This study is about causing people to stumble spiritually, and it is a serious matter in God’s sight.
As followers of Jesus, we have a grave responsibility to expose people to the light of the true gospel of Jesus Christ as outlined throughout the entire scriptures. The gospel of salvation sets people free and makes the promises of God available to them. It also gives them the blessing of an eternity in heaven.
Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! (Mt 18:7 NIV, emphasis added)
My reading of the verse above is this –
This present world is an evil and dangerous place. It’s full of attacks, sins, traps, and sorrows. We all recognize that it’s a treacherous road that we must travel through life, full of stumbling-blocks, precipices, and false guides. But God forbid that any one of us should be the cause of spiritual or moral stumbling on the part of another person.
Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! (Lk 17:1 NIV)
Here a similar idea to that of Matthew, above. The truth of Luke 17:1 is that God is warning that a great wretchedness shall come upon anyone who causes injury or harm—in word or deed—to one of His little lambs. Who qualifies for God’s punishment?
- 1. Anyone who has in some way discouraged a believer in serving Christ and in fulfilling their calling. Or anyone who has discouraged a Christian so deeply that the believer is in danger of being driven away from serving Christ completely. DO NOT discourage other people in any way that would undermine them or discourage them from achieving their goals.
- 2. Those who corrupt the truths of Christ and His Word, and so distress and hassle the minds of believers. This is an evil practice of planting seeds of doubt into the hearts and minds of those who have faith. WE ARE NOT CALLED TO hassle or distress brothers and sisters in Christ.
- 3. Those who profess to be Christians, but who live scandalously (shamefully, sinfully), and thereby weaken the connections between and sadden the souls of God’s people. We must live in OBEDIENCE to and in agreement with the Word of God.
May each one of us live in harmony with the standards of God’s holy Word. Blessings upon you.