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一个坚实的基础

作者:道格·巴契勒 牧师日期:2016-10-14 20:54:45浏览数:4302
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一个奇妙的真相:新建的美国世贸中心,是西半球最高的摩天大厦,高达541米。这座巨大的高塔建在下曼哈顿区一块坚实的基岩上。最初,为了清理地基区域,单单爆破工作,就用了两个星期的时间。约有40辆卡车卸下了306立方米的混凝土,来为这座40000吨的建筑提供坚实的地基。

路加福音记载:“有人谈论圣殿是用美石和供物妆饰的;耶稣就说:‘论到你们所看见的这一切,将来日子到了,在这里没有一块石头留在石头上,不被拆毁了。 ”(路21:5-6)

当耶稣预言圣殿将遭遇彻底的毁坏时,在门徒们的心中,一定会留下阴影,并使他们感到震惊。这座用巨石建造起来的圣殿,要面临如此的浩劫,对他们而言,那简直就是世界末日。

圣殿的基石到底有多大呢?考古学家在挖掘耶路撒冷圣殿山附近的哭墙(西墙)隧道时,发现了一整块巨大的名为“西墙石”的磐石。这块巨石长13.6米,高2.98米,宽3.29米,重570吨,堪称世界上最大的建筑砌石之一。其重量相当于两架满座波音747的重量总和。是的,但那只不过是圣殿建筑中的一块石头而矣。

如果说门徒对耶稣有关圣殿的言论感到震惊,那么当耶稣对宗教领袖们说:“你们拆毁这殿,我三日内要再建立起来。”(约2:19)时,那些宗教领袖们则是极其愤怒。但我们知道,耶稣并不是在说圣殿的建筑,而是在说自己的身体。

教会,也被称为“基督的身子”。(林前12:27)虽然地上的圣殿将被摧毁,但有一建筑是永不倒塌的——那就是上帝的教会——建基于磐石基督之上。当教会,因信,立于那在圣经中向我们显明的耶稣之上时,它就是以真理的磐石为根基。

建在磐石上

当耶稣和祂的门徒谈及“要建造在坚固的磐石之上”时,“耶稣…问门徒说:‘我人子是谁? 他们说:‘有人说是施洗的约翰;有人说是以利亚;又有人说是耶利米或是先知里的一位。 耶稣说:‘你们说我是谁? ”(太16:13-15)

请注意西门彼得的回答:“祢是基督,是永生上帝的儿子。”耶稣对他说:“西门巴约拿,你是有福的!因为这不是属血肉的指示你的,乃是我在天上的父指示的。” (太16:16-17)

在彼得的名字“西门·巴·约拿”中,“(Bar)巴”这个字的意思是“某某的儿子”,所以他名字的意思是“西门——约拿的儿子”。彼得是耶稣给西门取的名字,意思是“石头”(见约1:40-42),那种你可以拾起来扔出去的小石头。

接着,耶稣进一步说:“我还告诉你,你是彼得,我要把我的教会建造在这磐石上;阴间的权柄不能胜过它。”(太16:18)耶稣所说,要将教会建立在其上的那块磐石是指什么呢?很显然,祂肯定不是指着彼得这个小石头说的,因为在同一章接下来的几节中,耶稣称彼得为“撒但”(见23节)。

教会所植根的那块磐石是指什么呢?答案可以从彼得所宣称的“耶稣是基督,是永生上帝的儿子”的话中找到。(正因为彼得相信耶稣是上帝的儿子,所以耶稣才进一步指明,祂要将教会建立在“上帝的儿子”这块磐石上。)在基督身上,上帝之道得以显明,(约1:1)教会得以建立。在基督里面,教会找到了真实的根基,是阴间的力量所无法战胜的。《圣经》乃是真教会的基础。

我们都需要根基

根基即一切。我们都需要在根基上建造。每个家庭都需要一个根基,那根基就是爱。甚至我们的国家也需要一个根基,那根基就是宪法。美国最初的建立,是以圣经真理为根基的。然而今日,这些真理正遭受着一波又一波的攻击,它们正一点点的被腐蚀,被数百万人视为“过时的”教条。圣经说:“根基若毁坏,义人还能做什么呢?” (诗11:3)对于国家如此,对教会更是如此。

“根基”这个词,在字典中被定义为“任何一件事的基础或根本”。正如要建造一座建筑,得先预备能够承载整个结构的牢固的地基一样。在我们的教会和我们的信仰生活中,也需要一个坚实的根基。你有没有考虑过,你生命的根基是什么?你的未来,是建立在怎样的根基之上?

