Summary: Riptide Series Week 3: Danger Strong Currents Speaks of our responsiblity to not only stay away from the pull of sin, but to be sure we aren’t leading others into it.
3. Danger Strong Current
This is week three of our Rip Tide series,
and this week we are going to talk about
the consequences of leading someone else
into the flow of a rip tide.
Now some of you said you were good swimmers,
and that’s great,
but I hope none of you would ever
try to test your swimming skills
and be foolish enough to swim into a rip tide
just to see if you can do it and get out again.
Maybe some of you think
you’re stronger and wiser
than the pull of the subtle rip-tide current,
and that you somehow you could swim into it
and not get sucked out to sea.
If you choose to be foolish enough to try it,
then I pray God’s mercy on your life.
I would have to call that a stupid move,
but hey, it’s your choice.
But here’s the big problem
you might not have thought about.
What if you were swimming towards the rip tide,
because despite all the warnings,
you really thought you could beat it,
but someone else who could not swim
as well as you,
or maybe they weren’t as strong as you,
but they saw you swimming toward that rip tide
and they followed you into the flow of the rip tide?
What would happen to them?
Let’s do a spiritual application of this:
What if there is someone in your life
who is easily influenced by you,
but even though you know that,
you still choose to swim into the current of sin?
That’s not only foolish on your part, it’s wrong.
Not only have you endangered your own life,
but you’ve endangered another life as well.
Sometimes I think we lose sight
of how precious life really is,
whether it be yours, or someone else’s.
God created life, and life is precious to God.
Let me tell you, you never want to be guilty
of putting any life in danger,
or causing harm, to your life, or someone else’s.
Don’t play around
with the miracle of life that God created.
He doesn’t approve of these kings of games.
Let’s look at what the Bible has to say
about our influence on other people.
Paul wrote the letter of I Corinthians,
and he addresses this very issue.
“Therefore, if what I eat
causes my brother to fall into sin,
I will never eat meat again,
so that I will not cause him to fall.”
Look back at verse 12
“When you sin against your brothers in this way
and wound their weak conscience,
you sin against Christ.” I Corinthians 8:12
Paul says he has chosen not do anything
that could cause someone else to fall.
Even though it was not sin for him to eat meat,
if it was going to cause someone else to sin,
then he had chosen not to do it himself.
He says when we cause other people to sin,
then we ourselves sin against Christ.
So even though eating meat
would not be wrong for Paul to do,
causing someone else to stumble,
would be sin for him.
Back to our Rip Tide application,
even if you were a good enough swimmer
to swim into the current of the Rip Tide,
and swim back out,
if it could cause anyone else to stumble and fall, because they tried it just because they saw you do it, then it’s wrong for you to do it.
Maybe that doesn’t seem fair to you.
You may ask
Why should I be held back
because of someone else’s weaknesses?
Because God said in Philippians 2:4 that we should … “look not only after our own interests,
but also after the interests of others.”
You’ve got to think about other people.
You do not live on an island,
and you can’t sin in a vacuum.
Don’t do anything that will cause yourself to fall,
or someone else to either.
It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Just don’t do it, Don’t do it.
The biggest influence you have on others,
is probably going to be on those
younger than yourself, and on those closest to you.
For parents, this would mean your children.
For teens and young adults,
that would mean the younger teens
and teeny boppers.
For you seniors, that would mean
those who are in my generation and younger.
And for everyone else,
anyone else in your own age group or younger.
We all influence other people,
whether you want to admit it or not.
One of the young men
who’s laying block on our house
has a younger helper working with him
who has the same length and style of hair-do,
and smokes the same little cigars as he does.
It’s kind of funny watching them work,