Summary: Woe to the one who causes a Christian to stumble and fall
• A 104 year-old woman was being interviewed by a Christian reporter. The reporter asked, Is it easier or more difficult to live the Christian life the older you get. The lady thought for a second and said, “Well, there is less peer pressure!”
• If you have been a Christian for a short time or a long time, what is one of the toughest things you face each and every day?
• Getting out into the world. It is easy for a person to live for Jesus when we are sitting in the church because the environment is safe for us. Once we step out of these doors to go to our homes, jobs and other activities it gets tough because the world is pulling at us.
• People are subtly trying to get us to join in with them in what they are doing. Some people try to lead us down the wrong path on purpose because they take joy in seeing a Christian stumble, but I believe the majority of people just want company as they go down the wrong path of life.
• It seems as when things seem to be going well with us, something gets put in our path that trips us up. A stumbling block. Sometimes we see them and avoid them, but other times we do not and we trip over them. Some people fall so hard they never get up.
• There is a lot of pressure on Christians to conform to the world. The world is always trying to pull us away from God.
• Many times when we fall, we feel ashamed and we feel like we like we failed God to the point we never pick ourselves up and ask God for forgiveness, strength and help.
• When we give our lives to Jesus, we did it by choice. When we stumble, we do it by choice. Someone puts the stumbling block before us and we fall over it.
• As Jesus speaks about who is the greatest in the kingdom of God, He now turns His attention to the stumbling blocks that would cause a person who has given themselves to Jesus to fall away from Him.
• It is bad enough that the world would try to cause us to stumble, but even worse is when it comes from another “Christian.”
• Today we are going to look at why you do not want to be a stumbling block for a person who belongs to Jesus!
You do not want to be a stumbling block because:
I. CHRISTIANS ARE GOD’S SPECIAL CHILDREN (5)
• Notice how special Christian’s are to Jesus. He is saying that whenever we receive one, we are receiving Jesus Himself! Jesus is not speaking of little children, He is speaking of those who have humbled themselves and become one of His children.
• In profound terms, Jesus affirmed this amazing reality to His disciples, “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and the one who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me” (Luke 10:16; cf. John 13:20). When Saul was persecuting Christians, the Lord confronted him on the Damascus Road with the words, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4).
• Paul was persecuting the church, yet Jesus asked him why he was persecuting Jesus?
• All over the New Testament we are told that Christians are part of the body of Christ.
• When you mess with a Christian you are messing with Jesus. You are messing with the body of Christ!
• When we sin, in a sense Jesus is there with us, His name is stained, much in the same way we bring shame on our family when we do something bad.
• 1CO 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be!
• His name is dragged through the mud and His work is hindered when His people sin, just as His heart is blessed when His people are received.
• The word “receive” comes from a word which means to deliberately and readily take something or someone to oneself. The term was often used of welcoming honored guests and meeting their needs with special attention and kindness. Jesus’ primary point here is that the way a person, believer or unbeliever, treats Christians is the way he treats Jesus Christ. When anyone welcomes with an open heart a Christian as an honored guest and friend, he welcomes Christ as his guest and friend. When he treats any Christian with tenderness and kindness, he treats Christ in the same way.
• If you belong to Jesus you are special. God still loves everyone else, but if you are a Christian, you are special to Jesus.