Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Death of General John Sedgwick

ImageAn eyewitness of account of Union General John Sedgwick’s death on May 9, 1864, told by his chief of staff, describes clearly the danger of overconfidence.

It seems that the previous evening, at one place on the battlefield, several officers had been cut down by sniper fire. The general was warned of the danger by his chief of staff, but in the process of instructing his men walked to that place.

Sniper fire broke out from 1,000 yards away, and bullets whizzed by. Others ducked, but the general admonished them, saying, “What! what! men, dodging this way for single bullets! What will you do when they open fire along the whole line? I am ashamed of you. They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” According to his chief of staff, the admonition was repeated a second time upon another fusillade of bullets, then suddenly the general was hit below his left eye, and quickly died.

Overconfidence can often lead to disaster, and this is true with regard to an individual’s spiritual standing as quickly as any other. As the apostle warned:

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”
(1 Corinthians 10:12)