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.