16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?
The gospel creates a crisis of decision so that no one can remain neutral about the message (1 Co 1:18).
16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death,
Paul’s team carried a smell of death leading to death from beginning to end for those with negative volition toward the gospel. The Christian message is, to the lost, a picture of a decomposing corpse from which they recoil.
and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.
To others, the gospel is a message that leads to eternal life. They look to a life beyond death.
No one can be neutral about the gospel.
If the gospel does not save a soul, it destroys it (Jn 3:19; 15:22). A person’s rejection of the gospel produces an effect of its own making. Those who preach the gospel are either the fragrance of life or the smell of death. Evangelism is like spreading a fragrance among the population. The decision to accept the beauty of the message rests with those who respond to its claims.
People either become more hardened in their resistance to the gospel or they go positive volition toward it. The preaching of the gospel has eternal consequences.