Must I altogether forsake my old habits and my old ways? Must I be made a new creature in Christ Jesus?”
These are terms too hard, conditions too severe, and so the human heart goes back to the flesh pots of Egypt, and clings to the garlic and the onions of the old estate of bondage, and will not be set free even though a greater than Moses lifts up the rod to part the sea, and promises to give to them a Canaan flowing with milk and honey.
Christ offends men because his gospel is intolerant of sin…
This excerpt is from a Spurgeon sermon entitled, “Unbelievers Stumbling; Believers Rejoicing.” No. 571 from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Vol. 10. (Emphasis added).