When You Stumble
Slipping on a banana peel is supposed to be funny. Tripping as you’re going down the stairs, or as you’re hiking up a trail, or walking to the mailbox can be both embarrassing and physically harmful. But far worse than physically stubbing your toe or skinning your hand is stumbling spiritually.
Some churches teach that if you stumble, you may never get up – that by your own sinful choices you can fall from the faith and never reach heaven. But the reality is, if reaching heaven were up to us, we would fall! As a famous preacher said, “If we could lose our salvation, we would.”
I have been encouraged over the years by many Scriptures that assure me that my final destination is in His hands instead of mine.
Let me share one of these great promises about God’s keeping those who truly repent and put their trust in Jesus Christ alone. It comes from a small one-chapter book named Jude. Its author was, like James, a half-brother of the Lord Jesus. (Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3 list Jude – Judas – as one of Jesus’ brothers.)
Jude wrote about false teachers and how our faith is under attack. And he made the point that we must “contend for the faith” and not compromise. But at the end of his letter, he gives this glorious promise: Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)
After all our failures and victories, striving and contending, it is the Lord’s ability to keep us that is our hope. The Greek word for “keep” means to watch over in times of danger. Paul used the same word in 2 Thessalonians 3:3, where it is translated “guard”: But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.
No matter how hard you try, you’re not going to stand successfully in your own strength. This evil age is powerful. Thankfully victory comes from God’s overcoming power. He is able to keep you from stumbling!
And furthermore, He can present you blameless before Him. Blameless means that there is no ground for accusation. And how can that be? Because the Blameless One Himself, Jesus Christ, took your blame and punishment. So one day, when you are presented to Him, it will not be with shame and regret, but with great joy. Jude ends with a benediction: to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
He gets the all the glory and I get the assurance that he’ll bring me all the way Home.