1999年,我们在纽约举行过一次圣经预言系列布道会,在那期间,我们的组员曾上到世贸中心的顶层,并在那里为整座城市献上祷告。然而,2001年9月11日,当我们目睹那座巨大建筑轰然倒塌时,心中真是一种说不出来的滋味。两个月后,我独自一人来到世贸归零地(即世贸废墟)。曾经耸立双塔的地方,如今已经变成一个巨大的深坑,烟雾仍在不断的从中上腾。

人们为什么能在纽约城内,建造起如此之高的新世贸大厦呢?正是因为整个曼哈顿区几乎就是在一块巨大的磐石上。常言道:若要建得高,必须挖得深。同样,基督徒生命的建造亦是如此。

如果你要触及高天,那么必须先深入圣言。当你在圣经中越挖越深时,你与上帝同行的境界也会越来越高。正如那些为了给新世贸大厦打造根基,用来摧毁岩石和旧世贸大厦残存基础的炸药一样,我们也需要藉着圣灵的大能,来清除心中的盘根错节的罪恶,而后,便可靠赖上帝的圣言,度自由的生活。

耶稣曾说过:“凡到我这里来,听见我的话就去行的,我要告诉你们他像什么人:他像一个人盖房子,深深地挖地,把根基安在磐石上;到发大水的时候,水冲那房子,房子总不能摇动,因为根基立在磐石上。惟有听见不去行的,就像一个人在土地上盖房子,没有根基;水一冲,随即倒塌了,并且那房子坏的很大。”(路6:47-49)

我之所以引用路加福音中的这段经文,是因为它强调了在建造根基的时候,“挖得深”是多么的重要!这才是真智慧。在马太福音中,圣经称那些将房屋建于沙土之上的,是“无知的人”。无知的人虽然也听到了上帝的圣言,但并不相信那是一个牢靠的根基。惟有聪明的人,才将自己的信仰植根于圣经,并视其为最重要的准则,且单单以圣经作为无误的人生指南。

在风暴中幸存

现今,在我们的生活中,极其需要圣经所提供的坚实基础。因为风暴即将临到这个世界。除非你将自己的信仰和人生,稳固的扎根在上帝的圣言中,否则你将被摇动,且在那行将临到这个星球的灾难面前,表现得全无预备。

不久前,我参加了在纳什维尔举行的宗教广播大会,听到了美国驻联合国前任大使约翰·波顿的演讲,在谈及我们现今生存的这个世界时。约翰·波顿说,我们正自处在一个危如悬卵的世界之中,到处充斥着发展核武器所带来的威胁,世界的和平,正因发生在中东的诸多问题而命悬一线。

我还听到其他的发言人谈及我们文化的根基正如何不断地面临威胁。最基本的基督教价值观正被抛出窗外,婚前性行为变得公认,并可以被接受;自恋者受到赞许;撒谎者亦被颂扬;同性婚姻也没什么大不了。“根基若毁坏,义人还能做什么呢?”(诗11:3)

奇怪的是,今天在我们的教会中,也出现了一些类似的运动。他们声称,圣经并非一个完全可靠的根基,因其无法与时下不断演变的文化合拍。他们说圣经必须符合我们的文化,而非各行其道。

我们现今也看到了一幅满目疮痍的景象——当我们信仰的基石——圣经被搁在一旁,取而代之的是某些信条时。在基督徒中间,便不断的出现勾心斗角、心胸狭隘的争论。这种运动和观点是十分的危险的信号,甚至是致命。因为它们说到底,就是在告诉人们:以圣经为根基真是靠不住的。我非常担心于这种精神。若人们被这种精神所鼓舞,则一但风暴来袭时,群羊就必被打散。事实上,今日有很多人,业已怀存这种思想,四散而逃,正在寻找别的虚假根基。

