Thursday, March 12, 2015


When my wife and I were in Upper Michigan this past fall we climbed Sugarloaf Mountain. It's not really a "mountain" but there is quite a view from the top!

On our way up to the top we noticed a tree growing out of a large rock kind of like the one shown below. How in the world could a tree grow right out of the rock like that. Well, go back in time a little bit. That tree wasn't always so large. It once was just a little seedling, searching for a way to grasp hold of the world in which it lives. As a small seed it sent roots out in search for soil, moisture, anything that would give it life. And when it found it in a small crack or opening, the seedling grew and grew into the tree we see today. But look at what happened to the rock along the way. It cracked! And in the future, the rock will totally split apart through outside forces (roots and water, freezing and thawing) that came into the rock, split it and ultimately will divide it.

I would like to use this tree, and the rock it actually caused to split, as an analogy for something very sad that is happening in today's church. Apostasy.

That sounds like such a nasty word. How could anything bad be going on in our churches? That's where God is. Anyone who goes to church is a good person, right? Right?

Let's go back to the beginning of the church. They spent time together exhorting one another in the teachings of Jesus. When anyone preached something different than what Jesus taught they were rebuked and corrected. In the Book of Galatians Paul talked about a time when he rebuked Peter (Cephas).

"11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” - Galatians 2:11-14

Sometimes I think I am too critical of the churches I attend. I analyze every word I hear to make sure it lines up with the truth of God’s Word. I question things. I send e-mails to pastors. But you know something ? I think we are SUPPOSED to do that.

"10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." - Acts 17:10-11

As Christians we are called to “be holy”  (Leviticus 11:44). Holy means “set apart.” Scripture tells us exactly what we are to believe and why. We are not to be adding things or deleting unpleasant scripture because it might be offensive. There are some churches that embrace homosexuality for example, despite it being contrary to God’s Word. This is wrong. When the Pope comes out and says that all sinners, even atheists, can get into heaven, he is sending the wrong message, contrary to the message Jesus brought to his church. Anyone who brings a different Gospel is to be called an antichrist. Am I sawing that the Pope is an antichrist? Yes I am, because he choses to deliver a message contrary to scripture.

"18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour." - 1 John 2:18

If we are to keep the rock, our church, intact throughout the years, we need to keep the trees and the weeds from taking hold in it and breaking us apart. Beware of entertainment in our churches. Examine every word that is preached. Ask questions of your pastor. Pray for your church and its leaders. They have a tough job, they need our help and prayers. Question when the secular world starts wriggling its way in the cracks. Mortar up the beaches in the church walls with the Word of God and hold off the attacks of the evil one who longs to come inside and make YOUR church his own.

This analogy, however, goes deeper than our churches. It applies to our souls as well. We must watch what we allow to enter our thoughts, our conversations, our eyes and our hearts. Every thought must be held captive or those tiny cracks will develop. If we allow sin to get a hold in our lives we will end up split in two, just like the rock my wife and I witnessed.

"19 And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book." - Revelation 22:19

Jesus is the solid rock. There are no cracks in Him. There were and there never will be. Place your trust and hope in Him. In so doing, He will fill the cracks in your life and make you whole in the eyes of God.

On The Solid Rock I Stand

No comments:

Post a Comment