One would think that the gospel is the easiest thing God could have ever asked man to obey in order to obtain eternal life. Nevertheless, God placed a stumbling stone in the gospel which makes it impossible to obey without a great sacrifice.
Jesus made a great sacrifice in order to save mankind with his death on the cross. So, what sacrifice must all make in order to obtain eternal life? In one word, it is called repentance. This is the one stumbling stone which many refuse to submit to. In fact, most don’t even recall being asked to repent before they were baptized into Christ. Jesus commanded repentance and so did his apostles. Lk 13:3 f; Acts 17:30
What does it mean to repent of one’s sins? It means simply to change one’s mind. One first recognizes their sin, feels sorrowful for committing their sin, and then turns from their sin. Until one repents of their sins, they cannot have their sins washed away by baptism. So, why would this make anyone stumble? The answer might surprise you.
There are three types of sins which are not easy to escape. One is called adultery, one fornication, and the other one is called homosexuality. It is not easy to walk away from an adulterous marriage and then obey the gospel of Christ. This is why adultery is a stumbling stone to many who think that they have obeyed the gospel of Christ. They believed, they confessed, and they were baptized, but they continued to live in their adulterous marriage. Baptism without repentance is worthless.
The second one is called fornication. Some are living in fornication who think that their salvation is secured because they were baptized. Many have bought into the lie that fornication is a perquisite to a good marriage and therefore is not a sin. Sin is the transgression of the law, and the law strictly prohibits anyone to commit or live in the state of fornication. 1 Jn 3:4 They believed, they confessed, and they were baptized, but because they still commit fornication, their baptism is worthless.
The third one is called homosexuality. Some who live in this condition are being told that God loves them and accepts their sexual preference. They have bought into the lie that homosexuality is something one is born to be, as opposed as to the choice in which they have made. Many homosexuals have persuaded governments to allow them to marry one another in order to make their unions holy before God and man. Their mistake is that they forget that homosexuality is an abomination before God. Rom 1:26-32 Secondly, they do greatly err not knowing that God only ordained marriage between one man and one woman__not one man with one man or one woman with one woman. Gen 2:24 They believed, they confessed, and they were baptized, but because they continued to be homosexuals, their baptism is worthless.
Is repentance making you stumble? Repentance is not a suggestion one may or may not have to obey. Repentance is something one must do in order to be saved. Therefore, baptism cannot wash away any sin until one forsakes sin. It’s not easy to forsake someone in order to please God, and for many such has become a stumbling stone to their salvation. Don’t let it be yours. Choose God over an adulterous marriage. Choose God over fornication. Choose God over homosexuality. Repent and then be baptized and know for sure that your sins have been washed away. Acts 2:38 f; Acts 22:16