Right after Jesus reveals that the secret of greatness is tied up with becoming child-like and a servant, He tells his disciples that anyone who receives these child-like believers also receives Him. And then this dire warning: and whoever causes one of these child-like believers to stumble and sin is in big trouble. In fact it would be “better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Then Jesus goes on to say in Matthew 18:7 (Amplified) “Woe to the world for such temptations to sin and influences to do wrong!” and “woe to the person on whose account or by whom the temptation comes!”
This is pretty serious stuff. From it we understand that there will be a day of reckoning; that all those influencers who peddle evil and smut and perversion (we need not look any further than the entertainment industry), and entice to do evil, will be held accountable and have to answer for it, and it’s not going to be pretty. But we are accountable, too. Our actions, the way we live our lives, the things we say, can also cause people to stumble and we need to take it seriously.
Jesus said it would be better to cut off our hand or foot or pluck out our eye if they cause us to transgress rather than to be thrown into “everlasting fire.” Yes, there is an “everlasting fire,” and it’s called hell. And what Jesus was advocating was not to literally cut off our body parts, but to remove ourselves from sinful situations and stop participating in sin. The Bible tells us that hell was created for Satan and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Sadly, there will be many others residing there, and that fact breaks the heart of God for He wishes that none should perish.
For our part we have to stop winking at sin, stop pretending that the things that go on around us doesn’t matter, when in fact they are polluting the whole world. And in our own lives we need to call our sin what it is, “sin.” We have to stop acting like what we do doesn’t matter. It does. Will this make us stand out like sore thumbs? Be chided? Ridiculed? Shunned? Maybe. Probably. But now that’s the thing that doesn’t matter.
Until next time,