I came to know the Lord when I was a child.
If you have ever heard my testimony, you will know that there is a lot of stuff in my past. Most of that bad stuff happened after I turned 15.
When a Christian stumbles, does it mean that they are not saved? What does it mean to other believers? What does it mean for them? What happens next?
Over the next few days, we are going to take a look at some scripture that will hopefully answer questions that arise when a Christian stumbles. Today, we are going to talk about the initial things that come up. Over the next few days, we’ll talk about responsibility, repentance, reconciliation, and restarting.
When a Christian stumbles in a big way, they don’t stumble alone. Initially, we – not just family and friends, but other Christians too – are all in shock. The closer we felt they were to God, the bigger the shock.
Every Christian that knows about it hurts on some level. It hurts the reputation of Christians everywhere – the stereotype if you will. It gives those folks who would say, “All Christians are . . . “ a little more ammunition. That is important – if for no other reason – because it may dissuade someone from becoming a Christian. If we truly love our Christian brothers and sisters, we will surely feel some level of hurt for all of those close to the situation. It hurts the family and friends the most because it is disappointing. The more public a situation is made, the more embarrassment is suffered. And obviously, the person who stumbled will also suffer. It’s a bad situation all the way around.
Was that Christian really a Christian? Yes, if they had believed on Jesus as their Savior.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Why did they stumble? We all stumble. Sin is sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1 John 1:8-10
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:1-2
Today’s challenge is to look at your life. Are you putting yourself into a situation where you may fall into sin or give the appearance of evil? Ask God to reveal any of those types of situations to you. Often they can be hard to see.
Pray for any that you know who have stumbled. Pray for them to turn back to God. Pray for them to be able to pick themselves back up. Pray for your own attitude toward them. Pray for their family and friends. Pray for Christians everywhere to be strong in the faith.