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A Stone of Stumbling, and a Rock of Offence

By Ron Graham


As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Romans 9:33.

Many people profess to have a belief in our Savior and Lord, Jesus the Christ, but they seem to be ashamed of Him. This verse clearly states that, if a person believes in Jesus, they shall not be ashamed of Him.

And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 1Peter 2:8

Disobedient. Now there’s a word you don’t hear very often in society today.

Jesus is the stumbling stone spoken of in these scripture verses. He is the “rock of offence”, this is plainly stated in our Bibles. If you disagree with this interpretation, just try speaking the name of Jesus Christ in the hallowed halls of our humanistic, socialistic, government run, public school system. The religion of those schools leaves no room for the Son of God.

How many times over the past few years have we all heard that the name of Jesus is offensive to some and shouldn’t be allowed in the public arena? I don’t know about you but I am fed up with people who claim to be offended by the name of Jesus. How can the name Jesus offend people who have no idea of who He is? It can’t be explained in any other terms than it’s satanic. There’s no other excuse for such hatred of the name of Jesus.

If you ask the average high school student in public school today who Jesus is, nine times out of ten they won’t be able to give a correct answer. Why? Because they haven’t a clue of what the correct answer is. For the most part they have never heard the truth of the Gospel.

A friend of mine, a school teacher in the public school system, told me of a man who came to his school to speak and warn the students against the evils of a fast and loose lifestyle, basically speaking against drugs and alcohol. This man had the audacity to mention how he was saved from this lifestyle by God. He explained how he had accepted the free gift of salvation from God. Although we know that salvation comes through Jesus Christ, this man never mentioned the name Jesus Christ. But some of the students in my friend’s class were offended because this man mentioned God. One student in particular claimed to be an atheist and the very mention of God was an offensive to her. Her next statement was very revealing; she was incensed that he would try to “shove his religion down her throat”. This is a quote that has become an automatic response by atheists upon any mention of Jesus Christ taking place, whether they’ve ever experienced anyone shoving Jesus "down anyone’s throat" or not.

But, if you think about it, the teachers in public schools that teach evolution are doing just that. They are shoving the religion of evolution down the throats of their students whether they want it or not.

That, my friends, is what’s known as indoctrination. When I was a young boy in school this type of teaching was known as brain washing; something we equated with communism. It’s the filling of young heads with lies continually so that eventually they come to believe the lie. Or another way to look at it is don’t confuse “the kids” with the facts. The secular media uses this ploy often to achieve their liberal agenda. Tell people a lie long enough and pretty soon it becomes the truth.

The name of Jesus is offensive to some people and a stumbling block to others. How can this be? Jesus tells us He came to serve, not to be served. He came humbly teaching that the Kingdom of God was at hand. He offered help to the multitudes. We read in the Gospels that He was continually working, offering to the masses wondrous miracles. He healed the sick, the lepers, the blind, and the lame. He even raised people from the dead. What, pray tell, is so offensive about that? Does the name of Buddha, Mohammad, Confucius, Joseph Smith, or any other past religious leader garner such hatred? Does anyone ever complain they were offended by the mentioning of any of these names? Did any of the individuals above ever heal anyone or raise anyone from the dead? NO! Jesus Christ alone is capable of such miracles; hence the name that offends.

Jesus on two different occasions fed the multitudes. The Bible tells us He fed five thousand men and their wives and children. Then, on another occasion, He fed four thousand men and their wives and children. In all actuality He probably feed more than fifteen thousand men, women, and children each time. As you read through Matthew’s Gospel you will find it difficult to put a number on the many people Jesus cured. If you want to really get an idea of just how many people were made well by Jesus Christ, go to the last chapter and verse of the Gospel of John. Here’s what you’ll read: “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written,” John 21:25.

What did Jesus do to deserve such animosity, such reviling, and such persecution? For which of the miracles He performed were they going to kill Him? “Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?" The Jews answered him, saying, "For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God,” John 10:32, 33. Not for the miracles but that He made Himself equal to God. That’s why Christ's enemies wanted to kill Him, but why do people today hate Him? Most know nothing about Him and yet they hate Him.

