Rock of Offense or Rock of Ages

32 …. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 just as it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed” (Romans 9).

For my “Bachelor’s Party” on the eve of my wedding day, I remember spending the evening sharing the Gospel with two guys I had grown up with, who were yet unbelievers.  When I was through, one of them said to me, “Chip, that just sounds ‘too pat.’”  He rejected the Gospel, and to this day continues to remain lost in his agnostic worldview.

“You can’t please everybody” is a slogan that fits the gospel to a T.  It just won’t please everyone who hears it.  No matter how appealing we may present it, to some it will always sound foolish, weak, judgmental, dull, or irrelevant.  No matter how kindly and softly and gently we present it, some will still stub their toe on it.  Some will let you talk about religion all day long, but the moment they hear the name Jesus Christ, along with the exclusivity of His gospel, well, that is when the conversation ends.  He and His Gospel are a stumbling block.

Yet for those fortunate ones like us, by the grace of God we have not seen Jesus as a Rock of Offense, but rather as The Rock of Ages — a shelter against both God’s wrath, as well as the storms of life.  We didn’t stumble over the Gospel as much as we stumbled into it, fully embracing Jesus as the Savior we desperately need.  And we have never been disappointed.

Lord, thank You for being our Rock of Ages instead of a Rock of Offense!  Thank You for never disappointing us, even though countless times we have disappointed You.  Help us This Day to lean on You as our Solid Rock, and to share You with others, knowing that some will still reject You as a Rock of Offense.  Amen.