“Sticks And Stones….”

Posted: November 26, 2010 in 2 Timothy, Bible Prophecy, Bible Study, Christian Life, Cults, Death, Fathers, Japan, Rapture, Resurrection, Salvation, Security

  “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names and faces can’t hurt me.”  Do you believe that?  I don’t.  Names and faces can and do hurt us emotionally.

  Good Pain.  Believe it or not, “There is good in pain, privation, suffering, and bereavement.  They correct evil, prevent evil, develop character, produce enterprise, sympathy, and prepare for eternity.”  God uses some of these things to chasten His true children for their good and His glory (Hebrews 12:5-8; John 8:44).  The wicked who seem to get away with murder will have their day in the court of Judge Jesus (Revelation 20:11-15).

  Bullies.  You can find them in schools and in the work place.  I encountered one when I was in the eighth grade.  The bully was a sophomore (a wise fool).  He used to pick on me all the time until I got exasperated and challenged him to a fight.  Scared?  You bet I was.

  Missionary Kids.  Imagine this.  Two missionary kids living in Japan going at it as a crowd of other students watched.  I was sure my face would be disfigured and rearranged when it was all over.  But I had never had an occasion to put into practice what I had been learning in my Judo classes.  To my surprise and his embarrassment I pinned him in a matter of seconds.  That was the extent of my “fighting career.”  That night I snuck into the house to make sure my dad didn’t find out about it.  I knew I’d be in big trouble if he did.

   A Good Father“He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 28:13).  Read that again.  “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him” (King Solomon, Proverbs 22:15).

  Persecution.  Religious persecution has gone on for eons.  Rather than trying to convert others with the use of words, many religious groups have resorted to the sword to bring about the conversion of others.  We deplore such methods.  Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ.  It is not of works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

  Hatred.  Have you ever wondered why the religious Jews hated the Apostle Paul? After all, he was a Jew himself, and had been a Pharisee.  It seems like everywhere he went there was a riot and/or revival.  Some Jewish leaders hated him because he taught that Jesus was God manifested in human flesh (Philippians 2:5-11), and that salvation was by grace through faith in Him alone, and not by their works of righteousness (Titus 3:5).  They thought Jesus couldn’t be God because He didn’t measure up to their particular expectations (John 8:41-59; 1 Corinthians 1:23).  They wanted a conquering King to deliver them from Rome’s oppression, not a suffering Savior who would end up crucified on a cross.  They also hated Paul because he offered salvation to the Gentiles (non-Jews) without their becoming proselyte Jews first (Acts 15:5; 22:18, 19).  This really irritated them.

  Resurrection.  Paul’s insistence that the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ be included in the Gospel message also got him into trouble (2 Timothy 2:8, 9).  You might ask, “Why?”  The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ ensures other resurrections.  His is the first sample of other bodily resurrections to follow.  Death doesn’t end everything.  Unbelievers are not annihilated at death as some cults teach, nor are people reincarnated into another life (Hebrews 9:27).  Some day every human being, who has ever been conceived, will be raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:22-24). Do you know in which one of the five resurrections you will participate?  You better make sure it’s not the last one or you’ll be in big trouble (Revelation 20:11-15).

  Abortion.  Think about all the babies that have been aborted in their mother’s womb.  Do you think God isn’t aware of such things?  He is omniscient and omnipotent.  In the Old Testament times the Gentiles and rebellious Jews took their live babies and threw them into the fire to offer their children to their idols (2 Chronicles 28:3).  All of them will be raised from the dead someday.  What will they have to say to those who hurt and aborted them?  Yes, judgment day is coming (Hebrews 9:27).  God will take vengeance on all unrepentant sinners who refused the pardon He offers to sinners like you and me (Romans 12:19).

  Truth Hurts.  When your doctor tells you that you have cancer, it brings pain into your soul (emotions).  But when he tells you there is a cure, you get hope.  When someone tells you that you are in danger of going to hell, you might be offended.  But when he shows you from the Bible how to avoid that awful place, it ought to make you happy.  Instead, some people get mad when they are told that this deliverance from hell can only be gained by faith, not by their good works.  Man wants to earn his own way to heaven but it can’t be done.  Nor does he want to admit that he deserves to go to hell.  He is proud, self righteous, and thinks he is pretty good.

  How Bad?  Have you ever wondered what God thinks about mankind?  It isn’t pretty (Romans 3:10-23).  True, we’re not all as bad as we could be.  But we’re all as “bad off” as we can be until we have Christ’s perfect righteousness put to our account (Romans 4:24).  At his point I realize that some of you may be thinking, “He is crazy.”  That’s what others, including Christ’s half brothers said about Him too (Mark 3:21).  God’s simple plan of salvation seems foolish to the natural, self sufficient man (1 Corinthians 2:14).  What about you?  Are you sinless?  I’m not.  That’s why I need a sinless Savior to be my substitute.

  Sticks And Stones.  On several occasions the Apostle Paul was beaten with rods and once he was stoned to death.  But God resuscitated him after giving him a glimpse of Paradise (2 Corinthians 11:24, 25; 12:1-5).

  Suffering.  Have you ever suffered for being a Christian?  Many people have been tortured for Christ and many more will be mistreated in the future.  Jesus suffered the most as He bore our sins on the cross.  After being dead for three days, He rose again bodily from the grave never to die again (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).  Presently He is seated at God the Father’s right hand in heaven (Acts 2:33).  Jesus is waiting for those whom the Father has given to Him to believe on Him and be saved.  Then He will come back for the true believers and raise the dead in Christ from the grave to be with Him forever (John 6:37; 14:1-3).  Are you in or out of that group?  How secure are you?

  Need Help?  I’m grateful to God that someone helped me see the light.  If you aren’t sure you will go to heaven the moment you die, we’d be happy to help you.  Call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at http://www.kelseypeach.com. 

  This article corresponds to one of our talks on Sundays at the Grace Baptist Church, 535 Creston Road in Paso Robles.  We also have “Discussion Questions” we use to amplify these thoughts during our Bible studies in the middle of the week.  Ask about them.

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