耶稣曾警告我们,那行将临到的大灾难:“从世界的起头直到如今,没有这样的灾难,后来也必没有。”(太24:21)我们正处于这一非常时期的边缘。当然,这也是一个具有特殊机会的时期。对此,上帝并不会感到诧异,因祂已经为“现今的机会”(帖4:14)兴起了一个运动。现今,正是要把圣经中根基性的真理,分享给全球范围内的寻道者的时刻,因他们的根基是那样的虚弱且摇摆不定。

在这个世界上,还有一群爱主并且渴望得知真理的人。他们正在殷勤的查考圣经,并且很快会成为那盼望耶稣再临之上帝余民中的一员。我们要不断地向他们供给圣经中坚实的根基性真理,以使他们在危机中站立得稳。

房角石

在圣经中,有关“根基”的最重要的教训,出自耶稣基督的之口:“经上写着:‘匠人所弃的石头已作了房角的头块石头。这是主所做的,在我们眼中看为希奇。’”(太21:42)基督在此引用的,是诗篇18:22-23节的内容。拉比们非常熟悉这处经文,并且知道它是指着弥赛亚说的。

在旧约中,还有两处经文,对上述引用作了详细的阐述:“所以,主耶和华如此说:‘看哪,我在锡安放一块石头作为根基,是试验过的石头,是稳固根基。’”(赛28:16 )“要尊万军之耶和华为圣,以祂为你们所当怕的,所当畏惧的。他必作为圣所,却向以色列两家作绊脚的石头,跌人的磐石。”(赛8:13-14)

这些经文源于圣经中一个短暂的历史事件。圣经记载:“所罗门用七万扛抬的,八万在山上凿石头的。…王下令,人就凿出又大又宝贵的石头来,用以立殿的根基。”(王上 5:15-18)请留意:“建殿所用的石头,是在山中凿成的。建殿的时候,锤子、斧子,和别样铁器的响声都没有听见。”(王上6:7)这与现今的建造形式大相径庭,你可以在工地听到电钻和爆破的声音。而当时在圣所从事的,乃是神圣之工。

建筑师们仔细地绘出所罗门圣殿的建筑图,并将地基所用的石头,包括房角石的精细要求交给工程师。今天,我们是用混凝土作为建筑的根基,但是圣经时代,以色列人用四面完全垂直的巨石堆砌为根基。圣殿的房角石或许看上去很特别,因其一面无缝贴合于坐落在圣殿山的基岩上(注意,基岩的形状并非总是规则齐整的),而其它面也是齐整的方形。好似被预备好的基石,又被运到了工地。在山中预备基石的希伯来人或许认为,那些建筑工人一定认识它们。

或许是在交流上出了问题,当圣殿的建筑工人,见到这块巨大怪异的石头时,可能将之误认为是先前在这里建造房屋的耶布斯人的遗物。于是,当工人们清理并预备几亩地,以作为圣殿根基的所在时,为了准备合用的基石,他们将不达标的石头筛选掉。结果是,他们选中了那些破损的石头。同时,他们又将那块真正用来作为房角石的石头移开,并将它滚入汲沦谷中。

最后,当建筑工人要求在采石场的工人们提供房角石时,石匠们告诉他们:我们已经送去了一块完美的石头作为基石。然后,经过一番寻找,最后他们发现,真正的房角石正是被他们遗弃的那块巨石。于是,工人们协力将它移回来,并放置在预备的位置上——结果是完美贴合,天衣无缝。

