Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Myth of Casting Stones

*** The Myth of Casting Stones ***

Under the Old Covenant God (Yahweh) had made with Israel, the purpose of casting stones was to put to death somebody who was caught in sin. That was only done on the account of at least two witnesses. So no man could single-handedly be "casting stones" at another (Deuteronomy 17:6). And the law was given to teach that the outcome of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and that it had (still has) no place among the people of God (Deuteronomy 17:7; John 3:36; John 8:24; John 8:31-36; Acts 3:22-26; Hebrews 10:26-29).

2 Timothy 2:19
However God's firm foundation stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Let every one who names the name of the Lord depart from unrighteousness."

When someone's sin is exposed, that person doesn't die as a result, but rather that person may find the way of receiving God's mercy. Salvation or the "Good News" itself makes no sense if sin is not understood as the bad news that it is. So any true preaching of the gospel cannot get "politically correct" and skip the speaking against sin in order to share in some fake form of "love". Surely, hearing the truth may not be flattering, but only the truth saves, not flattery. Those who only regard as "love" the fact of being flattered and made to feel approved and accepted in their ways (they don't care if their ways are God's ways and don't care to change ), they will be offended at the hearing of the truth. But it is what it is. The truth is not to be twisted to suit someone's taste or lifestyle (Galatians 1:10).

2 Timothy 4:3-4
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

The message we preach must get the point across that the hearer has a responsibility to respond to God's call personally. He cannot "trust" in what Jesus has done and be saved while not following (obeying) Him has a disciple. That is a myth but it is what is taught by many false prophets that have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1): Come as you are, stay as you are, die as you are. Just get on board with a lifestyle that has nothing to do with receiving the new life Jesus died so man could have.

But the preaching of the truth by the power of the Holy Spirit brings conviction of sin as it happened in Acts 2 (verse 37), and then people will respond in true repentance and zeal to obtain nothing short of that great salvation from the ruin of sin.

John 16:8
And when He (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment

Isaiah 58:1
Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins.

How does exposing sin get equated to "casting stones" or killing someone in the minds of so many in this generation? Even as a metaphor, it makes no sense. And Jesus did speak many other words besides "Whoever is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her." (John 8:7), and he said it to stop hypocrisy, not to stop the truth from being preached!

What leads to death is the sin itself!

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

"Coming to Jesus" is the choice to obey Him, the Son, so to follow Him as a disciple, even this way: “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." (Luke 9:23) That obedience leads to doing the will of God (righteousness) rather than sinning and being on the broad road that leads to destruction.

John 3:36
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

Matthew 7:13-14
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14 For narrow is the gate and difficult is the road that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

So sin is exposed so people can repent and don't perish. But what we pray should die inside of them is their pride and rebellion against God, because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).

John 12:24-25
24 Truly, truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life.

Matthew 18:1-4
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

People can have different reactions at the preaching of repentance as Jesus commanded (Luke 24:47):

Some will humble themselves, repent and be saved (Acts 2:37-41 or 2 Corinthians 7:8-11);

some will say, "I will hear you some other time," like Felix (Acts 24:24-25) and may never get to that;

and some will rise up to do some actual "stone casting" themselves and kill the messenger/preacher of righteousness, as those who rose up against apostle Stephen (Acts 7:51-54, Acts 7:57-60), or they will be angry at their brother, which Jesus said is still the same as being guilty of murder (Matthew 5:21-22).

Repent or perish is Jesus' message (maybe it's not allowed on TV, be careful).

Luke 13:1-5
1 There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”


1 Corinthians 13:6
Love "doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth."

James 1:21-25
21 Therefore, putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with humility the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect Law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets, but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does.

James 4:7-10
7 Be subject therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament, mourn, and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you.


2 Corinthians 4:1-6
1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, even as we obtained mercy, we do not faint. 2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3 Even if our Good News is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing; 4 in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, to prevent the light shining from the Good News of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake; 6 seeing it is God who said, "Light will shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.


See also:
"Only God can judge me!"

Being Judgemental

Faith in Jesus

Abiding in the Teaching of Christ

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