Lord's Day Liturgy

An Invitation Scandal

Election is not called a scandal or an offense or foolish in Scripture. Our recent political elections may cause heartburn, but no one in Scripture expresses worries about God determining the outcome ahead of time.

What is called a scandal is the cross. More than God’s sovereignty, men are upset by God’s sacrifice. “We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:23). The cross is a “stumbling block,” which translates the Greek word σκάνδαλον, “an action or circumstance that leads one to act contrary to [their] set of beliefs, that which causes revulsion” (BAGD). Paul wrote that some Jews preferred circumcision over the cross (Galatians 5:11). The cross causes difficulty for the way natural men think.

As the Bible reveals, God predestined the cross. Peter preached that those who crucified Jesus did “whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place” (Acts 4:28). So Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” even he said “you crucified and killed” (Acts 2:23). God ordained the Lamb’s blood to forgive the elect’s sins (John 10:11; Romans 8:32-34).

God’s sovereignty saves. He chose to love rebels—all you who believe, to atone for their sins, to bring them to Himself. So “to those who are called, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Rejoice at the Lord’s Table in such a way that would offend those who know you don’t deserve to rejoice. The only scandal bigger than you being welcome at the Supper is what Christ suffered to invite you here.