"He said to His disciples, 'Hard trials and temptations are bound to come, but too bad for whoever brings them on! Better to wear a millstone necklace and take a swim in the deep blue sea than give even one of these dear little ones a hard time.'" Luke 17:1,2 (The Message).
Do we ever ignore this warning! Why is it that we fall into this trap so easily? We live in an interactive world. No-one is an island, and no-one functions in isolation. It was God's intention to create an entire universe that functioned together as one as the greatest expression of His nature.
God is one - echad, unity in diversity. There are sects and religions that take pride in their 'monotheism', denying the plurality of the Godhead from the mistaken idea that one God implies a single entity rather that a unity of essence and nature. The name, God, is a term that refers to a species, in the same way as 'man' or 'dog' refers to a species. Within the species are a myriad varieties but their essence is the same.
There are many gods in the world but they are the creation of man's imagination and are therefore the reflection of human nature. They are often cruel, capricious, unpredictable, dictatorial and demanding. But, according to the Bible, "This is what the Lord says - Israel's King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty.’I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who is like me?'" Isaiah 44:6.7a (NIV).
God's being is expressed in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are one in nature and essence but separate and distinct with different functions, one in purpose, not three gods, but one God. Jesus could say, even in His earthly human form, 'I and the Father are one,' and of the Holy Spirit He said, 'But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth...He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.' John 16:13,15 (NIV).
What is the implication? When God created man in His image, He made a being that was one with Himself, reflecting His nature and fulfilling His purpose, to be part of a unified universe that reflects His nature and glorifies Him.
Therefore, like the issue of adultery which we have already discussed, to do anything that disrupts that unity is to challenge the power that holds the universe together. What happens between individuals sets a chain reaction in motion that affects families, communities and nations.
Man chose to violate than unity when he followed the lies of the devil at the beginning. Now we live in a world that has been torn apart by disunity. Selfishness, greed and wickedness rip families and communities apart and create misery and suffering everywhere.
Take for example the wars that have decimated nations and are still destroying people's lives today. Nations on every continent are at war, ruining cities, tearing up society and devastating families. Why? Selfishness and greed! Yet Jesus warned, 'Don't you be the cause of it.' He takes this matter so seriously that He said it would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a grinding stone around his neck than to put a stumbling block in the way of the nobodies, the ones He called 'the little ones'.
To do that, wittingly or unwittingly, is to deny the very nature of God which does no harm to Him but does terrible damage and destruction to us. We are only fully human when we are one with the Creator of the universe, and that takes the miracle of God's forgiveness and grace, through Jesus Christ, to begin the process.
But it's your choice...
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