“Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:12 – NKJV)
You can almost hear the bewilderment in Paul’s question. There were some at Corinth who had previously obeyed the gospel of a resurrected Jesus Christ (15:1-8, 13-19) but yet they were now stumbling over the idea of the dead being resurrected in the future…or even at all! Unfortunately, the bewilderment of people stumbling over basic gospel principles continues to this day. For example:
- One may accept a resurrected Jesus, but stumble at the virgin-birth?
- One may believe that Jesus will return to judge the world, but stumble at the world-wide flood?
- One may teach that a literal man named Jesus was the second Adam of redemption, but stumble at the teaching of a literal first Adam bringing sin into the world?
- One may hold to the Bible’s teaching about Jesus walking out of the tomb after three days, but stumble at the world being created in six days?
- One may be convinced that Jesus died for the sins of the world, but stumble at the existence of a place called Hell?
- One may place his or her faith in the idea of Jesus living a sinless life, but stumble at the idea of God being able to leave an infallible book that teaches us about it?
It’s wild! It’s head-scratching! It’s sad! But such examples display only a few of the biblical ideas that “believers” stumble over today. And such examples should serve as a warning-sign to any individual being taught that the former can be trusted while the latter stands in doubt…that’s even if they teach the former can be trusted to begin with.
“When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:54-58 – NKJV)
In the Old Testament, God exposed “bullying” when He said, “You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:14 NKJV). Cursing a “deaf” person who cannot hear the curse and respond is nothing but cruel. Putting a “stumbling block” in front of a “blind” person when they cannot avoid it is despicable. No examples of what bullying is about could be simpler to understand. God called His people back to this when He commanded: “Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother” (Zechariah 7:9 NKJV). If you were in their place, how would you like someone to do you that way? Jesus summed up this teaching when He said, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12 NKJV).
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
We sing “blest be the tie that binds” but to enjoy it we must be aware of the ties that blind.
- Jesus warned about the consequences of loving our closest kin more than him (Matthew 10:34-37).
- Paul warned about being “unequally yoked” with unbelievers who prevent us from doing God’s will (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
- John warned about supporting false teachers who cloud the clarity of sound doctrine (2 John 1:8-11).
- Peter warned about the dangers of peer-pressure as we seek to live a godly life (1 Peter 4:1-5).
- James warned about the results of being a friend to the world’s way of doing things (James 4:4).
- Jude warned about those who would seek fellowship while wreaking havoc of the very grace that brings it together (Jude 1:3-5).
God’s word is plain enough – there is a tie a binds us to him, but to enjoy it we must untie and avoid the binds that will blind us to the fellowship of the heavenly sorts.
So which song are we going to sing?
Do you know what’s going to get in between you and Heaven more than anything else?
Your spouse? Your parents? Your job? Your children? Your hobbies? Your addiction? Your anger? Your apathy? Your ignorance? Your culture? Maybe the Devil? What’s the answer?
Take a look in the mirror for the real answer!
We may not like what we see, but the mirror doesn’t lie.
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26-27 – NKJV)
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3 – NKJV)
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22-25 – NKJV)