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Right Angles

I heard this story while in Tennessee last week; it is supposed to be true. A man was called by his brother to build a shed on his brother’s property. The construction brother agreed and showed up and started to get everything squared away. Now, squared away means two things as far as we are concerned. First he started to put everything right. Second he tried to set up the right angles for the shed so it would be square. The handy brother was working with boards and string and setting up the right angles for the corners. It did not take long for frustration to set in because every time he thought all the corners were at 90 degrees he would find the first one off. “What is going on?” he asks himself. He does it again and again, but the angles at each corner are off a little. About the third time around he finally looks around and sees his drunk brother messing with the strings he had just set up to create a square corner. He decided to quit messing with it and built it with corners as they were, square or not.

This reminds me of another story I heard of a cornerstone. The cornerstone, especially as it was used in the days of Jesus, set the angle for the rest of the building. If the cornerstone was not cut right at the quarry there was going to be a mess as the rest of the building went up.

This leads us to Jesus. Jesus is described as the chief cornerstone. That is the first one that was laid and determined all the other angles for the building. 1Pe 2:5, 6, “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’”

Jesus is the cornerstone. That is the first stone of the foundation that all Christians are built on. Eph 2:19, 20, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,” That foundation of the apostles and prophets is the gospel of Jesus. This gospel tells us how to be in fellowship with God and how to keep in fellowship with God. We are the living stones used to continue building that spiritual building, the household of God.

QUESTION – What would happen to any building when the cornerstone is off or if the corners were not set right? Whatever building that was intended is NOT going to be the one the architect intended!!! So, if people change the spiritual foundation they have changed the spiritual house and will NOT be fellow citizens with the saints. HOW can they be? The foundation has been changed that the preachers are preaching.

And then another story from Tennessee; the shepherds of Jesus’ time would search carefully through all the rocks in the field close by for a stone to use as a cornerstone when they built their sheepfolds. There were many that would be passed over before the shepherds found the one they wanted to use as the cornerstone for their project.
In the story above the shepherds looked over many stones before they picked the right one. They “rejected” many. That is what happened with Christ and the Jews, too. He was rejected by most of them and most of the Gentile world, too. So, if the Chief cornerstone has been rejected what does that tell you about ANYTHING that they call religion later? NO RESEMBLANCE to what was intended by Him. 1Pe 2:7, “So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,’”

And for a third illustration of the same principle. Karen’s cousin and her husband were looking at plans for a new house. They looked at many and then wanted some changes to fit their needs and wants. Again, I ask you a question. If the blueprints are changed will the house that is built look like the original? The answer is, “No.” The changes might be so minor that we will never notice them but the original designer would.

We have used three illustrations here to show that when the wrong cornerstone is used or the right cornerstone is rejected or when the original blueprints for what God, the designer, has put together, the church will NOT be the one that God wants. Did you notice that I Peter 2:7 describes those that have done any of these things as “those who do not believe?”

A couple verses from II Thessalonians 1 have somewhat to say about what is going to happen to those who do not believe when Jesus returns. II Th. 2:8b, 9, “inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,”

We are told to check the preacher and the teacher and even ourselves to make sure all is ok (Acts 17:11, I John 4:1, II Corinthians 13:5). Have you done so to make sure they or you have not rejected the cornerstone or have not changed any of the edges of the corner or have not even adjusted the blueprint? If they have or you have there is still time to make things right.

Read your Bible to insure that what is being taught where you are is according to God’s blueprint.
Think on these things.

By Mike Stubbs

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