Good morning to each of you. I want to take this opportunity, to once again thank you for allowing me to come into your home, work or where ever computer, and share what God has branded my heart and mind with for this week. I also want to send up praises for the answered prayers and for a couple of needs we had met out of the blue for us. Thank you to all who had a hand in what was done and thank You to my Lord for allowing me to be in church yesterday. I will be thankful for what I do have and can do.
This was a very trying week for us. We learned during the week that one of our churches' member's mother passed away, we have had another member in the hospital and another member was told that his daughter was dying. We have the promises and rely on the assurances of seeing her again one day in heaven. It is very hard to know that because of stumbling blocks, people are dying and going to hell every minute of every day. This hurts my soul deep.
This brings us to the topic of the day, "the cost of stumbling blocks". Do you ever wonder why preachers seem to be so repetitive? Does it seem like Christians seem to continue to say the same things over and over? Do you read the Bible and say to yourself, "I just read that sermon a few pages or chapters or books back"? Are you one of those people that see a "Bible thumper" coming and quickly try to look away, act busy or try to go in the opposite direction to avoid the coming conversation?
The reason for the repetition is that the question is the same today as it was hundreds of years ago. Are you saved, and if so, are you sharing Christ with others, so that they might be saved? If the answer to either of, or both of, these questions is no, then we need to examine the stumbling blocks and the cost.
Stumbling blocks can be as different as people can. For some it may be a turnoff to a certain denomination, a vice you don't want to stop, pride, a concern about what others might think of you, worrying about others expectations and this list could go on and on with no end I'm sure. Let's take a look at some scripture covering what we are discussing.
Hosea 14:9 says, "Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right; The righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them". 1 Corinthians 1:27 says, "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;" Mark 9:42-43 says, "42 "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched". James 2:10 says, "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all".
Now comes the time to do what most of us, almost will never do, and that is look into the honesty mirror. What is your stumbling block to accepting God's free gift of salvation? What would it cost you to accept this gift. More importantly, what will it cost you if you do not accept this gift? I'm sure there are many young people that have the attitude of, "I will deal with that when I get older, when I am finished sowing oats and living the life I have to live. It is just not for me right now."
We are given a warning to this type of thought in Matthew 24:42-44. The scripture says, "42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." None of us know the exact time we will die and risking eternity on doubt, selfishness and pride is like playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun. There is no second chance "after" we die.
If you are saved, then what are the stumbling blocks preventing you from sharing Christ's gift of salvation so that everyone you know and come into contact with has the chance to go to heaven with you? Are you worried you may lose a friend? Are you worried others may talk behind your back and make fun of you? Or maybe you are living a double life, you know, one person at church and around other Christians, and then another person who blends into the crowd and environment to be sociable and liked. The cost of those stumbling blocks are the difference in heaven or hell, eternity in the presence of God and paradise, or eternal damnation, pain and suffering. There is no gray area. This is not just what I think, or some denominational doctrine, but what the HOLY BIBLE SAYS.
Maybe you are saved. Maybe you are sharing Christ with some from time to time, but you feel God is wanting more from you and your life. What stumbling blocks are keeping you from serving Him in whatever area He is leading you. Think about the things you do in your everyday life. Do those things have any eternal values? Will you be given crowns of rewards, or will rewards be taken away because you ignored the Holy Spirit's leading?
I am here at the computer most of the day. If you cannot reach me here, you can call me at 931-648-3252 or 931-624-2442 anytime to discuss what I write about, what is on your heart and mind and any other area that I might be of some help in. I love you guys and girls and pray this has provoked everyone to thought about our stumbling blocks and their cost.
Remember: Sin will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than you can afford to pay.
Until next time, pray for each other and me, and I will continue to pray for you. Love in CHRIST,
Bethel Baptist Church