Take Ye Away The Stone —


Is it possible for Christians to drive people away from God?

The question here is not, “Can we persuade a person to be saved?” It is God who gives “the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6). The question here is, “Is there anything Christians might be doing that gives Our Lord a bad name, putting an obstacle in their way?” Jesus said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18), but is there anything that we might be doing to hinder His work?

When He brought Lazarus back to life, Jesus said, “Take ye away the stone.” Why is that? It takes no miracle to move that stone, so that is our job. God is the One who brings the dead to life. Are we failing in our part of the job when we are inconsiderate of the way we treat people? Yes, we need to do what’s right, but how we go about it, our methods, can make a big difference in how people respond.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

For example, doing the right thing, in a heartless way, can be harmful to others.

1 Corinthians 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

The following are just a few examples of ways that Christians have been repelling people away from Jesus, rather than attracting them. Not that this was the intent, but this was the perception. Can we expect unbelievers to see through to the true intent?

  • Giving the impression that Christians are better than non-Christians.
  • Responding with trite answers to sincere questions.
  • Flippant responses to tragedy. Even though our words may be truly accurate, the delivery can seem cold hearted. This does not present the whole picture, thus it is misleading.
  • Confusing the message by using Christian jargon.
  • Angry or hateful treatment of unbelievers.
  • The way Christians mistreat each other.
  • Misrepresenting the teachings of the Bible (2 Peter 2:2).

As a side note, why did Jesus command mere humans to open the tomb of Lazarus, but His own tomb was opened by God sending angels? Good question. Perhaps it was because the tomb of Jesus was sealed by the government, so a Higher Authority needed to step in.

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