Our Challenge

In the broad scope of biblical accounts, a very important challenge emerges for those who truly seek to please God, and that is the issue of offenses.

Consider what Jesus said in this regard:

“‘Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!’” (Matthew 18:7);

“‘But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea’” (Mark 9:42).

We cannot be pleasing God when we offend people through our wrong actions. Jesus, in these statements of His, characterizes the world and how people now live. However, He also is firmly warning His followers to separate themselves from behaving in ways that offend.

The apostle Paul addresses how we are to live our lives as followers of Jesus Christ when issues do arise, and he states, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).

Solomon also wrote of the serious consequences of offenses:

“A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle” (Proverbs 18:19).

Our challenge is to diligently avoid offenses if at all possible. That means we must be the ones to do the right thing—with the hope that the godly way will triumph. This approach applies whether we might be the source or the object of offenses.

We know that Jesus Christ’s actions and teachings caused some people to take offense (compare Matthew 11:6; 13:57; 15:12). Even among those who initially followed Him, the majority ended up rejecting Him (compare John 6:60-71).

Over the many years, some members within the Church of God have come to a point where, for any number of reasons, they have also rejected Jesus Christ and God’s calling. That has remained true from the beginning, and it is a truth that we still do and will face. Jesus warned of this occurrence—especially culminating in these last days:

“‘And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another’” (Matthew 24:10).

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