Over fifty-five years ago something unexpected happened in a small community in northeastern Pennsylvania. The townspeople built a multi-purpose building to serve as their police department, fire department, and city hall. They were proud of their red-brick building; it stood as the result of sacrificial giving and careful planning. On the day of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, six thousand people turned out to celebrate—nearly all the town’s residents.
Less than two months later, however, they noticed ominous signs. Cracks had appeared on one side of the building. Later, they noticed the windows wouldn’t shut all the way. Then the doors failed to close properly. The roof started to leak. And within a few more months, the place had to be evacuated— to the builder’s embarrassment and the taxpayers’ disgust.
A local company did an analysis. They found that blasts from a nearby mining area had slowly but effectively destroyed the structure. Imperceptibly, beneath the building’s foundation, small shifts and changes were taking place that caused the foundation to crack and begin to sink. At first no one could feel the shifts in the ground or see the cracks from the surface, but down deep a weakening had occurred. A city official finally had to write across the front door, “Condemned. Not fit for public use.” Ultimately, the town had to demolish that building.
Something similar to what happened in that town is happening today when it comes to the person and work of Jesus Christ. Eroding voices question whether God’s word about Jesus is true. Some challenge the assertion that Christ came in the flesh. Others claim our Lord walked on earth, but he was only a good man whose followers made him out to be the Son of God. Some even concede he was a great prophet, but they rank him as a mere equal among many. And for a lot of people, such erosion destroys their faith.
Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock” (Matt. 7:24–25). Notice he didn’t say that if we build on the rock, no rains will fall and no winds will blow. He never promised the miners wouldn’t blast. In fact, he taught his followers to expect opposition.
How are you handling the rains and the winds and the blasts? Our house stands, not because we tune out opposing voices and not because we have crafted air-tight arguments against them. Rather, our faith endures because our God and his word are reliable: On Christ the solid rock we stand. All other ground is sinking sand.
About the Contributors
Charles R. Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God’s Word and His grace. A pastor at heart, Chuck has served as the founder and senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. His leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped prepare and equip a new generation for ministry. Chuck and his wife Cynthia, have four grown children, ten grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.