1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. (KJV)
1Pe 2:8 and a stumbling-stone and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. (NET Bible)
The wicked stumble at the Scriptures (The New Topical Textbook, subheading under the main heading “The Scriptures,” page 240).
There are many who stumble at the Scriptures. They cannot understand the Bible correctly because they do not obey it, as so clearly expressed above by the NET Bible.
Most striking, and terrifying, is the fact that the Greek word underlying the English words “being disobedient” means unpersuasable. Think about it! If you are so committed to your belief, your position, that you will not change no matter what the evidence to the contrary, you are in BIG trouble. The same Greek word appears at John 3:36, “he that believeth not” shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. Some translations read “he that obeyeth not,” which is a step in the right direction. But the word means unpersuasable. Are you unable to be persuaded when you are faced with irrefutable evidence, evidence that proves your belief or understanding is wrong? To be stuck in a wrong opinion is dangerous indeed (Proverbs 29:1).
We all should be willing to change our mind about something, that is, to correct our mistaken opinion, based on new and better evidence.
There are those who in public and political life as well as in personal life who simply do not care to take the Bible, the Word of God, into consideration.
They are engaged in suppressing the truth to carry out their agenda of falsehood and wickedness (Romans 1:18). Those who support Sodomy disobey the Scripture, and of course are against the Scripture.
Those who support so-called “gay rights” are likewise disobedient to Scripture (2 Chronicles 19:2).
Those who support so-called “same-sex marriage” are likewise in violation of Scripture, and knowingly reject what God has said in His written Word, the Bible on this issue (Matthew 19:4, 5, 6).
Some governments have declared that to support and proclaim the Bible truth on these issues is “hate speech.” Isn’t that too bad. The Bible commands us to hate the sin, but rescue the sinner (Jude 1:23). The Bible also commands us to obey God regardless what civil authorities may require to the contrary (Acts 5:29). The government and its officials better start paying attention to God and the Bible (Psalm 9:17).
There are those who in matters of religion and doctrine, particularly Bible doctrine, plainly stumble at the Word of God because of their disobedience to Scripture, and failure to study the Bible carefully enough to arrive at the correct position taught in the Bible.
Just this morning I listened to a brief ending portion of a message by Dr. R. C. Sproul talking about “Chosen by God,” addressing the subject of predestination. He argued for the validity of that Bible doctrine in the form he believes it on the basis that the world’s five greatest theologians have written on this doctrine and Dr. Sproul agrees with what they teach, and stated all five of these great theologians agreed with each other. The five theologians he mentioned are Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Jonathan Edwards.
No wonder Dr. R. C. Sproul is all mixed up! If studying such men as these is how he formulates and verifies his understanding of Bible doctrine, no wonder he gets much of it wrong whenever he goes off on his favorite tangent of expounding Calvinism instead of the Bible. Don’t get me wrong. Dr. Sproul is a wonderfully gifted and very effective teacher and I enjoy his program when he sticks to the Bible. And even when he veers off course–away from the Bible sometimes, he is still very informative.
Contrary to what Dr. R. C. Sproul said this morning during his program Renewing Your Mind, when he said the “pre” in the word predestination speaks of “before,” and the rest of the word, “destination” speaks of where we finally end up, either heaven or hell, the doctrine of predestination as taught in the Greek New Testament does not address the matter of who has been arbitrarily chosen by God to go to heaven from eternity past, even before the person entered into earthly life, regardless of what they may or may not do.
The Bible doctrine of predestination pertains to the fact that God desires our lives to be conformed to the example and life of Christ in obedience to His written Word found in the Bible. During the portion of the program I was able to listen to today, Dr. Sproul did not cite, far less expound and exegete, a single Scripture. He did discuss at some length that Martin Luther actually wrote more on the doctrine of predestination than John Calvin did. But I will furnish you one or two verses or so to consider so you can see for yourself what the New Testament has to say about predestination. Take a look at Romans 8:29, 30. Paul speaks there of our being predestined to be conformed to the image of God’s Son, not to heaven or hell–regardless of the choices we may or may not make (as wrongly taught by Calvinism).
The subject of predestination is also addressed in Ephesians 1:4, 5, 11. I will cite what Malcolm Lavender has placed as note “a” in his new translation at Ephesians 1:4,
“There is a predestination of Scripture, but not to eternal destiny. Predestination is to holiness, righteousness, and true knowledge (cf. Ep 4:24; Col. 3:10). God determined in eternity that He would have a holy Church, in the image of His Son; a Church with the family likeness (cf. Rom. 8:29; 2 Pet. 1:4).
This is predestination of Divine exaltation, salvation, redemption, and restoration from the Fall, not the heartless decree of Calvinism, carried out by irresistible grace for the elect, and eternal damnation for all others (cf. Rom. 9:15 and note).”
Therefore, in the important matter of Bible doctrine, we need to be careful when we listen to our favorite Bible teachers. We need to be Berean Christians and search the Scriptures to see if what is being taught is actually supported by the Bible (Acts 17:11).
