Are You Ashamed of That Stumbling Block?

by Mike Ratliff

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16 ESV)

Currently, the Truth is under serious assault by the enemies of anyone and anything that has any claim of it holding the quality of being absolute. That means that those cars we see all over our metro areas with those cute little bumper stickers made up of religious symbols that spell out the word “COEXIST” as seen in the image below are attempts to say that there is no such thing as absolute truth. They are saying that whatever is true for one person is okay as long as that person respects what is true for another person even if these “truths” are completely contradictory. The absurdity of this is apparent to anyone with any ability to reason, but as we have seen, post-modern thinkers do not think logically.

With this in mind my brethren, let is turn our minds to the Gospel and our faith. The Gospel is meant to be an offense, a stumbling block to the natural man. It is meant to be unbelievable. This is why it is absurd for the church growth movement to go to the lengths they do to try to sanitize it in order to draw people into their churches. Well, they can do that, but the gospel they use is not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I highly recommend that you watch the video below of a sermon by Paul Washer in which he makes these points very clear.

26 thoughts on “Are You Ashamed of That Stumbling Block?

  1. I just saw a car today with COEXIST and PEACE stickers–both with the religious symbols and I wondered, exactly how would the person define “peace” or even “co-exist”? I mean, its not like Christians are persecuting anyone, so they must have something else in mind. I wondered how that person would respond.

    Knowing liberals as I do, they want peace and co-existance only if we either agree with them OR we shut up and not tell them they are wrong. That’s really how they define it…perhaps that’s something we should bring up with people who have those stickers. Its also an opening to how God defines real peace, etc…and to proclaim that peace and co-existance is an impossiblity with Islam in particular.

    Anyway, great timing with this post! Truth is offensive because it strikes at the heart of man’s pride and calls him to account for violating God’s laws.

    2Co 2:15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?

  2. Timely post, Mike – I was actually behind this bumper sticker yesterday and nearly wrote about it. In addition to COEXIST, they also had an interesting PEACE bumper sticker with the same play on religions, as well as this one, “FREEDOM OF RELIGION MEANS ALL RELIGIONS”.

    Granted, that simple statement is true as far as our U.S. Constitution is concerned (and rightly so), but the context behind it, or at least in context with this driver’s other bumper stickers, only led me to think they believe all religions are valid. After all, who is anyone to say one is correct (especially Christianity)?

    It made me sad to think how widespread this deception is. In the name of Universal Reconciliation, many a soul will be damned.

    hhmmm….I think I just might still write that article. Looking forward to watching the PW video – thanks, brother!

  3. I agree that the true Gospel is incompatible with all other religions. This should be evident to any true Christian, and in most cases the opposition is clear and honest enough to plainly admit to areas of disagreement.

    Where I am concerned, many current problems are connected with the religion that compounds lie upon lie to try and remove Christian defenses that should stay up permanently.

    Who did Jesus attack? He struck at the heart of evil, the Pharisees and their self written law of the Talmud. This is why the modern version as Zionism, and the secret societies based on the Kabbalah concern me. So many Christians have been seduced down this deceptive path of arrogance, including me.

    The difference is that I was able to realize that there was something very wrong. As I researched history and tragic events, the truth kept slapping me awake.

    There were lies based on scripture taken out of context to support a political agenda. Jesus Christ was ignored completely as the Way to salvation. A broken covenant was deceptively glued back together, and people believed because they wanted to feel superior to the point of being able to murder, steal, and destroy in the name of god. They wanted to be the apple of god’s eye, not seeming to care that they now had a new god of Judaism.

    As a Christian, I want to be fair, but my fear of being too focused on Zionism is gone, because it directly opposes Jesus Christ and all He stands for. They can lie, and lie again, but it is already written that Babylon (Jerusalem) will eventually pay for the blood of all saints lost in the world. (See Pastor TexeMarrs.com site for details.)

    Revelation 18:20,-25 (King James Version)

    20Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

    21And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. ..

