Are you stumbling over Yeshua? We may not fall prey to sexual sins or murder, but we can fall prey to offense?
Corinthians 1:23 - "but we preach the Messiah crucified. He is a stumbling block to Jews and nonsense to gentiles," (ISV)
Matthew 11:1-6 - "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." (KJV)
The Greek word used for “offended” in verse 6 and the word stumblingblock in the prior scripture come from the same Greek word Skandalon. The word means a snare, a noose or a trap, to cause to stumble, to trip up, cause to sin, apostasy or displeasure or to fall into a scandalous act. It means to feel annoyed or hurt by something or what someone did or said. If we are not careful satan will ensnare or trap us through offence, and this can cause us to begin to do our will and not God's, and can cause us to have feelings of : anger, resentment, wrath and criticism.
In the Bible we are told about John the Baptist and how he had seen and heard the voice of God declaring Yeshua to be the One. What is going on? John was offended, or had stumbled, been snared, by displeasure or offense in Yeshua because perhaps things were not turning out the way he had planned. Yeshua had not come to deliver him from prison. Maybe that is what caused John to take offense.
Do we ever fall into that category? Do things sometimes not work out the way we planned? They stumbled when Yeshua did not do things the way they expected in the first century.
If we are living as that last generation, we could become ensnared in the trap of stumbling or being offended at Yeshua by the things that will transpire in these last days.
Matthew 24:10 – speaking of the last days. “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”
The last days will have the tendency, to not only bring offense from one another, but, like John, offense at Yeshua and what He is doing.
What do we do when God does something that we don’t understand? What do we do when a fellow believer does something that we don’t understand?
I Peter 2:6-8 "Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 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." (KJV)
"Disobedient to the Word?" None of us here might think this applies to us. None of us interpret all of the scriptures right or have perfect understanding. We must be open to learn from the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and allow Him to teach us some things that we don’t understand, or maybe experience some super-natural things that we have never experienced before, and that we didn’t think were real.
What are the dangers of offense? (I am mainly speaking of offense at Yeshua because I think this might be a problem in these last days.)
1. Stops the blessing of God in our lives
2. Cuts us off from the power of God in our lives
3. If left unchecked it can destroy one’s destiny.
4. Breaks down one’s defenses, and leaves a person vulnerable to attacks from satan.
Signs One is offended
1. Withdrawal from relationships and fellowship with others who are like-minded.
2. Resentment – with God. Consumes you of joy and peace of the mind. It possesses a self destructive power. Resentment can often lead to bitterness which then leads to fatigue, backaches, ulcers, high blood pressure, etc.
5. Unanswered Prayers
6. Rebellion against Yahweh and His Word
9. Lack of faith
When we focus on God He can turn our situation and circumstances around, but not if we are offended.
There is one THING that He laid on my heart as a cure for offense, regardless of what Yeshua does or doesn’t do in these last days, that thing is LOVE. Perfect LOVE.
I John 4:18 - "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (KJV)
I Corinthians 13: 1-8 and 13 - "If I speak in the languages of humans and angels but have no love, I have become a reverberating gong or a clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can understand all secrets and every form of knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains but have no love, I am nothing. Even if I give away everything that I have and sacrifice myself, but have no love, I gain nothing. Love is always patient; love is always kind; love is never envious or arrogant with pride. Nor is she conceited, and she is never rude; she never thinks just of herself or ever gets annoyed. She never is resentful; is never glad with sin; she's always glad to side with truth, and pleased that truth will win. She bears up under everything; believes the best in all; there is no limit to her hope, and never will she fall. Love never fails. Now if there are prophecies, they will be done away with. If there are languages, they will cease. If there is knowledge, it will be done away with. ...Right now three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." (ISV)
Without true, undying, genuine, deep, abiding LOVE for the Father and His son Yeshua we can stumble, be ensnared, or even be led away into apostasy during these last days.