For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness. But unto us that are saved, it is the power of God. (I Cor. 1:18)
You will note that Paul does NOT say that if a person thinks the Cross to be foolish (unnecessary or of no value — Greek) that God is going to punish them — by causing them to perish. No. Rather, he is saying that if a person thinks the Cross is foolish that it is evidence that they are ALREADY in the process of perishing. There is a reason for his conclusion: The Cross is the first step to life in Christ. Thus, if we think that the first step to life is foolishness, then we have obviously not taken it. We are perishing.
On the positive note, evidence that Christ is in us is that we have a growing realization and experience of the Cross. We know that despite the fact that it does not please our flesh, that the personal Cross is the means of freedom — it is the means by which Christ comes to be made manifest.
Much of what professing Christian people say is out of ignorance. And we should never judge people by what they say. But when someone consistently and deliberately says that we do not need to repent in order to be saved, or that we do not need to come to the Cross – is it possible that they are presently saved? No. That is not a judgment. It is simply a realization that if someone says the Cross is unnecessary that they surely haven’t come to it for themselves. You cannot deny what is necessary to believe and embrace to be saved — and then say you are saved. And according to Paul, if I think that the Cross is unnecessary this is evidence that I am in the process of perishing.
Now, of course, there are many ways to deny the Cross. I could side step it and develop a Christianity focused on my works. Or, I could become a proponent of, “the gospel of ME” — turn Christianity into a self-improvement, belief system. These are all ways of, “saying,” that the Cross is unnecessary or foolish. I may not use the words, but it is nevertheless what I am, “confessing.”
God has better intentions for people. Even if I have been the greatest enemy of the Cross, I can turn at any time and take my place in the Cross of Jesus Christ. I can pick up my cross daily. God is a redemptive God. The door is always open to Him — that Door being His Son.