    24And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

    Christians not only need to keep the true Gospel, but need to end support of Zionism that has resulted in the wreck of America we have today. Research yourself as to who was just appointed to the Supreme Court, and who is filling every other appointed position in the federal government. It is not true Christians, nor christians in name only.

  4. Hal, if our focus is on anything but Jesus, His glory and our place in His Kingdom then we have it wrong. Let us get it right and all of that other stuff will not be found to be with us at all.

  5. Dear Brother Mike,
    Thank you so very much for sharing that. Wow…I am one of those people who God mercifully saved in spite of my decision for Christ. This video is so spot on. I cried. And thanked our Father, who is mighty to save, that His will be done. And prayed for more men who will boldly proclaim His Truth. And thanked Him again that all that the Father has given to Christ will come.
    Now, if I could only figure out a way to show this video to the pastor…..I’m afraid he and a lot of folks at our “building” are in the same condition that I was in. And I pray more now for the souls of the lost than I ever did…..
    SDG!
    Angie

  6. Angie,

    Don’t worry my sister, I was there too before God reached out and turned me around. It was rough. I resisted. I am still in process as you probably know. This humbling process is the price we have to pay for standing on the front lines, being used by Him in the Truth War. It is necessary in order that we become more useful. We can even take pride in our humbling… What a piece of work our pride is… In any case, be prepared for a lot of resistance to that message. It is the truth so most will hate it. The lies are deeply entrenched in the visible church and our enemy is working very hard to keep his people blind to the truth.

    I found that message to be one of the most edifying I have heard in a while. I fear that so many are focusing on the coexist stuff instead of listening to it though. I am glad that you listened to it though. Pass it to as many as you can. We need to get this word out.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  7. I think the toughest situation of all in combating descional evangelism is with friends and family. They will often look at your objection, however scriptural, as alien, even heretical. “Why wouldn’t you want someone to make a decision for Jesus?!?!?” Well, because Jesus Christ is the Decider, not us! He’s not a car you test drive to see if you like it. We’re to repent and believe, not give our vote for Jesus.

    The disdain can be very palpable, even from people you would least expect it. But once we ‘decide’, we’ll always ‘decide’. We’ll decide what to obey and what not, we’ll decide if God really means what He says, etc. And trusting in a human decision is such insanity, your eternal fate hanging on a moment in time instead of a God-changed life.

  8. Hi Mike :-D
    Great writing as always – Praise the Lord!

    I just came across this post from the Washington Times from 5 April – http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/05/interfaith-movement-gains-new-strength/print/.

    One of the greatest subtlety of the Interfaith movement for me, is that we as Christians, are imposed upon by these folks with their sense of horror and outrage at our ‘human awfulness towards them’ by not accepting the ‘we-can-find-unity-and god-in-all-religions’. It is humanism at its most severe and surely its ugliest.

    Our natural response in the flesh to this, will want to and try its best to leave us feeling guilty and ashamed that we will not accept this and go along with them. It kind of ‘slides/slithers’ into your mind and again, is Satan up to his old tricks in the garden, “Did God really say….?” That is why our relationship daily with the Lord has to be Him leading us in absolutely everything and us fully surrendered to Him in all.

    We are and will become, even more hated for standing firm on God’s Word and that is why it is so needful to know what He says about this topic, to know fully in Whom our salvation rests and why there is no other way or means for man to be saved, other than God’s way – the way of the cross, without any ‘help’ from man.

    What the modern Evangelicals, Emergents and the others miss altogether, is that it takes God’s love in us, for them, to speak the Truth out of us and not hate, as we are so often accused of. It is God’s Holy Spirit that convicts and brings to repentance, not us, but they of course do not see this.

    Being a Christian in the face of a world that wants none of God, takes His courage. We hear more and more on a daily basis how street preachers and people of God are becoming statistics, when not that long ago, it was a norm, to speak the name of Jesus on a street corner in the USA or the UK even, or in an informal meeting, calling SINNERS to REPENT. Nowadays, those words could get you arrested. But God is faithful to His children. We need not be afraid of them. There may/will come a time I believe, when our lives may be required of us for making this stand, but in Matthew 10:28 we are told,
    “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Once we surrender to the Lord and lose the human love for our lives with His help, we can move freely for Him. As long as we are holding onto our lives, we are in a sense, our own stumbling blocks.