We need to be careful of the very sincere and zealous people who come to our door proclaiming God’s Kingdom, plentifully supplied with literature and talking points. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, who meet in their Kingdom Halls, know nothing correctly about the Kingdom of God as taught by Scripture itself, except perhaps for one thing: they are most correct that God’s Kingdom is here on this earth. Our inheritance indeed is on earth (Matthew 5:5), not the third heaven. Most Bible believing Christians are wrong on this point. Both the Jehovah’s Witnesses and most Evangelical Bible believing Christians are mistaken about the duration of God’s Kingdom on earth, and commonly believe it lasts for only 1000 years, called the Millennium. That is not what the Bible teaches. Our Lord Jesus Christ will rule this earth, seated on the throne of David, from Jerusalem not for 1000 years but forever (Luke 1:32, 33).
Interestingly, a new poster here, probably a Jehovah’s Witness, left a comment at Bible Nugget 287, in the form of a link to an article which is rather a listing of Scripture which the poster’s title suggests supports the idea that “Jesus is NOT Jehovah.”
This morning I went to the link. Immediately I spotted a misuse of Vine’s Expository Dictionary, page 490, cited in support of the mistaken New World Translation rendering at John 1:1, “a god.” Vine does not support this translation at all, and further down the page he specifically addresses that translation error. Watch out when a religious organization like the Watchtower mishandles citations, inferring support when the writer cited certainly does not support their view.
As an experienced English teacher used to checking carefully the research papers written by my students, I give the Watchtower a failing grade for misuse of sources.
I encountered this issue numerous times when I was visited every Monday night for a Watchtower Bible study in my home for four years. I’m sure the local Kingdom Hall Literature Servant (that’s what the position the person teaching me the Bible held was called back then–he was in charge of all literature distribution by his congregation) was most surprised when I brought out a different reference work time after time cited by the Watchtower literature and was able to show the Watchtower was inaccurate or downright deceitful in its citations of scholarly sources.
Thus, the wicked certainly stumble in their handling of the Word of God, and should not be heeded or followed.
For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:
(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1458 for 1 Peter 2:8.
(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1475 or in Logos 5 Bible software for 1 Peter 2:8.
(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:
1 Peter 2:8. a stone. FS22L2, +Is 8:14. >Is 8:14. 57:14. Mt 21:44. Mk 12:10. *Lk 2:34. 20:17. Ro 9:32, 33. 1 Cor 1:23. +1 Cor 8:9. 2 Cor 2:16. of stumbling. Gr. proskomma (S#4348g, Ro 9:32). Is 28:13. Je 6:21. *Je 13:16. Ezk 3:20. +*Ezk 14:3. Da 2:45. Ho 14:9. Ro 9:32. +**1 Cor 8:9. Ga 5:11. Re 2:14. of offence. Gr. skandalon (S#4625g, Mt 13:34). This is a composite quotation from Ps 118:22 and Is 8:14 (CB; see Mt 27:9n). =Ex 10:7. Mt 5:30. +Mt 11:6. *Mt 15:12. Lk 7:23. Jn 16:1. Ro 9:33. 1 Cor 1:23. Ga 5:11. stumble. Gr. proskoptō (S#4350g, Ro 9:32). T#1105. Dt 32:35. Ps 69:22. +*Ps 119:155, 171. %Pr 4:12. 28:5. Is 26:9. 28:13. +*Is 66:4, 5. *Je 6:19. 13:16. Ezk 12:2. *Ezk 33:31. *Da 9:13. 11:19. *Da 12:10. Ho 13:6. %+*Mi 2:7. Hab 1:4. +*Mt 5:30. Jn 7:17. **1 Cor 2:14. **2 Cor 4:3, 4. +*2 P 3:16. at the word. Mk 4:17. +Ac 8:4. being disobedient. Gr. apeitheō (S#544g, Jn 3:36), non-persuasable (Wuest). See on ver. 1 P 2:7. %1 P 1:14. 3:1. 4:17. 2 K 18:12. 2 Ch 25:20. *Ezk 33:11. +*Jn 3:19. +*Ac 6:9. Ro 10:21. Ep 2:2. 5:6. He 11:31. whereunto. T#252. +*Ge 50:20. Ex 9:16. +*Is 30:33. Ml 3:2. +*Ac 2:23. 4:27, 28. 13:29. Ro 9:22. 10:16. 1 Th 5:9. *2 P 2:3. Jude 1:4. Re 17:17. appointed. or, they were put aside. Gr. tithēmi (S#5087g). They were put aside translates etethēsan from tithēmi. Gingrich says: “1. put, place, lay-—a. generally lay (away), set up, put (away)….” Tithēmi has a large variety of meanings; BDAG says: “The semantic boundaries of this multivalent verb are quite flexible.” Here tithēmi is normally translated in a pre-destinarian sense—-appointed, destined-—as if God foreordained people to stumble. A. T. Robertson in a quote says: “Their disobedience is not ordained, the penalty of their disobedience is.” God as to His very nature cannot damn apart from judiciary action! People are judicially damned for wickedness, not by decree (cf. Ro 9:15, 18, 22; 11:20, 23 and notes) [LNT, fn s]. 1 P 1:2. Ex 4:21. +*Dt 10:15. Jb 23:14. Pr 16:4. 19:21. +*Pr 21:30. +*Is 30:33. 37:26. 49:6. Mt 24:51. Lk 2:34. 12:46. Ac 2:23. 4:28. Ro 9:17, 22. 16:26. *Ga 6:8. 1 Th 5:9. 1 Tim 2:4, 7. 2 Tim 1:11. *Titus 2:11. He 1:2. Re 17:14.