这块曾被人遗弃的房角石的故事,成了贯穿于整本圣经的一个类比。

使徒彼得说:“主乃活石,固然是被人所弃的,却是被上帝所拣选、所宝贵的。你们来到主面前,也就像活石,被建造成为灵宫,作圣洁的祭司,藉着耶稣基督奉献上帝所悦纳的灵祭。因为经上说:‘看哪,我把所拣选、所宝贵的房角石安放在锡安;信靠他的人必不至于羞愧。’所以,他在你们信的人就为宝贵,在那不信的人有话说:‘匠人所弃的石头已作了房角的头块石头。’又说:‘作了绊脚的石头,跌人的磐石。’他们既不顺从,就在道理上绊跌;他们这样绊跌也是预定的。”(彼前2:4-8)

使徒彼得知道,耶稣基督就是那块被匠人遗弃的石头,正如今日的教会开始弃绝上帝的圣言一样。彼得也知道,圣经乃是教会应当建在其上的真房角石,而我们则是建在那根基之上的活石。

对此,保罗进一步指明:“这样,你们不再作外人和客旅,是与圣徒同国,是上帝家里的人了;并且被建造在使徒和先知的根基上,有基督耶稣自己为房角石,各房靠他联络得合式,渐渐成为主的圣殿。你们也靠祂同被建造,成为上帝藉着圣灵居住的所在。” (弗2:19-22)

悉心建造

美国历史上最具破坏性的地震,发生在1960年的圣弗朗西斯科。在那次大地震中,约有3000人死亡,80%的城市被毁掉。

在这次地震发生的许多年前,斯坦福大学的门口,曾经立起过一个牌坊,以记念斯坦福利兰和简这对夫妇的独生子。这块牌坊高30.48米,宽24.4米,厚10.4米,其3.6米高的石头雕饰象征着“美国的民主过程”。

但遗憾的是,这个原本想要屹立百年的巨大牌坊,却仅仅矗立了几个小时,就如同那些在地震中坍塌的建筑一样,倾倒于地。因为牌坊的根基实在是太松软了,建筑工人以为,那里的沙石层可以代替磐石地基。牌坊最后支离破碎,现在只留下了几根柱子。

论及建造上帝的教会时,保罗给我们留下了智慧的劝勉:“我照上帝所给我的恩,好像一个聪明的工头,立好了根基,有别人在上面建造;只是各人要谨慎怎样在上面建造。” (林前3:10)

朋友,你是怎样做的呢?你是否将自己生命的坚实根基,建于上帝之道上了呢?在不久将来的某一天,我们要在大摇动时期中经受最严酷的考验。今日,我们若未将我们的家庭、我们的教会、我们的价值观建立在圣经之上,那么到那时,我们所建造的一切,必定崩塌。

因此,我祈祷上帝,使你将信心建立在圣经所启示的磐石——基督耶稣之上。耶稣乃是那唯一的基石,只有祂的圣言,能让我们在末日风暴中立于稳固的根基之上,并得以存活。

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A Solid Foundation

by Pastor Doug Batchelor



An Amazing Fact: The new One World Trade Center is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, reaching a height of 1,776 feet. The massive tower rests on solid bedrock in Lower Manhattan. It took two months of blasting to clear the foundation area. About 40 trucks then dumped 400 cubic yards of concrete to provide solid footing for the 40,000 metric ton structure.

The Gospel of Luke records, “As some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, [Jesus] said, ‘These things which you see—the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down’ ” (21:5, 6).

When Jesus predicted the complete destruction of Herod’s temple, His disciples must have been traumatized and shocked. Any event so catastrophic as to unseat the massive stones of the temple would have indicated the end of the world to them. How large were these foundation blocks? When archaeologists excavated the Western Wall tunnel near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, they discovered one monolithic rock called the Western Stone that measured 44.6 feet long, 9.8 feet high, and 10.8 feet wide. This giant rock weighs 570 tons and is one of the largest building blocks in the world. That’s equivalent to the weight of two fully loaded Boeing 747s. Yes, that’s just one stone in the temple!

If the disciples were stunned by Jesus’ statement about the temple, the religious leaders were outraged when He said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). We know that Christ was not referring to the literal temple, but to His own body. The church is also called “the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27). While the earthly temple could be destroyed, there is a building that will never fall: God’s church built upon Christ. When the church, by faith, stands on Jesus, who is revealed to us in the Bible, it rests on a sure foundation.

