42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
The world’s treatment of children is going to be one good reason for why God is going to be so harsh on the world at the end. The exploitive, abusive, and neglectful treatment of children all over the world is wicked. God is coming to stomp out this world for its wickedness. God is watching. When our sins are filled up He will come, but in His own time.
To offend can be something one does against God that draws His wrath. In this definition it is sins and trespasses against God.
2Chronicles 28:13 And said unto them, Ye shall not bring in the captives hither: for whereas we have offended against the LORD already, ye intend to add more to our sins and to our trespass: for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.
Offenses are inevitable from a fallen race of sinful people but...
Matthew 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
It can be wrongs that cause a brother to be angry.
Proverbs 18:19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
To offend can be to cause to stumble to be made to fall in your walk either in the Law under the Law or with Christ under Grace. Here Jesus is a “rock of offence” to those people who stumble at His words, which those people who reject Christ are “appointed” to do.
1 Peter 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.
If a person harms the faith of a little child who believes in Christ his or her suffering shall be legendary. Christ makes a stark statement here about what their fate will be. It will be a very sad day at the Judgment Seat of Christ for Pastors and Sunday School teachers who have exploited or manipulated little children and taken their faith from them. I can think of a long list of names of people who have sexually exploited or physically abused children who grew up to form support groups where they talk about how evil Christians are. If saved, these victimized people have been neutralized in any value for Christ by the evil work of these men.
It will be an even more terrible day at the Great White Throne Judgment for unbelievers for those unsaved Pastors and Sunday School teachers who will stand before Christ for what they have done to children. Those children’s appearances, the angels of their presence (Isaiah 63:9), are always before God the Father in heaven.
Matthew 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
The Bible has many references to the evil of harming the faith of another.
Romans 14;13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. 14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
When it comes to children fathers have even been warned not to provoke their children to anger and wrath lest they become discouraged but, by contrast to provoking them, raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Colossians 3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
Harming the faith of a little child is one of the worse of the transgressions a person can commit and will apparently reserve that person a greater judgment. Be warned.