    As you well know, in much of the visible church, the Truth of the Gospel has been so terribly perverted along the way of the later part of the 20th century and into this one, that the name of ‘jesus’ has been so diluted and humanised as to have no true recognition to the real Lord Jesus and therefore has no life-giving/saving power and that is why they gaily and willingly join hands in this Interfaith movement that will gain strength in the days to come. Once you compromise…

    The Jews and the Christians will become stand alones as God knew they would.

    Bless you

  9. Brian, yes, and the reason it is such insanity is because what the Bible clearly describes as the Heart of Man being so incredibly wicked, “Who can know it?” Therefore, we cannot trust in our “decisions.” We must be regenerated and walk by faith, not by sight continually being humbled, et cetera so that we can commune with our Triune God.

  10. Steph, Amen my sister, thanks for that link. We are most certainly at that time aren’t we. We are living in those “Jaw Dropping” sense of horror and outrage that anyone would stand against their apostasy, that we would point to the exclusivity of Christ and the Gospel. Well, I think we are SO CLOSE to this stance costing us our jobs, our lives, our freedom, et cetera. Take courage my sister. We are told in the Word not to worry about what to say when that time comes. The Holy Spirit would give us the words to speak. I for one am awaiting that step across the threshold.

  11. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for sharing this video. I watched it last year. He has a few other videos also in which he presents this decision salvation as well. It sure did describe me, unfortunately.
    The joy of the Lord surely is our strength, right Mike? The joy that comes from knowing what He has done for us and that we are no longer in darkness. Our future hope and joy are in those words He spoke saying that He has prepared a place for us so that we may always be where He is.
    That promise is sure to lead me back to joy even while sad and grieved at the same time…at the current events of the world, the Christian church we see and its leaders what it is promoting and even my own daily life events.
    May God richly bless you today.

  12. 1 Corinthians 12:3 KJV
    “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”

    Thank you, Mike, for saying what needs to be said.
    I, too, expect persecution from “the bretheren” who have been badly taught and/or decieved by false teachers as to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

  13. The wicked will become more wicked and the righteous will be more righteous. Either you are for Him or against Him, there is no in-between. I never thought I’d live to see the day where we are currently. Good post Mike.

  14. John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

    Pretty exclusive claims. I think I will take Him at His word! Thanks Mike!

  15. This one has me thinking rings around myself… Certainly the words of Christ are the pure truth, but should that which is true not be obvious to all who hear it? If so, then would it not be better to be as inclusive as possible, in the sense that we must do whatever it takes to allow his words to flow out to everyone, even if it means we must let their words flow in? Of course any teaching that goes against the words of Christ must be opposed, but will this opposition not come willingly from within the hearts of everyone who has heard his words? Or are we mortals really that easily led astray that falsehoods can be sown in our hearts without difficulty? I’m not afraid to say that I am deeply uncertain about this one…

  16. Michael,

    It is the Holy Spirit who takes the Gospel and applies it to the heart. Any other message is not used. Any other action by man is not salvation.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  17. But would someone not be more likely to desire the Spirit after discovering the words and actions the Son? Is it not possible, for some people at least, that the Gospel has such a ring of consistency and truth to it that it is applied to their hearts on its own merits? Jesus had a great many followers before God’s gift of the Spirit. And even if we begin with the smallest faith in His word, are we not shown its power through the results of implementing it in our daily lives, thereby strengthening our faith in a virtuous cycle? I know it is a narrow path, but is it not also one that, once experienced, you miss with all your heart when you stray from it? I am so sorry for all the questions, I can only say that your feedback is appreciated more than you know…

  18. Michael,

    No one is saved unless the Holy Spirit first regenerates that person. God draws them and they believe in response to THE GOSPEL. There is no other way. Man is DEAD, DOA without this. All the false preaching in the world only creates false converts. Period. Understand?

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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