Built on the Rock

Jesus spoke with His disciples about building on a firm rock. “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ ” (Matthew 16:13–15).

Notice the response of one Simon Peter: “ ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven’ ” (vv. 16, 17). The term “Bar” in this name means “son of.” So his name is Simon, son of Jonah. Peter was a nickname given to Simon by Jesus, and it means “stone” (see John 1:40–42). This is the type of rock you would pick up and throw.

Christ next said something profound: “I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). What “rock” is Jesus speaking about upon which He would build His church? It certainly cannot be Peter, the little stone, since a few verses later in this chapter Jesus called Peter “Satan” (see verse 23).

The rock on which the church is built is found in Peter’s declaration that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. It is upon Jesus, the Word of God made manifest (John 1:1), that the church was founded. It is in Him that the church finds a sure foundation against which the forces of hell will not overcome. The Scriptures are the basis of God’s true church.

We All Need Foundations

Foundations are everything. We need them for building. We need them in our families. Even our country requires a foundation, which is supposed to be our Constitution. The United States was built on foundational truths that are being relentlessly attacked. They are being eroded little by little, called “outdated” by millions. The Bible says, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). However, what’s true for our nation is even truer for the church.

The word “foundation” is defined by one dictionary as: “The basis or groundwork for anything.” Just as a building has a prepared footing on which to rest the full structure, we need an underpinning in our lives and in our church. Have you thought about the foundations in your life? On what ground have you built your future?

While conducting a prophecy series in New York City back in 1999, our team went to the top of the World Trade Center and prayed over the city. It was an especially emotional experience to watch, on September 11, 2001, those buildings implode. Two months later I visited Ground Zero in person, and smoke was still rising from the great cavities where the original towers once stood.

How do they build skyscrapers so tall in New York? Well, Manhattan is basically sitting on a giant rock. It’s been said that if you would build high, you must first go deep. That’s also true in the Christian life. If you want to reach heavenly heights, you must first go deep in the Word. The deeper you dig into the Bible, the higher you will go in your walk with God. Just as dynamite was used to blow away rock and rubble to prepare for the new Freedom Tower, we need the power of the Spirit to clear away the sin in our hearts so we can live freely by God’s Word.

Jesus explained,

Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great (Luke 6:47–49, my emphasis).

I’ve quoted from Luke’s version of this parable because it highlights just how important it is to dig deep when laying a foundation. It is true wisdom. Matthew refers to the one who builds on the sand as “foolish.” The foolish person hears the Word of God but doesn’t believe it’s a worthy foundation. Wise people dig deep into the Scriptures and base their values and choices on the Bible alone.

Surviving Storms

We desperately need the solid foundation of the Bible in our lives because a storm is soon coming to our world. Unless we are firmly grounded in the Word, we will be shaken and unprepared for catastrophic events striking our planet.

I recently attended a religious broadcasters convention in Nashville where I heard John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, speak on just how dangerous a world we live in right now, loaded with frightening nuclear developments. He said world peace is hanging by a thread with the problems happening in the Middle East.

I also heard other speakers describe how the foundations in our culture are being threatened. Basic Christian values are being tossed out the window. Sex before marriage is considered acceptable. Narcissism is applauded. Lying is celebrated. Marrying someone of the same gender doesn’t matter. “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3).

Amazingly, there are even movements in our very church today that claim the Bible is not a dependable foundation because it doesn’t keep up with our evolving culture. The Bible needs to conform to our culture, they say, not the other way around. Well, we’re seeing now the devastation, the infighting and mean-spirited debates that can happen among Christians when the cornerstone of our faith, the Scriptures, is pushed aside even over a single doctrine. It’s extremely dangerous, even deadly, counsel, because it’s telling the faithful that when it comes down to it, a Bible foundation cannot really be trusted. I fear that with this same spirit, once the storm hits, the sheep will scatter. They already are scattering, looking for a foundation.

