Reward and Regret

In two short verses: Mark 9:41-42, Jesus gives an example of reward and of regret: “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in Me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” Whatever else we might glean from this teaching, two promises emerge in sharp contrast to each other. In verse 41, Jesus promises a reward to those who bless those who belong to Him. The nature of the reward is not revealed but it will be well worth receiving. Those who offend children who believe in Jesus (and perhaps new-born Christians) would be better off, if they were drowned before they did such a thing. The implied regret that they face is in the context of the horror of Hell. (Verses 43-48). God takes mistreatment of His children very seriously. Instead of hindering children or new Christians, heed Thomas Hasting’s wise words in his hymn, “Forbid Them Not, the Savior Cried.” This is what he wrote: “Forbid them not,” the Saviour cried, “but suffer them to come;” ah, then maternal tears were dried, and unbelief was dumb. Lord, we believe, and we obey; we bring them at Thy Word; be Thou our children’s strength and stay, their portion and reward. Let not earth’s pleasures draw them down; Lord, give them strength to rise, and thro’ Thy strong, attractive pow’r, at last to gain the prize.” Selah!  It is dangerous to discourage or hinder a child or new believer in their developing faith. It is also wise indeed to be good to God’s people.   Ron

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