Monday, July 15, 2013

Stumbling Block-Heads

By Howard Justice

     Few realize the horrendous danger in the nature of a stumbling block.  Many years ago, as a youth in both age and service to the Lord, I witnessed the effects of such when a dear friend’s father came forward as the invitation hymn was sung one Sunday morning.  After a few moments, the preacher arose and said, “Mister Smith has come forward to confess his faith in Christ and be baptized for the remission of his sins.  But, before he does so, he wants to address the audience.”
    Slowly, the 50+ year old man rose up and explained, “Most of you know who I am.  I’m Mrs. Smith’s husband and I’ve been coming here with her for over 15 years.  I’m not a Christian and I’m sure that many of you thought that I was.  Why I haven’t been baptized into Christ before now is what I want to explain.  About that long ago, a member from here had some work done at my lawn mower shop down the street.  After the work was done, he didn’t want to pay for it.  There arose a serious disagreement between us and he did not treat me like a Christian should have.  I thought to myself, ‘If that’s what a Christian does, then I didn’t want to be one.’  So, I was determined not to be a member of the Lord’s church.  It has taken me all this long to realize that I was also wrong.  Finally, I have realized that I could not afford to wait any longer to obey the Lord.  I was wrong.”  He began to weep, even sobbing incessantly through his confession.
    There wasn’t a dry eye in the congregation.  Several more were given the courage that day to make that step as well.  Brother Smith was faithful until his death.  His son and I were the best of friends and used to play upstairs at his house on rainy days.  I often look back at that event and have never forgotten that lesson.  This man had had a stone of stumbling placed in his pathway by a sinful and uncaring brother.  It almost cost him his eternal destiny.
    Therefore, may the Lord help us all to see how easy it is to cause a person to reject salvation and how easy it is to lose our promised inheritance because of the thoughtless actions or comments of others.  Remember that God sent His only begotten Son to save our souls simply because He loved us (John 3:16).  That love must be reciprocated in our obedience to Him.  And, it must be continually shown to our other brothers and sisters in the Lord, and to all men, if we ever hope to enter Heaven’s portals on that day (1 Peter 1:22; Philippians 4:5).  May God help us all to care enough.

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