Jesus warned us that a great tribulation is coming, “such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). We are on the brink of extraordinary events, yet this is also a time of extraordinary opportunities. God is not surprised, and He has raised a movement “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). This is a time to share the foundational truths of Scripture to seekers around the world. Many of them are in churches that do not adhere to the entire Word of God; their foundations are weak and wobbling.

Yet there are believers who love the Lord and want to know truth. They are searching their Bibles, and they will soon become part of God’s remnant people waiting expectantly for Christ’s return. Let’s keep offering them the solid foundation of Scripture so they can stand firm.

The Cornerstone

One of the primary illustrations in Scripture about foundations is spoken of by Christ. “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” (Matthew 21:42). Christ is referring to Psalm 118:22, 23. The rabbis were familiar with this passage and knew that it referred to the Messiah.

Two other Old Testament verses expand on this: “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation” (Isaiah 28:16). “The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow; let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. He will be as a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel” (Isaiah 8:13, 14).

These verses refer to an experience briefly mentioned in Scripture. (The whole story is found in Jewish history.) When Solomon built the temple, the Bible says, “Solomon had seventy thousand who carried burdens, and eighty thousand who quarried stone in the mountains. … And the king commanded them to quarry large stones, costly stones, and hewn stones, to lay the foundation of the temple” (1 Kings 5:15–17). Notice, “The temple, when it was being built, was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built” (1 Kings 6:7). This was very unlike building today, where you hear jackhammers and explosions at the build site. It was sacred work at the temple.

Architects carefully drew blueprints for Solomon’s temple and gave engineers precise specifications for all the stones for the foundation, including the cornerstone. Today we use concrete for footings. In Bible times they used large stones that were perfectly plumb. The temple cornerstone might have looked unusual because part of its face sat on the bedrock of the temple mount and the rest of it was square. It was likely one of the first stones prepared and brought to the site. The hewers probably assumed the construction crew knew about it.

But somehow there was a miscommunication. The temple builders kept bumping into this large oddly shaped stone. Perhaps they thought it was a piece of leftover rubble from work done by the Jebusites, who built there once before. As the crew cleaned and prepared several acres for the foundation of the temple, workers chose the wrong rock for the chief foundation stone. They chose stones that cracked. In the meantime, they had pushed the true cornerstone out of the way, and it tumbled down into Kidron Valley.

When the construction crew finally asked the men at the quarry to provide them a cornerstone, the hewers told them, “We already sent the perfect stone. It was the first rock we delivered.” After some searching, they discovered it was indeed the stone they had shoved out of the way. Workers gathered together and dragged it back up and into place. It fit perfectly.

The story of the rejected cornerstone became an analogy used throughout the Bible. Peter wrote:

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” and “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed (1 Peter 2:4–8).

Peter understood that Jesus Christ was the Rock who was rejected, just as the church today begins to reject His Word. He knew that it was upon the true Cornerstone that the church would be built. We are living stones built on that foundation. Paul explained:

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:19–22).

Careful Construction

One of the most devastating earthquakes in U.S. history was in 1906 San Francisco. About 3,000 people died, and more than 80 percent of the city was destroyed.

A few years before this quake, a Memorial Arch was erected at the main entry to Stanford University in memory of Jane and Leland Stanford’s only child. The massive arch was 100 feet tall, 90 feet wide, and 34 feet deep. A 12-foot high frieze adorned the top with carved stone sculptures representing the “Progress of Civilization in America.”

But the magnificent arch, that was to last for hundreds of years, stood for fewer than four. Like most buildings that crumbled in the quake, the arch had a poor foundation. The construction crew thought a layer of gravel would substitute for a rock-solid foundation. The arch was eventually dismantled, and only the remaining columns stand today.

When it comes to building up God’s church, Paul gave us wise counsel. “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it” (1 Corinthians 3:10).

How about you? Have you laid a sure foundation in your life on God’s Word? Someday we will be tested by a time of shaking. Unless we have wisely built our homes, our churches, and our values on the Bible, the edifices we’ve constructed will surely collapse. I pray that your faith will be built on Christ, the solid Rock revealed in Scripture. Jesus is the only foundation on which we can survive the storm in these last days.