All many today know of Jesus Christ is what they’ve heard through the news and entertainment industry which just so happens to be Satan’s playground. They could all know the truth as found in the Bible if they would actually pick one up and read it, but they won’t. No one living today has a reason to hate Jesus, especially since they’ve never met Him. He lived two thousand years ago. If this hatred isn’t satanic then why do they hate Him? Think about it! Human beings don’t just hate someone they’ve never met and know nothing about. Hatred comes from being wronged, for being mistreated. Hate comes because someone has, with evil intentions, hurt us terribly. Jesus did none of that.

The young lady who sits in my friend’s classroom claiming to be an atheist doesn’t want religion shoved down her throat. What she doesn’t understand is that Jesus was the most non-religious person to ever walk the face of this earth.

Franklin Graham wrote a book entitled “The Name”. In this book he wrote about his many encounters with folks who actually hated the name of Jesus. What an eye opener! Not once was there a clear cut reason for hating the name of Jesus.

If this world isn’t filled with demonic activity, I would like to hear a reasonable explanation of just why people hate Jesus. The Pharisees and the Sadducees hated Jesus because they were afraid of Him. He was a disruption to their normal existence. He supplanted their authority, and they surely couldn’t have that.

Today the evil hatred of God’s only begotten Son is just as pervasive. There are organizations that are determined to erase every vestige, every mention, every thought, and even all historic literature that has anything at all to do with the name of Jesus. Eradicate it as you would an insect that has invaded your garden. They want nothing less than to never hear that Name of Jesus again. Again, I ask why?

“But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;” 1Corinthians 1:23.

The Apostle Paul tells us that the Gospel is a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks. If that be the case, what is it to the Civil Liberties Union who wants to completely destroy it? It’s the truth and they can’t have the truth floating around, not with what they have in store for the people which is a completely secular and socialistic country.

“But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:” 1Peter 2:9.

This nation of ours has been one of the most blessed in all of recent history. No one with any semblance of intelligence can dispute that. How is it that in such a short time, historically speaking, we arrived at this point where we see a nation wallowing in immorality, self-pity, hatred of our fellow man, and with little hope for a turn-around of our current societal problems? Just take a look at our current selection of individuals running the land. There’s no born again Christians wishing to adhere to God's standards. None at all.

The age in which we live is prophesied of in the Bible; it’s the falling away of the Church, more commonly known as the great apostasy. The silence of the Church is deafening. This whole concept of being offended because a person mentions the name of their Savior and Lord, Jesus, in a public setting is ludicrous in my humble opinion.

For the first forty-four years of my life I had no idea who Jesus was and I didn’t care. Yet, I can never remember an instance where hearing the name of Jesus offended me. I ignored it, yes. I was completely apathetic to it certainly. But offended by it? Never. This is a fairly new concept in our culture. Whatever offends us can now be dealt with by simply complaining in a public setting and out of nowhere will come the Lone Ranger, better known as the Civil Liberties Union, to protect us from all those evil offenders.

Just who are these evil and maniacal offenders? Real bottom dwellers, don’t you know? The scourge of society and the reason for all of our problems today, and the sooner we get rid of ‘em the better for our entire nation! Who are they? They are a people set apart, justified by God. They are those who actually have the audacity to proclaim the name of Jesus in public. They are born again Christians.

If we believe the polls that some groups have taken recently concerning the number of people  who claim to be Christians today, it is easily seen that most of the Church are members in good standing of the Church of Laodicea.

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” Revelation 3:14-17.

If you’re at a loss as to the manner of believers the Laodicean Church represents, just go get yourself a drink of lukewarm water and I think you’ll come to see what Jesus Christ Himself thinks of them, and to an understanding of who these individuals are as you begin to understand just how unsatisfying lukewarm water is.

Almighty God, forgive us as we’ve certainly sinned against you and against your anointed. Create in us a boldness to proclaim your message to the lost. But first, Lord, create in us a clean heart. For what we see is filthy and apathetic. We are most certainly living out your prophecy of the end times.


 

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