I admit it, I can be abrasive. For instance, my wife never asks if "these pants make my butt look big," because she knows I will tell her the truth. I have a thing for the truth, even when it hurts sometimes.
The gospel is like that. It can be abrasive and rub people the wrong way. I went to David Platt's "Secret Church" simulcast last Friday. There were about 100 people there, most whom I did not know, a few I did know. There were some local ministers in the audience.
At one point, David said (not an exact quote), "You can have said a prayer, signed a card, been baptized, even be in church leadership, and still not be saved!" Do you think that some found this abrasive? I think some did. But the bigger question is, is it true? And if it is, David would be doing a disservice to the gospel by not saying it. People can take it however they want, they can choose to act or not act upon these words, but David was not wrong ins speaking them.
Sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes we would rather hear a lie. Sometimes we would rather believe a lie that tells us we are okay, that we are safe and secure in God's arms and nothing bad is going to happen to us. That sounds so good, doesn't it? I want that kind of religion. But that is not the religion that Jesus preached. I seem to recall something about carrying our own crosses, not denying Him, going the extra mile, etc.
Listen! Then ask yourself, Does my preacher love me? Is he telling me the whole truth, or just stepping on my toes enough to make me uncomfortable a bit (if at all)? Is he motivating me to have a deeper walk with Christ, or just to modify my behavior? Is God the center of his message, or something else? Do you walk away from there feeling like you want to embrace God or feeling ashamed and thinking you must try harder?
The real gospel is abrasive, and some will reject it. But to those who have open hearts, the real gospel is like a steak dinner, drawing us to it, letting us taste and see that it is good, and satisfying us completely. But don't eat too much, cause it might make your butt look too big.